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The Emergence and Effects of Culturally Congruent Leadership: Current Status and Future Developments


Objective: The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical assessment of the cross-cultural leadership literature and suggest avenues for future developments on both empirical and conceptual fronts.

Research Design & Methods: The paper performs a comprehensive review of the cross-cultural leadership literature with a particular focus on the emergence and effects of culturally congruent leadership. The paper identifies gaps and suggests a sequence of steps for future research.

Findings: The major focus of cross-cultural leadership studies has been on the measurement and description of relationships and research within this area has generally paid less attention to addressing other important issues such as cultural value effects across levels, interaction between individual and societal values, and the way culture-leadership congruity is produced and its effects are transmitted.

Implications & Recommendations: The gaps identified and suggestions provided may be of value in theory development and integration, and in addressing empirical issues beyond measurement and description of relationships.

Contribution & Value Added: Although prior studies offer reviews on effects of culture on organizationally relevant outcomes, but  their analyses mainly focus on  general categories of attitudes and behaviors. The focus of this paper is on providing a comprehensive assessment of the literature on the culture-leadership link.


culture, cultural congruence, cross-cultural leadership, organizations, leadership


Author Biography

Ghulam Mustafa

Ghulam Mustafa is an Associate Professor of Organization and Management at the Department of International Business, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. He holds a PhD from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and an MPhil from the University of Bergen. His research interests include leadership, organizational behaviour and human resource management from a cross-cultural perspective.

Rune Lines

Rune Lines is a Professor at the Department of Strategy and Management at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Norway. He holds a doctorate in Business Administration. His research interests include strategy, change management, leadership, and employee emotions and values based reactions.


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