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Leadership modes: Success strategies for multicultural teams


  • Zander, Lena
  • Butler, Christina L.


Summary Organizing work in multicultural teams has gone from rhetoric to reality, leaving international organizations with challenging tasks and little strategic guidance. A wealth of multicultural team research reaches the conclusion that management matters, but less is known about team leadership. Drawing on recent leadership research, we focus on leadership modes and multicultural team composition. Two identified dimensions - 'focused versus distributed leadership' and 'vertical versus horizontal leadership' - are utilized to develop four leadership modes ('single', 'paired', 'rotated', and 'shared'). Multicultural team composition is examined in terms of 'faultlines' and 'status cues'. We formulate propositions predicting which team leadership mode will enhance team outcomes given different multicultural team composition and we argue that leadership modes should be an informed strategic choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Zander, Lena & Butler, Christina L., 2010. "Leadership modes: Success strategies for multicultural teams," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 258-267, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:26:y:2010:i:3:p:258-267

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    Cited by:

    1. Zander, Lena & Mockaitis, Audra I. & Butler, Christina L., 2012. "Leading global teams," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 592-603.
    2. Maura MacPhee & Li-Lu Chang & Farinaz Havaei & Wen-Shan Chou, 2014. "A Descriptive Account of an Inter-Professional Collaborative Leadership Project," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-27, September.
    3. Tenzer, Helene & Pudelko, Markus, 2017. "The influence of language differences on power dynamics in multinational teams," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-61.


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