Working with language: a refocused research agenda for cultural leadership studies

Doris Schedlitzki, Pasi Ahonen, Paresh Wankhade, Gareth Edwards, Hugo Gaggioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


This article critically reviews existing contributions from the field of cultural leadership studies with a view to highlighting the conceptual and methodological limitations of the dominant etic, cross-cultural approach in leadership studies and illuminating implications of the relative dominance and unreflective use of the English language as the academic and business lingua franca within this field. It subsequently outlines the negative implications of overlooking cultural and linguistic multiplicity for our understanding of culturally sensitive leadership practices. In drawing on lessons from this critical review and the emergent fields of emic, non-positivist cultural leadership studies, this analysis argues that the field of cultural leadership studies requires an alternative research agenda focussed on language multiplicity that enables the field to move towards emic, qualitative research that helps to empower individual cultural voices and explore cultural intra- and interrelationships, tensions and paradoxes embedded in leadership processes. The article concludes by offering suggestions on methodological approaches for emic cultural leadership studies that are centred on the exploration of language as a cultural voice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-257
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number2
Early online date19 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2017


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