To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Explicit preferred leader behaviours across cultures: Instrument development and validation

Romie Frederick Littrell (Department of Management, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Gillian Warner-Soderholm (Department of Communication and Culture, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)
Inga Minelgaite (School of Business, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland)
Yaghoub Ahmadi (Department of Sociology, Payamenoor University, Sanandaj, Iran)
Serene Dalati (Department of Management, Arab International University, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic)
Andrew Bertsch (College of Business, Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota, USA)
Valentina Kuskova (International Laboratory for Applied Network Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 9 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to develop a reliable and valid field survey research instrument to assess national cultural cognitive templates of preferred leader behaviour dimensions to facilitate education, development, and training of managerial leaders operating across diverse organisations.


The study consists of focus group evaluations of the validity and the translations to local languages of a survey instrument assessing leader behaviour preferences in business organisations.


The studies find that the survey instrument and its translations are valid and reliable for assessing preferred leader behaviour across national cultures. The length of the survey is problematic, and a new project is underway to produce a shorter version with equivalent reliability and validity.

Research limitations/implications

As the research project is long term, at this point, a relatively long survey is available for research, with a shorter version planned for the future.

Practical implications

Practical implications include producing and validating a field survey research instrument that is reliable and valid across cultures and languages, and can be employed to improve the understanding, development, and education of managers and leaders of international business organisations.

Social implications

Management and leadership processes are employed in all aspects of life, and can be better understood and improved through this research project.


The majority of cross-cultural research is leader-centric studies of implicit leader characteristics; this project expands the scope of studies further into follower-centric studies of observed leader behaviour.



The paper was prepared within the framework of a subsidy granted to the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, by the Government of the Russian Federation for the implementation of the Global Competitiveness Program. Some data and information employed in this study were provided by and collected in collaboration within the Leadership & Management Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa consortium (, and parts of the data were utilized in other studies with different research questions, hypotheses, and analysis approaches. Some data and information employed in this study were provided by and collected with the assistance of the Steadman Group in Kenya; the company provided generous support with the collection of the surveys in Sub-Saharan African countries and their assistance is greatly appreciated.


Littrell, R.F., Warner-Soderholm, G., Minelgaite, I., Ahmadi, Y., Dalati, S., Bertsch, A. and Kuskova, V. (2018), "Explicit preferred leader behaviours across cultures: Instrument development and validation", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 243-257.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited