Understanding how cultures across the world make decisions

Harvard Business Review and INSEAD's Erin Meyer created a video on how attitudes on authority and decision making influence the decision making process in cultures around the world.

Meyer identifies four basic leadership styles. For each, she spells out the role of authority and decision making norms in the decision making process.

  • Consensual & Egalitarian The decision making process is a consensual one in which the group engages in a lot of discussion and debate. Once the group makes a decision, it's difficult to change it. The boss facilitates the discussion. The group makes the decision.

  • Consensual & Hierarchical The boss leads the decision making process. The group defers to the boss's instructions and constraints while expecting to be heard and have input. The boss develops agreement within the group. Ultimately, the group makes the decision.

  • Top-Down & Hierarchical The boss is both the clear authority figure and the decision maker. Decisions are final and unquestioned. During the process, the boss must solicit ideas and feedback from the team. The boss must indicate when s/he is making a suggestions verses when s/he is giving an order.

  • Top-Down & Egalitarian The boss is the decision makers. Group members are encouraged to speak up and provide input and critical feedback during the process. Once a decision is made, the members are expect to endorse it but remain flexible because it may change.

In the video, she maps 20 cultures approach to authority and decision making in a Leadership Culture matrix. Click on the image to watch the video.

The full article on different cultures approach to leadership can be found here.

#attitudestowardauthorithy #crossculturaldecisionmaking #decisionmakinginmulticulturalteams

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Intercultural Training and Consulting


Sophie Simons

1-281 433 5254  Sophie@EncounterCultures.com

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