International Business Leadership, Culture, and GMAT Scores: Evidence and Implications
35 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2011
Date Written: July 1, 2011
Prior literature has strongly affirmed the relationship between international business leadership and national culture. In addition, GMAT scores continue to be an important component of applications for admission to masters programs in business and are very important for managerial development in international business. However, like any standardized test, the GMAT favors narrow analytical skills often at the expense of broader leadership skills and GMAT scores may be unduly influenced by national culture. Given that there little prior literature in this area, we contribute by showing empirically that cultural differences have considerable influence on GMAT scores. Specifically, we document that GMAT scores are negatively related to the cultural dimensions of masculinity and power distance and are positively related to uncertainty avoidance and individualism. We estimate that cultural factors may account for as much as an 80-point difference in cross national mean GMAT scores and that they are also related negatively to national educational spending, wealth per capita, and women’s development. These findings have important implications for international business leadership and should be of interest to education scholars, business schools, and to managers interested in team work skills and corporate leadership.
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