Despite heated debates during our group discussions, the group finally came to a conclusion that culture is the most influential determinant on the quality of leadership. The conclusion is guided by the principle that leaders may have all the required academic and professional qualifications but still fail to deliver an expected quality of leadership on the basis that there are not oriented to the values of the surrounding cultures. As such, the group came to a common ground that culture plays a very important role in leadership. It is the greatest determinant of the individual belief systems, code of conduct and organizational behavior, any acceptable form of leadership is that which is culturally contingent.
Although some might not be aware of the significant role this particular driving force play in quest for a legitimate leadership within an organization, organizational culture dictates what leaders may or may not do, what is expected of them and influence as well as status it bestows upon the leader. Leadership qualities wholly rely on individuals and that an individual can only be accepted as a leader on condition that his/her behaviors coincide with the cultural values and implicit leadership theory. In this sense, organizational cultures and practices affect what leaders do in an organization. The founding leaders and subsequent successors change their leadership styles and behavior to fit in their organizational cultures.
It also came out strongly that effectiveness of a leadership is determined by the leader’s behavior and attributes as well as organizational contingencies. To this effect, leaders who respond to the organizational contingencies turn out to be more effective compared to those who do not. In general, the group agreed unanimously that culture is an important function of effective leadership in whose absence there will be no organizational culture and contingencies that influence behavior of leaders. This constitutes Structural Contingency Theory which states that there is always a set of demands, referred to as organizational contingencies, imposed upon an organization that have to be met if an organization has to survive and be effective in a given culture. The structural contingency theory (SCT) is the underlying principle behind behavioral changes towards an effective organizational leadership.
Disagreements within the Group
There was no much disagreement between members of the group concerning the topic of discussion: leadership and culture. Nevertheless, a few disagreements came up more so on the conflicting culture-leadership and training leadership conflict. Some members of the group were still convicted that there is no way culture could determine an effectiveness of leadership and behaviors of leaders like training and professional qualifications do. However, the impacts of culture on the effective of leadership carried the day after a lengthy discussion between group members. At the end of the discussion, all the differences and conflicting ideas had been sorted out amicably. At the end of it all, the entire group was in one accord that organizational culture is a predominant factor in the gauging effectiveness of leadership.
The general audience is encouraged to reflect on the contributions of culture to the quality and effectiveness of an organizational leadership mainly because there are some other factors that do influence the two parameters of leadership but not to the same magnitude as culture. The Structural Contingency Theory (SCT) greatly helped members arrive at the conclusion.