It’s How Leaders Behave That Matters, Not Where They Are From

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Purpose – The purpose of this study was to examine how national culture might impact both how leaders behave as well as their effectiveness as leaders. Design/methodology/approach – Healthcare leaders and their constituents in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines were surveyed about their leadership behaviors and their effectiveness. Analyses both across and within countries from self and constituent perspectives were conducted. Findings – Leadership practices varied across countries but within the countries their impact was the same. Within each country the more frequently leaders used these leadership practices the more effective they were viewed by their constituents, and the more favorable were their own workplace attitudes. Research limitations/implications – The study involved a cross‐section of leaders who may not be representative of organizational managers, did not have direct reports, were from a specialized field, and utilized a single conceptual framework and scale. Future studies should expand the conceptual framework and measurement tools, as well as extend the investigation to other organizational samples and nations. Practical implications – Important leadership behaviors can be identified for effective leadership across various national or cultural boundaries. Leadership development efforts may be better directed toward building skills common to leaders rather than targeting differences within national boundaries. Originality/value – This study provides understanding into how leaders behave around the globe, and documents that how they behave makes a difference to their constituents and impacts their own workplace attitudes. It demonstrates that there are some “universal” leadership processes and provides guidance for those responsible for developing the global (cross‐cultural) competencies of leaders.