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Influence of evolving culture on leadership: a study of Fijian cooperatives

Buriata Eti-Tofinga (School of Management and Public Administration, The University of the South Pacific, Samabula, Suva, Central, Fiji)
Heather Douglas (La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and Activation Australia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Gurmeet Singh (School of Management and Public Administration, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Central, Fiji)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 14 August 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine how leadership is shaped by a changing cultural context.


This is an exploratory study based on semi-structured interviews with leaders of Fijian cooperatives.


The political and cultural environment in Fiji has changed over time, and these changing arrangements shape expectations of what is considered to be appropriate leadership in Fijian cooperatives. To be consistent with changing societal values, leaders of Fijian cooperatives employ a context-sensitive hybrid leadership style in which legitimacy is an important dimension.

Research implications

Researchers need to examine the cultural context as a dynamic influencing element of leadership.

Practical implications

Leaders of cooperatives and similar values-based organizations would benefit from applying a legitimate and context-sensitive hybrid leadership style.


This study contributes new understandings of the cultural influences on organizational leadership.



Eti-Tofinga, B., Douglas, H. and Singh, G. (2017), "Influence of evolving culture on leadership: a study of Fijian cooperatives", European Business Review, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 534-550.



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