The cross-cultural variation in the effects of transformational leadership behaviors on followers' identification: The case of idealized influence and individualized consideration in Finland and Russia

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Research units

  • Hanken School of Economics


In this article, we examine the cross-cultural variation in the perceived effects of idealized influence and individualized consideration leadership behaviors – two behavioral dimensions of transformational leadership – on followers’ organizational identification in two culturally distinct countries: Russia and Finland. We also test whether the followers’ role ambiguity mediates these relationships. Using the self-concept-based theory of leadership as an explanatory framework, our analysis of white-collar employees in four Finland-based multinational corporations and their subsidiaries in Russia shows that whereas in Russia both behaviors facilitate followers’ identification, in Finland only idealized influence does. We also find differences in how role ambiguity mediates the relationship between the two behaviors and followers’ identification in the two countries. In Russia, it fully mediates the relationship between individualized consideration and followers’ identification, whereas in Finland it partially mediates the relationship between idealized influence and followers’ identification.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-779
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Finland, follower-centric leadership, organizational identification, role ambiguity, Russia, transformational leadership

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