Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Oelofse, Eriaan email@example.com URN etd-05162007-164350 Document Title Core and peripheral cultural values and their relationship to transformational leadership attributes of South African managers Degree PhD (Psychology) Department Psychology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof D J W Strümpfer Keywords
- power distance
- new economy leadership
- uncertainty avoidance
- Western leadershiposs-cultural leadership
- cultural values
- future orientation
- gender egalitarianism
- female leadership
- humane orientation
- social constructionism
- transformational leadership
- Afrocentric leadership
Date 2007-04-16 Availability unrestricted AbstractDue to the changing demographics of South African organisations after the 1994 elections and the subsequent sub-cultural diversification, the working environment is becoming the primary place where the different South African sub-cultural groups, with their different value systems, are in interaction with each other. The consequent lifting of sanctions exposed South African organisations to globalisation and international competition. This forced managers to improve organisational processes and operations, not only to protect their own domestic markets, but also to become internationally competitive. At the same time, they had to adhere to newly created labour legislation, which dramatically changed the face of the South African labour market. The complex combination of several sub-cultures in the South African work environment can adversely affect organisational effectiveness if not properly understood and managed by effective transformational leaders. The concept of cultural values was used to explore the differences, as well as the similarities, between the various sub-cultural groups in the South African environment.
This study examined cultural differences and similarities between 477 junior and middle managers in the financial services sector, who belonged to the four South African sub-cultural groups (Black, Coloured, White, and Indian), and between South African male and female managers. It also investigated whether cultural values change indiscriminately during the acculturation process, or whether certain cultural values, labelled peripheral values, change easier or before other cultural values, labelled core values. Due to the importance of transformational leadership in the work environment, this study also explored the differences and similarities of South African managers on Bass and Avolio’s Full Range Model of Leadership. (Avolio & Bass, 1999; Bass, 1985, 1997).
A moderate social constructionist theory was used as a framework for this study, to analyse and describe quantitative results obtained with the various measuring instruments. Firstly, it was found that although there were statistically significant differences between most of the cultural value dimensions of the various sub-cultural groups, not all of these differences were practically significant. Results indicated that these groups could often be clustered together on specific cultural value dimensions, sometimes consisting of a Black, White, and Coloured cluster, sometimes as a Black, Coloured, and Indian cluster, and so forth.
Secondly, independent variables other than sub-cultural group, gender, and age also showed practically significant relationships with some of the cultural value dimensions.
Thirdly, the results indicated that the cultural values are very stable, even in the dynamic and multi-cultural South African environment, and as such, no core or peripheral values could be identified.
Finally, the results also indicated that the transformational-transactional leadership model is cross-culturally endorsed within the South African financial services sector. It pointed out that irrespective of gender, junior or middle management level, age, educational level, number of years full-time work experience, number of years as manager, or having been exposed to formal Western management training, all managers evaluated themselves as more transformational than transactional.
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