Leadership and organisational structures which are not adjusted to the cultural background of the employees concerned are most likely to produce sub-optimal results (House, 2004). Therefore it is necessary to develop appropriate leadership and organisational structures in order to fully grasp the cultural environment to be encountered in the professional world. This book presents a research project that was carried out to develop leadership and organisational structures in accordance with the requirements created by different professional backgrounds within the aviation industry. The identification of the different professional cultures was undertaken using a standardised questionnaire. The development of the questionnaire was carried out with the help of the GLOBE study (House, et al., 2004), one of the most extensive research efforts ever undertaken in the field of organisational and national cultures. The main characteristic of the GLOBE study is the development of nine dimensions which serve to identify and characterise any culture. These dimensions are referred to as 'core cultural dimensions'. Using this newly developed questionnaire, it was not only possible to isolate 12 different professional cultures, but also to identify their distinguishing traits which served as the base for the subsequent development of leadership and organisational structures. The survey was complemented by open interviews served to broaden and deepen the results gained with the standardised questionnaire. The research outcomes open the door to a new and important element of cultural research, complementary to those of organisational and national cultures. Although the study was carried out in the aviation industry, the results gained also appear to be transferable to other industries due to the large variety of professions isolated within the course of the presented study and the specific nature of the aviation industry itself.
Dr. Marc-Philippe Lumpé was formerly Corporate Director of Quality and Flight Safety Management and Corporate Process Management at Air Berlin. He is now a consultant with A.T. Kearney in Germany.
'Marc-Philippe Lumpé addresses his book not only to scholars but also to a large variety of practitioners, i.e. senior management, Human Resources and experts in organizational change. The research outcomes enrich cultural research and although the results were obtained in aviation, they could also transfer to the large variety of professions taken into account.' HFES Newsletter 2, 2008