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Relating CEO leadership behavior and organization culture in the Indian context

Terrill L. Frantz (HSBC Business School, Peking University, Shenzhen, China)
Ajay K. Jain (Management Development Institute, Gurugram, India)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 7 August 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between CEO leadership behavior and the culture of the organization within the context of Indian organizations.


Two five-scale questionnaires were completed by senior executives (n=485) who have interaction with their CEO. The first instrument captured the executives’ perspective of their CEO’s leadership behavior along six dimensions (People Centric, Global Ambitions, Opportunity Sensing, Visionary, Exemplary, and Dependable). The second instrument captured the executives’ perspective of their organization’s culture along six dimensions (Results Focused, Talent Development, Employee Empowerment, Equity and Fairness, Open Communication, and Decentralization). These data were analyzed using factor analysis, correlation analysis, and least-squares regression.


A correlation analysis indicates that a significant relationship exists between several aspects of CEO leadership behavior and characteristics of the organizational culture. Regression analysis indicated that the overall CEO leadership behavior prominently explains (R2=0.397) the organization’s culture. Notably, two CEO dimensions, People Centricity and Global Ambition, were found to have an exceptionally high degree of association with the culture of the organization.

Research limitations/implications

There is consistency between findings from western academic leader-culture research and the same in the Indian work setting.

Practical implications

Findings of this study can serve as a guidepost for the selection of leaders in an organization.


There is a scarcity of leader-organization research involving national culture features; the Indian context is fundamental to this study and is called for by the growing presence of India-born leadership in western organizations.



Frantz, T.L. and Jain, A.K. (2017), "Relating CEO leadership behavior and organization culture in the Indian context", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 746-764.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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