Campus Units


Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Managerial Psychology




Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the effectiveness of transformational leadership behaviors are moderated by a country’s cultural values and cultural practices.

Design/methodology/approach The authors describe a meta-analytic review of the relationship between transformational leadership and employee performance (task performance and OCBs) using data from over 57,000 individuals, 215 samples and 34 countries. The authors examine whether this relationship is moderated by the cultural values and practices of the country in which the study was located – after first controlling for methodological factors.

Findings The authors find that cultural values and practices moderate the transformational leadership – employee performance relationship such that the relationship is much stronger in countries whose culture is incongruent with transformational leadership.

Research limitations/implications Data were only available for 34 countries and it is unclear what role industry type and job type play in determining transformational leadership effectiveness or if these situational variables are confounded with culture. The findings call into question the generalizability of transformational leadership across countries and cultures.

Practical implications The findings suggest that the value of transformational leadership behaviors may be limited in developed economies such as Western Europe and North America, while transformational leadership is most effective in Africa, the Middle East, South America and parts of Southeast Asia.

Originality/value This is the first paper to examine the generalizability of transformational leadership across 34 countries and is by far the largest review ever conducted into the relationship between transformational leadership and subordinate performance.


This article is published as Marcus Crede, Jaehee Jong, Peter Harms, (2019) "The generalizability of transformational leadership across cultures: a meta-analysis", Journal of Managerial Psychology, DOI: 10.1108/JMP-11-2018-0506. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Emerald Publishing Limited



File Format


Published Version