Research

Does nationality have an effect on leadership style?

25 Jan 2018 By Eleanor Whitehouse

British managers are more open-minded than their German counterparts, but less ambitious than the French

British managers are more open-minded than their German counterparts, but less ambitious than the French, suggests research by global personality assessment company Hogan.

The study of leaders’ values was conducted across seven countries – France, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden – and collected data on participants’ motives and values at work, such as altruism, power, recognition and tradition.

British leaders scored highly on altruism, suggesting they value helping others, and hedonism, showing they prefer a fun and open-minded working environment. German managers ranked highly for affiliation (social interaction) and French leaders scored highest on aesthetics, meaning they place the greatest emphasis on appearance and creativity.

It’s thought this could help minimise misunderstandings stemming from cultural differences. “Leaders have to be aware of these differences to work efficiently,” says Dr Nigel Guenole, senior lecturer and director of research at the Institute of Management at the University of London. “Team members from other cultures may have different expectations of their leaders.”

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