Subordinates' information inquiry in uncertain times: A cross cultural consideration of leadership style effect

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Abstract

This field study takes interest in subordinates' information seeking from their superiors through inquiry in a complex organizational setting. Information inquiry is investigated via typology, in the context of upward communication, in which organizational hierarchy and corresponding communication rules and procedures play an important role. Data were collected amid high levels of uncertainty, also capturing cultural influences by including in the study multi-country operations of a large, US-based MNC. The countries involved in this study are France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Survey data (N= 2213) show significant influence of perceived transformational leadership style on the frequency of subordinates' information inquiry across all five countries. A series of moderated multiple regressions reveal weak moderating effects of vertical individualism, power distance, tolerance for ambiguity, and an employee's level in the hierarchy on this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-274
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • Information Inquiry
  • Leadership
  • MNCs

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