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Leadership Made in Germany: Low on Compassion, High on Performance

Authors:
  • NUS Business School and Leuphana University Lüneburg

Abstract

As part of the GLOBE project, we collected data on culture and leadership in Germany from 457 middle managers in the telecommunications, food processing, and finance industries. The most pronounced German cultural value is performance orientation. The hallmark of German cultural practices is high levels of uncertainty avoidance and assertiveness, along with low levels of humane orientation. At work, compassion is low and interpersonal relations are straightforward and stern. It seems that conflict and controversy are built into the German societal culture. As has been shown in the GLOBE project by using data from 61 countries. characteristics attributed to a country's outstanding leaders match closely with its cultural values and practices. This holds true for Germany. Effective German leaders are characterized by high performance orientation, low compassion, low self-protection, low team orientation, high autonomy, and high participation. Conflict and controversy seem to be built into the German leadership culture as well. A "tough on the issue, tough on the person" leadership approach appears to explain Germany's economic accomplishments in the second half of the 20th century. However, it does not seem to be a promising approach to meet the challenges of globalization in the 21st century. Are Germany's societal. organizational, and leadership cultures prepared for an adaptive change? A "tough on the issue, soft on the person" leadership approach seems to be the right recipe for German managers.
... This can be seen in New Zealand's managers are more conservative perspective, the feeling of stress and anxiety when they face ambiguity attributes consistent with high degree level of uncertainty avoidance [24]. Similarly, in a study conducted in Germany [25], managers plan more in details and carefully calculated for lesser risk. To extend the explanation, reference [26] strong emphasis that organization structure provide legitimacy as it relies on rules and detailed controls are more likely to conform to the societal norms. ...
... The individualist people's culture is caring about their personal interests rather than group interests. According to [25] study, reported that German style of capitalism with its emphasis on individual achievement. As such, leaders value their followers for their unique ability and followers are not emotionally dependent on the firm. ...
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This article discuss the leadership research in an international context. In particular, this article focus on leadership cultural-specific in most of the developing countries. A clear and balanced synthesis of existing academic research done in the area in terms of both theoretical foundation and empirical findings are provided in this article. The article also critically evaluate the existing studies and highlight their relationships, strengths and weaknesses. The knowledge gap in the existing literature are also being addressed and identified. Specific directions for future research is suggested near the end of the article.
... Ultimately, when evaluating individuals network capital, the macro variable culture should always be considered. Because, network functioning is also not culture free (Brodbeck et al., 2002). Thus, culture is an important variable that limits the generalizability of our findings. ...
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... Zugleich verweisen sowohl Befunde auf der Basis der GLOBE-Studien als auch weitere kulturvergleichende Länderstudien darauf, dass die innere Struktur charismatischtransformationaler Führung sowohl bei den Führungserwartungen als auch im beobachteten Verhalten kulturspezifische Variationen zeigt. So zeigen etwa die Ergebnisse von Steyrer, Schiffinger und Lang (2007) sowie Brodbeck et al. 2002;Brodbeck und Frese 2007, dass transformationale Führung im deutschen Kontext eine vom globalen Muster abweichende inhaltliche Konfiguration hat. Während das Konzept der charismatischtransformationalen Führung in starkem Umfang Aspekte der individuellen Zuwendung und eines gruppenbezogenen humanen Führungsverhaltens einschließt, fehlen diese Aspekte sowohl bezüglich der erwarteten als auch der durch Mitarbeiter wahrgenommenen Führung in Deutschland. ...
Chapter
Der Begriff der neocharismatischen Führungstheorien steht zusammenfassend für aktuelle Führungsansätze der charismatischen und transformationalen Führung, die sich seit Ende der 70er- bis Mitte der 80er-Jahre entwickelt haben und inzwischen einen dominanten Strang vor allem in der empirischen Führungsforschung ausmachen. Im Zentrum stehen Eigenschaften und Verhaltensweisen einer Führung, die Visionen vermittelt, inspirierend, integrierend und motivierend auf die Geführten einwirkt, den Wandel fördert und ein höheres Engagement der Geführten gegenüber normalen Tauschbeziehungen bewirken soll. Im Gegensatz zu klassischen personenbezogenen Ansätzen betonen die Ansätze der neocharismatischen Führung jedoch die entscheidende Bedeutung der Wahrnehmung und Zuschreibung von „charismatischen“ Führungskrafteigenschaften durch die Geführten, von Persönlichkeitseigenschaften der Geführten, der Authentizität des Führers und seines Verhaltens sowie des Einflusses affektiver Komponenten der charismatisch-transformationalen Führung und indirekter Wirkungen von Charisma.
... B. Weibler et al., 2000Holmberg & Åkerblom, 2006oder Solansky et al., 2017. Für deutsche Führungskräfte haben Brodbeck und Frese (2007) auf der Basis der quantitativen Fragebogendaten des GLOBE-Projektes und unter Bezug auf Brodbeck et al. (2002) als typisches implizites Muster von Führung eine Trennung von transformationaler und gruppenorientiert-humaner Führung ausgemacht ("high on performance, low on compassion"), wobei gewisse Unterschiede zwischen Ost-und Westdeutschland festgestellt wurden (Brodbeck & Frese, 2007, S. 176). ...
Chapter
