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Leadership and diversity effectiviness in a large multinational organization

24 November 2011

PhD ceremony: Ms. J. Brassey-Schouten, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Leadership and diversity effectiviness in a large multinational organization

Promotor(s): prof. A.M. Sorge, prof. A. van Witteloostuijn

Faculty: Economics and Business

Leadership and diversity effectiveness are high on the business agenda of today’s multinational organisations. The main reason for this is the increasing belief that leaders and a diverse workforce can make a difference to the performance of an organisation. In this research these topics have been explored from the perspective of the employees within a large multinational organisation. Employee opinions about leadership and their demographic data were collected through a large-scale worldwide survey. Performance data were collected from financial and supply chain systems.

The results show that employee perceptions of both senior and line management are related to unit performance. Furthermore, the line-manager is an important ambassador for the senior leadership. Employees build their opinions about the strategic leadership and act upon it, for a large part, through the transformational leadership influence of their line-manager. Additionally, strategic and transformational leadership build a stronger unit alignment within work units. It was found that units in with employees were strongly aligned and positive about leadership, performed better than those units with low alignment and less positive opinions about leadership. Relationships between diversity and performance are less straightforward than often assumed. Having a diverse workforce does not simply lead to better performance. In some situations it leads to worse performance, in others it improves performance. Leaders have potentially a key role to play in unleashing the positive benefits of a diverse workforce. They can do this, for example, by building aligned and strongly committed employees.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.40 p.m.

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