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Cross-cultural leadership adjustment: A strategic analysis of expatriate leadership at a British multinational enterprise

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Original languageEnglish
JournalThunderbird International Business Review
Early online date9 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2020


The current study examines the link between the cross-cultural leadership adjustment (CLA) and performance. The CLA adaptions are tested using a sample of leaders from two cultural regions, the United Kingdom and Germanic-Europe, with expatriate experience at a British multinational enterprise (MNE) in seven different countries, including non-European nations. Using data from a single company in multiple regions helps to isolate the firm, industry and regional effects. The results indicated that most expatriate leaders used the exploration mode of adjustment, under which both they and subordinates made substantial behavioural adaptations. This mode of adjustment addressing cultural differences had a positive impact on work-performance along with replication mode. Additional moderators here, such as differences relating to hierarchy, decision-making and language/ communication, also impacted CLA.

    Research areas

  • cross-cultural leadership adjustment, expatriate leadership, European culture, British multinational enterprise

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