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Cultural similarity and service leadership: a look at the cruise industry

Mark R. Testa (College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 1 October 2004


Cultural diversity continues to be a pressing issue in managing service quality, particularly in the cruise industry. As a result of recent growth, many cruise lines recruit from as many as 100 different nations. The result is a truly multicultural environment in which supervisors and subordinates may maintain very different national and ethnic cultures. This study sampled 313 high customer contact cruise line managers and assessed whether similarity in national culture between service leaders and subordinates impacted perceived leadership style, goal clarity and organizational satisfaction. It was determined that employees who reported to managers from the same country reported higher levels of consideration behaviors on the part of their manager and higher overall organizational satisfaction. Based on these findings, recommendations are made for managing within the diverse service environment.



Testa, M.R. (2004), "Cultural similarity and service leadership: a look at the cruise industry", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 402-413.



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