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Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 15–30 | Cite as

A Convergence/Divergence Perspective of Leadership Competencies Managers Believe are Most Important for Success in Organizations: A Cross-Cultural Multilevel Analysis of 40 Countries

  • William A. Gentry
  • Taylor E. Sparks
Article

Abstract

Purpose

We investigated the convergence and divergence perspectives in organizations to determine whether certain leadership competencies are universally endorsed by managers across countries (supporting convergence) as being important for success in organizations, or if the importance of the leadership competencies were dependent upon certain cultural dimensions (supporting divergence).

Design/Methodology/Approach

Participants were 9,942 practicing managers in 40 countries. Because managers were nested within their respective countries and endorsement was a binary outcome variable, a special case of multilevel analysis known as a hierarchical generalized linear model (HGLM) was used.

Findings

Findings support cross-national convergence: Resourcefulness, Change Management, and Building and Mending Relationships were highly valued among managers across countries, and cultural values did not seem to influence this endorsement. Balancing Personal Life and Work was not as valued globally.

Implications

Researchers must investigate leadership competencies that are important to organizational success across countries. Due to globalization, it is vital that managers become aware of the values espoused within their organization as well as among their business partners and contemporaries. This may facilitate cross-national business interaction and leader effectiveness.

Originality/Value

This study advances theory in its attempt to empirically examine whether leadership competencies needed to succeed in organizations are universally endorsed. Moreover, the sample of managers utilized was unique and extremely robust. The study offers methodological advances as well; it is one of the few examples of the appropriate use of a special case of multilevel data analysis that enables the use of a binary outcome measure.

Keywords

Convergence of cultures Divergence of cultures Global leadership Hierarchical generalized linear modeling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research, Innovation, and Product DevelopmentCenter for Creative LeadershipGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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