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Humanistic leadership: Lessons from Latin America


  • Davila, Anabella
  • Elvira, Marta M.


We review the psychological, sociological and historical explanations underlying leadership styles in Latin America. A fundamentally paternalistic style relies on social bonds based on reciprocity and stresses workers’ expectations. Transformations in leadership styles in Latin America require consideration of alternative theoretical approaches such as stakeholder management and cultural hybridism, beyond cross-cultural frameworks. Viewing employees as key stakeholders implies a legitimate concern for workers beyond the employment relationship. From a hybridism perspective, diversity is a critical concept that applies to organizational ownership arrangements, management practices, cultural backgrounds, and socio economic contextual changes surrounding leadership styles.

Suggested Citation

  • Davila, Anabella & Elvira, Marta M., 2012. "Humanistic leadership: Lessons from Latin America," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 548-554.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:47:y:2012:i:4:p:548-554
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2012.01.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Kaler, 2009. "An Optimally Viable Version of Stakeholder Theory," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 297-312, May.
    2. T Lenartowicz & J P Johnson, 2003. "A cross-national assessment of the values of Latin America managers: contrasting hues or shades of gray?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 34(3), pages 266-281, May.
    3. Howell, Jon P. & DelaCerda, José & Martínez, Sandra M. & Prieto, Leonel & Bautista, J. Arnoldo & Ortiz, Juan & Dorfman, Peter & Méndez, Maria J., 2007. "Leadership and culture in Mexico," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 449-462, December.
    4. Olga Tregaskis & Chris Brewster, 2006. "Converging or diverging? A comparative analysis of trends in contingent employment practice in Europe over a decade," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(1), pages 111-126, January.
    5. Alston, Lee J. & Mattiace, Shannan & Nonnenmacher, Tomas, 2009. "Coercion, Culture, and Contracts: Labor and Debt on Henequen Haciendas in Yucatán, Mexico, 1870–1915," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 104-137, March.
    6. Thomas Maak & Nicola M. Pless, 2006. "Responsible Leadership in a Stakeholder Society – A Relational Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 99-115, June.
    7. Michael Pirson & Paul Lawrence, 2010. "Humanism in Business – Towards a Paradigm Shift?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(4), pages 553-565, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Castaño, Nathalie & Sully de Luque, Mary F. & Wernsing, Tara & Ogliastri, Enrique & Shemueli, Rachel Gabel & Fuchs, Rosa María & Robles-Flores, José Antonio, 2015. "El Jefe: Differences in expected leadership behaviors across Latin American countries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 584-597.
    2. Beamond, Maria Teresa & Farndale, Elaine & Härtel, Charmine E.J., 2016. "MNE translation of corporate talent management strategies to subsidiaries in emerging economies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 499-510.


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