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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Cultural influences on leadership in Europe


The central aim of this project is to investigate the role of national and organisational cultures on leadership in organisations. A set of studies will investigate the differences in the use of leadership in relation to different industry types and compare these with countries outside the EU. Additionally, the relation between leadership styles and key team and organisational processes is explored.

The effects of actual leader behaviours on different outcomes, such a team processes and organisational performance, are important to the financial and social welfare of organisations and individuals. Yet, little is known about actual leader behaviours, as perceived by their direct reports. Leadership is at the heart of studying organisational behaviour and human resources management. Phenomena such as technological advances and globalisation have caused contact between culturally diverse people to increase.

This means that aspects such as norms, values, and language affect the interaction, thus making conflicts m ore complex and more time consuming to resolve. Trends measured over decades indicate that managers spend almost half of their time resolving conflicts (Thomas & Schmidt, 1976; Watson & Hoffman, 1996). Thus far, very few comparisons between European organisations have explored the predictive validity of cultural values in terms of conflict management behaviour and leadership.

By exploring and comparing European data, insight will be gained in terms of the universal validity of theories and empirical findings, culturally specific solutions will be identified, and recommendations for practitioners can be made.

In sum, focus will be on the use of different leadership styles (directive, supportive, and coaching), moderated by culture and industry type. Secondly, the relation between the three leadership styles and group processes (team conflict, cohesion, clarity), and the moderating role of culture and industry type will be examined.

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