Leadership and Culture in the UK's Brexit Vote Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Leadership and Culture

With the UK’s recent vote to exit the EU, also known as “Brexit,” the individualistic culture of the United Kingdom was on full display. Just as the UK had voted to hold on to the usage of its own currency in the 1990s though other European nations were banding together to use the Euro, the UK was once more in the 21st century demonstrating its own individuality and opting out of the European Union. There were many British leaders who helped bring this individualistic movement to the fore—from Nigel Farage, who rallied voters for this momentous vote, to Theresa May who became Prime Minister following the fallout once the votes were counted and Cameron was obliged to step down as England’s PM who, ironically, was the one who dared to call for the Brexit vote in the first place (Parker & Barker, 2016). May pledged to respect the decision of the voters and work towards a swift and conclusive break with the EU—and all that needed to be done was to settle on the terms of the separation and to address matters like trade and expenses owed. This however has proven to be easier said than done as the individualistic culture of the UK was now up against the collectivist culture of the EU.

The individualistic culture of the UK is different from the collectivist culture of the EU in that the former is more willing to assert its own sovereignty and individual rights as a nation than are the member states of the latter. In the EU, the member states all pledge to abide by the rulings of the central EU governing body, and the states are supposed to bring their own national laws into conformity with the guidelines given by the central authority. The states of the EU all share in one another’s ethical principles (for example, the open borders policy promoted by Germany has led to a flood of migrants from the Middle East into various states throughout the EU—though a handful of small states have begun to express their own individualism by refusing to allow migrants into their nations, such as Poland). In the UK, a wave of nationalism, fueled by Farage and essentially backed by May when she became PM, led to the standoff between the UK and the EU. The UK, like Poland, wanted its immigrant problem addressed and the best way it felt it could do that was to simply get out of the EU. Otherwise, it would have had to abide by the EU’s central authority’s declaration that member states accept refugees from the Middle East. The UK did not want to participate in this collective stance.

The UK’s history as an autonomous power most likely helped to influence this decision as well. As Hofstede (1980) shows, the culture of a people is influenced by their history, their background, their attitudes and beliefs and their shared experience. Culture is what gives…

Sources Used in Document:


Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values.Beverly Hills, CA: Sage

Lumsden, G., Lumsden, D., & Weithoff, C. (2010). Communicating in groups and teams: Sharing leadership (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Parker, G., & Barker, A. (2016). How brexit spelled the end to Cameron\\'s career.FT.Com, Retrieved from http://lib.kaplan.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1806384284?accountid=34544

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