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Gender and Race Differences in Leader Behaviour Preferences in South Africa - page 5 / 35

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be homemakers and were legally classified as ‘minors’.  However, when they did work, Black, Coloured and Asian women worked primarily in domestic and unskilled factory work while white women were employed in administrative and female occupations (e.g. nurses, teachers). The impact of this unique cultural history can be expected to produce unique behaviours on the part of leaders of Asian, Black, Coloured, and White racial heritage.

CULTURE, LEADERSHIP AND GENDER

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the influence of national culture on leadership and management. A number of scholars have shown how cultural values and traditions can influence the attitudes and behaviours of leaders (Hofstede, 1998; Den Hartog, House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla, Dorfman, and Associates, 1999).  Hofstede (1980, 1998) identified five dimensions of culture and demonstrated their effects on the practice and perceptions of management and leadership in different countries.  For example, Hofstede (1998) argued that a form of the masculinity/femininity dimension differentiates countries, as well as individuals. “Masculinity stands for a society in which men are supposed to be assertive, tough and focused on material success; women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life. The opposite pole, femininity, stands for a society in which both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life” (pp. 6-7). In masculine countries, decisiveness and ambition are more often seen as masculine, whereas caring and gentleness are more often regarded as feminine. In feminine cultures,

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