Effective Leadership Style: Both Universal and Contingent?

Posted: 29 Dec 2001


More than 2,000 employees from different types of private and public organizations in Sweden and USA rated their managers with regard to actual and appropriate leadership style and the operation demands in the departments the managers were responsible for. Three aspects of these domains were measured, namely change, employees and production. The manager's competence was also rated and used as a criteria for effectiveness. The results revealed that the subordinates do not experience much adjustment between actual leadership behavior and situational demands, but correlations between appropriate leadership style and organizational demands show that they observe a need for such adjustments. There are substantial correlations between rated actual leadership style and competence across situations. However, ANOVAs revealed some interaction effects of style and situation on competence or production-oriented leadership behavior. The results are viewed as support of the thesis that effective leadership is mainly universal.

JEL Classification: M12, M14

Suggested Citation

Arvonen, Jouko and Ekvall, Goran, Effective Leadership Style: Both Universal and Contingent?. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 8, No. 4, December 1999 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=233360

Jouko Arvonen (Contact Author)

Stockholm University ( email )

Department of Psychology
S-106 91 Stockholm

Goran Ekvall

Lund University ( email )

S-220 07 Lund

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