Examining diversity beliefs and leader performance across cultures

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date




The global nature of today’s business environment, coupled with technological advances, has resulted in leaders working with an increasingly diverse workforce worldwide. An emerging stream of research examines the beliefs that individuals, groups, and organizations have regarding diversity. The purpose of this paper is to add to this work by looking at subordinate perceptions of a leader’s beliefs about diversity and how that relates to a leader’s performance.


Using archival data, the authors examine 33,976 leaders (from 36 different countries and more than 4,000 companies). This study includes performance ratings from each leader’s supervisor as well as perceptual measures of diversity beliefs from their direct reports and a measure of national culture as a moderator.


The research finds that employee perceptions of a leader’s diversity beliefs are related to supervisor ratings of the target leader’s performance. In addition, the relationship between a leader’s diversity beliefs and the target leader’s performance rating is stronger in cultures high in performance orientation (PO) than in cultures low in PO.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations include the use of an archival data set as well as an assigned country score for our measure of culture.


While existing research has examined the impact of self-rated measures of diversity beliefs, there is little empirical research that examines how employee perceptions of a leader’s diversity beliefs will impact performance. The authors address this need by examining whether employee-rated perceptions of the leader’s diversity beliefs are related to a supervisor-rated measure of leader performance. In addition, the authors examine the moderating influence of societal culture on this relationship.


This article was originally published in Cross Cultural & Strategic Management. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Cross Cultural & Strategic Management


Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited