A Framework for Developing Leadership Model Based on National Culture Aspects

Asmaa M.S. Ibrahim


This is a conceptual paper inspired by studies that focus on leadership in specific cultural settings. It is based on the assumption that there is a systematic way by which national culture shapes multinational corporations’ leadership styles. Such leadership styles should be consistent with host-countries’ cultural values shared by members working in companies’ subsidiaries.  Unfortunately, researches conducted on such area failed to present a simple model for managers and executives to implement it. Further, companies attempts to identifying the company-specific leadership attributes that apply around-the-world, failed in employing the right steps and procedures.

This paper proposes a framework that helps in bridging a gap between theory and practice. It proposes a user-friendly framework to help companies develop their unique leadership model. When companies apply such framework on their subsidiaries in different host countries, they will be able to identify and consider the generalizable and idiosyncratic (context-specific) characteristics of effective leadership. This will increase the companies’ ability to maintain its competitive advantage and to activate its code of conduct. The paper also presents a checklist based on which companies can follow up on the process presented in the framework. The framework focuses on leaders’ activities, followers’ perception towards leadership styles, as well as the contextual factors, other than culture, that may impact this process. This is not a onetime process. It should be replicated, especially if host-countries experience unusual social changes, or companies are entering new markets. The paper proposes that both case study research and action research are the best research methodologies that help in implementing the framework and building the leadership model.

Key words: national culture, leadership, cultural fit, contextual factors.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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