n Journal of Contemporary Management - What future subordinates will value in their leaders : an exploratory study

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Leaders should not randomly choose a leadership style. To be effective, leaders need to ensure that their leadership style is congruent with what subordinates value. The focus of this study is on what the future South African graduate workforce will value in a leader. The female and male respondents in this study emphasise similar leadership values, indicating that there is no distinct set of competencies that will be valued separately by males and females. The same was found for respondents of different cultures, namely African, Coloured, Indian, White and other. With respect to both gender and culture, the respondents emphasise a mixture of African and Western leadership values. This supports the idea that to be effective in South Africa, leaders need to understand the prevailing national cultural values before simply applying ''foreign'' leadership models and theories based upon cultural values found in the West. This research finds that irrespective of gender and culture in the South African workplace, to be effective, leaders need to be loyal and inspirational, have vision and integrity and must be open and honest with their subordinates. Leaders should avoid being autocratic, strict, religious, ritualistic and traditional. They should also avoid using consensus and perceived external control.

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