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Gender and Race Differences in Leader Behaviour Preferences in South Africa - page 11 / 35





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She also found differences in the cultural orientation of Black and White women. Black women scored higher on humane orientation compared to White females. In general, Black women emphasized concern for employees as well as collective mutual support and interdependence compared to White women’s emphasis on independence and individual freedom, employees as workers, and planning and future action. It should be noted that Booysen’s sample did not include Asians and Coloureds. In sum, Booysen’s research suggests perceptions of leader behaviour should vary across race and gender.

In contrast to Booysen’s results, Thomas and Bendixen (2000) found no cultural differences among the managers in their study.  Using Hofstede’s model of national culture, they examined the influence of racial/ethnic diversity on managerial effectiveness in South Africa. Despite the managers' identification with their ethnic group, there was a common national culture at the managerial level. The dimensions of that national culture, including a high degree of individualism and a low tolerance for hierarchical differences in power, resemble those found in the Netherlands, England, and the United States. The authors suggest these similarities may indicate the historical impact of Dutch, British, and American cultures on South Africa, as well as the prevalence of British and American systems of management in business education and practice.  Alternatively, they argued the apparent contradiction can be reconciled by the special nature of African collectivism in which individuals act autonomously, but remain socially united, a concept that has been referred to as communalism. As a form of collectivism, communalism can coexist with personal freedom or individualism. Thomas and Bendixen (2001) also indicated that management effectiveness was independent of both ethnicity and race. However, while Booysen (1999a, 2001) reported black and white differences and Thomas and Bendixen

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