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

See all articles by Saber Ahmed Chowdhury

Saber Ahmed Chowdhury

University of Dhaka - Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies

Date Written: March 1, 2007

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Chowdhury, Saber Ahmed, Leadership and Culture: Exploring Some Cultural Features of Management and the Limits of Applying a Western Leadership Theory in the Organizations of Bangladesh (March 1, 2007). Society and Change, Organization for Social Development and Research, Bangladesh, Vol. 1, No. 1, January-March, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2006339

Saber Ahmed Chowdhury (Contact Author)

University of Dhaka - Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies ( email )

Ramna, Dhaka
Dhaka, 1000
Bangladesh
+8801716403959 (Phone)

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