Don't just say what you mean - Contextualize it: A leadership study across 17 countries

Lena Zander*, Audra I. Mockaitis, Anne Wil Harzing, Joyce Baldueza, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Anne Canabal, Anabella Davila, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Ferreira, Axele Giroud, Kathrin Koester, Yung Kuei Liang, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Sharon Leiba O'Sullivan, Joseph O.T. Odusanya, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Srabani Roy ChoudhuryAyse Saka, Sununta Siengthai, Linda Viswat, Ayda Uzuncarsili Soydas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


With the increasing adoption of English by corporations, the issue of language management in multilingual organizations and the pros and cons of standardization have been debated in the literature. Our study considers whether the language issue is as important as much of the literature suggests, and questions whether it is the root cause of difficulties in communication, interpretations of and reactions to management situations. We posit that more attention should be given to situational and contextual factors, and empirically test and compare the effects of language and other factors, on both workplace attitudes and reactions to specific leadership scenario-based situations across 17 countries. We find that nationality and personal characteristics shape one's way of thinking, interpretations and preferences more than the language imposed upon individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event69th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2009 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 200911 Aug 2009


Conference69th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


  • Culture
  • Language
  • Leadership


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