Leadership and Culture: Exploring Some Cultural Features of Management and the Limits of Applying a Western Leadership Theory in the Organizations of Bangladesh
Society and Change, Organization for Social Development and Research, Bangladesh, Vol. 1, No. 1, January-March, 2007
13 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2014
Date Written: March 1, 2007
A theory of any discipline develops in a specific socio-economic and cultural context. It should be taken into account when we are going to apply any western leadership theory in a developing country like Bangladesh. This article is mainly based on the hypothesis that the transformational leadership theory is not possible to apply in organizations of Bangladesh on the basis of the cultural features of the country. The social and political features of Bangladesh are guided by patron-client relationship, corporatism, bureaucratic authoritarian state and patrimonialism. Moreover, guided by the definition of dimensions of national culture by Hofstede the dimensions of Bangladesh culture can be identified as high Masculinity, Collectivism, high Uncertainty avoidance and large Power distance. On the contrary, transformational leadership is more participative, innovative, risk oriented, and trust worthy. This article concludes that replication of transformational leadership theory is not possible in Bangladesh.
Keywords: culture, leadership, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, Bangladesh
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