Implizite Führungstheorien gehören zu den kognitiven Ansätzen der Führung. Es sind Alltagstheorien bzw. systematische Annahmen über die an der Führung beteiligten Führungskräfte und Geführten, den Führungskontext, typische Führungssituationen und Führungsereignisse sowie den Verlauf von Führungsinteraktionen, Führungsprozessen und schließlich angestrebte und erwartete Führungsergebnisse. Führung ist vor diesem Hintergrund die kognitive Wissensstruktur eines Beobachters, liegt „im Auge des Betrachters“. Der Ansatz der impliziten Theorien der Führung geht davon aus, dass solche Führungserwartungen einen starken Einfluss auf aktuelle Führungsprozesse haben, indem sie die Wahrnehmung, die Einstellungen und das Verhalten der Akteure beeinflussen. Mit der Überwindung der Führerzentrierung, einem Fokus auf Annahmen über Eigenschaften und Verhaltensweisen von Führungskräften, konzentrieren sich neuere Forschungen zunehmend auf kollektive Vorstellungen zu Führern und Geführten in Gruppen von Akteuren, die Übereinstimmung der jeweiligen Erwartungen der Akteure sowie den Prozess der Entstehung und Beharrung, Veränderung und Wirkung in alltäglichen Führungssituationen.
... Moderate inequality partially controlled by: Laws and regulations (Lahsen, 2005) which promote, for example, citizen action panels (Fischer, 2003) But income inequality is increasing (Atkinson et al., 2011) due to: Increasing income gap between rich and poor (Piketty & Saez, 2003) High concentration of capital ownership (Galbraith & Choi, 2020) Unequal access to health care (Case & Deaton, 2020) and education (Schneider, 2020) based on ability to pay Slow income growth of poorer individuals (Collins et al., 2020) Public fraud and corruption (McCarthy, 2020) Lower corruption due to: Anti-corruption laws that are actually applied (McCarthy, 2020) Democratic institutions and citizen participation in political life (Fischer, 2003) Other issues related to corruption: Opinion that rich countries show lower levels of corruption because they have the capacity to absorb the economic impacts of corruption (Ang, 2020) Elevated levels of corporate greed and the influence of the rich in politics and legislation (Silverstein, 2017) Public corruption (McCarthy, 2020) Exploitation of legal loopholes (Transparency International, 2019) Relation-based societal values and other factors: Individualism (Greene, 2008) Consumerism (Novotney, 2008) Relation-based organizational practices: Weak or non-existent unionism (White, 2002) Nepotism (Stinson & Wingnall, 2014), favoritism (US Merit Systems Protection Board, 2013) and cronyism (Smith & Sutter, 2012) Institutional & societal environment Germany Very low inequality due to: Welfare institutions (Hauser, 2004) A high number of qualified and trained workers (OECD, 2020) Laws empowering and protecting workers Extensive worker representation on supervisory boards (Frege & Godart, 2014) High union power and collective bargaining (Prasad, 2004) Low corruption due to: Institutional and legal anti-corruption frameworks (GAN, 2018) High enforcement of the Anti-Bribery Convention (OECD, 2018) Other issues related to corruption: Laws against the bribery of political representatives are weak (Birkenstock, 2013) but have been improving (Global Legal Insights, 2021) Suspicions of tax evasion related to bribery (Global Legal Insights, 2021) Relation-based societal values and other factors: Individualism (Brodbeck et al., 2002) Relation-based organizational practices: Collective bargaining and workplace representation (OECD, 2020) Unionism (Frege & Godart, 2014) Nepotism in the public sector (but it is not common; Birkenstock, 2013) Declarations ...
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Our paper contributes to emerging management research on the effects of societal inequality. It aims to study the relationship between societal-level inequality and perceived unequal HR practices within organizations based on relationships which we term “relation-based inequality” (RBI). We further examine the moderating effect of country corruption on the RBI-employee commitment link. Thus, whereas previous research has looked at single countries, there is still much to know about societal effects of inequality and corruption on employee perceptions and attitudes at work across countries. By surveying 691employees from five countries and using country-level indicators we take a first step in this direction, and establish that inequality (income, health and education) is linked to higher levels of relation-based HR practices. We also show that the effect of RBI is different for continuance, affective and normative commitment, and contingent on country corruption levels.
... Negative feelings have detrimental effects on organizational culture (Faldetta, 2016). One study found that leaders who lack compassion and caring for their employees' emotional well-being were disliked by their followers because of the leader's cynical and hostile attitudes, elitist and self-centered behaviors and tyrannical style (Brodbeck et al., 2002). Negative feelings, such as callousness and indifference, are found in cultures with low compassionate love. ...
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Thesis
For years now career success emerged as one of the focal points in managerial psychology research. It still remains a key topic in contemporary literature. Personality has been identified as an essential predictor of work and career success. In examining associations between personality traits and professional outcomes, the Big Five represents the prevalent theoretical basis. This widely recognized framework stands primarily for bright and affirmative personality attributes. In more recent times, the rather negative side of the personality range received increasing scientific attention, not least triggered by severe scandals in the business world. Especially the Dark Triad personality construct consisting of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism has attracted growing academic consideration. Surprisingly these rather undesirable personality characteristics do not only promote counterproductive outcomes. 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