Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

The Cultural Relativity of Managerial Leadership Styles: a Cross-cultural Comparison of Middle-level Managers in four Countries

Yong Zhang, Dr. James Neelankavil, Anil Mathur.

The increasingly global nature of business poses, in ever more acute ways, challenge to managers in how to lead and how to work effectively together to achieve organizational objectives.
There are two divergent approaches to understanding leadership style - universalistic and specific. Most research studies have focused on the culture specific.
National culture is a complex, multifaceted construct. Evidence suggests that differences along the cultural dimensions account for major differences in managerial assumptions and practices (laurent 1986).
Major studies by researchers such as Hofstede (1980); Triandis (1989 & 1990); Chakraborty (1991) and otehrs have suggested link between culture and management styles. This study attempts add to this field of work.
A survey of 770 mangers in four countries - China (n =204); India (n = 184); the Philippines (n = 220); and the United States (n = 176)was conducted as the basis for this study.
After applying a factor analysis, the following findings were noted: Differences between east-west clearly exists as expected. A significant portion of the variance was explained by differences between structure of managerial leadership styles across the east-west line. However, significant differences are also detected among the three Asian countries. Specifically, Chinese and American mangers represented two extremes in their beliefs about what constitutes effective managerial leadership styles. Both, Filipino and Indian managers were found more similar to their US counterparts than their Chinese counterparts.
Human Resource Directors of international/global companies may use the findings to staff their operations as well as develop effective leaders.


Yong Zhang  (United States)

Hofstra University

Dr. James Neelankavil  (United States)
School of Business
Hofstra University

Received Ph.D in international Business from Stern School of Business, New York University. Professor of Marketing & International Business at Hofstra University.

Anil Mathur  (United States)

Hofstra University

  • Cross-culrural
  • International
  • Leadership styles

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)