Cultural variation of leadership prototypes across 22 European countries

Felix C. Brodbeck, Michael Frese, Steffan Akerblom, Guiseppe Audia, Gyula Bakacsi, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

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292 Citations (Scopus)
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This study sets out to test the assumption that concepts of leadership differ as a function of cultural differences in Europe and to identify dimensions which describe differences in leadership concepts across European countries. Middle-level managers (N = 6052) from 22 European countries rated 112 questionnaire items containing descriptions of leadership traits and behaviours. For each attribute respondents rated how well it fits their concept of an outstanding business leader. The findings support the assumption that leadership concepts are culturally endorsed. Specifically, clusters of European countries which share similar cultural values according to prior cross-cultural research (Ronen & Shenkar, 1985), also share similar leadership concepts. The leadership prototypicality dimensions found are highly correlated with cultural dimensions reported in a comprehensive cross-cultural study of contemporary Europe (Smith, Dugan, & Trompenaars, 1996). The ordering of countries on the leadership dimensions is considered a useful tool with which to model differences between leadership concepts of different cultural origin in Europe. Practical implications for cross-cultural management, both in European and non-European settings, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of occupational and organizational psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • METIS-208827
  • IR-104293


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