Culture and Leadership: Comparing Egypt to the GLOBE Study of 62 Societies

Eahab Elsaid, Abdel Moneim Elsaid


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to improve our understanding of the western conceptions of leadership in competition with emerging leadership paradigms in non-western societies.


Design/methodology/approach – We examine the societal culture in Egypt using GLOBE’s nine cultural attributes and dimensions. Paired sample t-tests were used to test for differences in the Egyptian data that was collected. The data in our sample, collected from 142 Egyptian middle managers from 19 organizations from 2008 to 2011, was compared to the data collected as part of the GLOBE research project.


Findings – The results showed that Egyptians are most interested in reducing the power distance and increasing the future orientation aspects of their societal culture.


Research limitations/implications – We use Egypt as an example of a Middle Eastern country. However, the Middle East includes countries with different cultures, such as Israel. About 10% of Egypt’s population are Coptic Christians who do not necessarily share the same cultural beliefs as the country’s Muslim majority. 


Practical implications – Western and multi-national firms that have investments in the Middle East should provide appropriate cultural training for their leaders. These firms should consider whether it would be culturally acceptable to appoint females in leadership positions at their Middle Eastern divisions.


Originality/value - There is little research done in the areas of societal cultures and leadership across countries, though such research could offer a better understanding of both culture and leadership.



Keywords Egypt, culture, leadership, GLOBE, Middle East

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Business and Management Research
ISSN 1927-6001 (Print)   ISSN 1927-601X (Online)

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