Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals

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The paper at hand provides an examination of different leadership styles in the context of their application to MNC. The study analyzes the relevant theoretical background and offers a detailed description of the carried out research.

The proposed research investigates two critical aspects. First and foremost, it studies the efficacy of different leadership styles relying on the best practices of the top business leaders of MNCs. Also, it empirically examines the perception of these styles in MNC’s employees. The paper provides an explicit description of the methodological research design and all the relevant procedures so that it can further be reproduced or extended.

The paper, likewise, offers a series of recommendations based on the thorough analysis of the research findings. It is considered that these recommendations will be assistive both from theoretical and practical perspectives. Hence, they might suggest a new vision of the common management theories and offer some useful guidelines for beginning leaders.


The growth of Multinational companies (MNCs) has escalated in the past two decades. This globalization of organizations around the world has continually necessitated the development of modern leadership theories. Cross-border businesses face a plethora of challenges that need proactive and relevant leadership styles. The key driver for this growth is the marketing of products to international consumers. Thus, traditional leadership styles are progressively becoming obsolete in the Twenty-First Century business arena. Leadership styles such as charismatic, transformational, transactional, and servant represent new approaches to organization management.

The multinational environment involves working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In other words, the so-called MNCs become more and more popular. This type of company offers a multicultural environment that requires peculiar approaches to its management.

The workforce in MNCs is more complex than in domestic organizations. As such, a myriad of multicultural problems characterizes the employees working for multinationals. Researchers reveal that local leadership styles, which are grounded on national cultures, are not universally applicable in the management of the workforce in MNCs. Given the degree of uncertainty in the multinational environment and the quest for a competitive edge, leadership in MNCs must adapt to suit cross-cultural needs. An organization that integrates appropriate leadership styles with multi-cultural needs is likely to attain a sustainable competitive advantage.

Nevertheless, companies that continue applying old leadership styles are bound to fail in an uncertain and ever-changing multinational environment. This study examines the impact of style, culture, and charisma in the cases of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Jack Welch about the management of their companies that include Apple Inc., Microsoft Inc., Facebook, Google, and General Electric respectively. The study will examine the different leadership styles of each of the five individuals and close attention will be given to the educated and non-educated leaders. Later on, the study presents empirical research that seeks to show that the most common leadership style adopted in multinational organizations in the United States.

Theoretical Framework and Topic Statement

Over the past three decades, the world has witnessed significant trade liberalization, foreign direct investment (FDI), and economic integration (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). These developments have resulted in rapid international trade, evidence with the ever-growing number of multinational companies in the developing world (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). While MNCs have stormed the international business environment, the experience has sometimes been overwhelming (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). Leaders deal with multicultural perspectives of human interactions as the employees come from diverse backgrounds.

According to Cenkci and Özçelik (2015), culture defines the way employees, customers, and managers behave. As such, where organizations fail to incorporate varied leadership styles in the management of MNCs, a great challenge is highly inevitable (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). Since multinationals operate in diverse cultures, leadership approaches determine the likelihood of succeeding in the management of the workforce and the handling of customers as they manifest diverse cultural needs (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). While universally accepted leadership traits and behaviors exist in many cultures, managers should pay close attention to the contingencies at national and global echelons.

A substantial number of leadership theories have worked on the issue of cross-cultural leadership (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). First, most of the theories and practices focused on western concepts and propositions of human behaviors. The transferability of these western-based leadership models to the cross-cultural perspective of MNCs has been questioned by numerous authors (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). Various studies on leadership styles have several features including stability, where transformation is perceived as slow. Change that invoices culture can never be dynamic. However, different scholars and authors have divergent views on the aspect of culture change (Yin-Tsuo, 2015).

The question of whether different leadership styles influence the management of culture in geographical contexts in which multinational businesses prevail guides the present study.

The advent of the globalization of industrial organizations and escalating interdependencies among states has raised the importance of understanding cultural disparities. Their potential impacts on leadership and organizational practices are crystal clear (Mulki, Caemmerer, & Heggde, 2015). The multinational environment has been described as complex, constantly changing, and hard to interpret (Mulki et al., 2015).

In this sense, leaders must be equipped to face it with strong, relevant, and adaptive leadership capabilities (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). More than ever before, leaders in MNCs face fierce and fast-paced changing international rivalry. Globalized organizations face a serious task of handling human resources, which are now culturally diverse than three decades ago (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). The cultural diversity found in multinational firms presents the challenge of concerning the design of these organizations and leadership (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015).

Despite the clarity of the constraints facing MNCs about cross-cultural human resources, limited literature exists that provide practical experience and solutions. As such, cross-cultural research and the development of multicultural theory are necessary to fill this literature gap (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). From a scientific and theoretical dimension, there are enough reasons to consider the role of societal and organizational culture in influencing the leadership and processes of MNCs (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). The role of science entails the development of universally applicable theories, principles, and laws (Cenkci & Özçelik, 2015).

There is a growing need for the development of leadership and organizational theories and principles that transcend all cultures. It is worth noting that a theory that works in one culture might fail to function in others (Deichmann & Stam, 2015).

Cases of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Jack Welch

This section presents a comparison of the five leaders Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Jack Welch based on education, charisma, culture, and leadership styles they employed while leading their organizations (see App.1).

The case studies indicate similarities and disparities in the levels of education attained by the four leaders.

Steve Jobs

Born in San Francisco in 1955, Steve Jobs is the former leader at Apple Inc. He dropped out of college briefly after joining and chose to work for the Atari computer company. He left the company and partnered with his child Steve Wozniak in 1976 when the two co-founded Apple Computer. According to experts, Steve Jobs’ leadership style can be described as charismatic as his communicational skills would let him inspire the people around him (Why Steve Jobs Was Such a Charismatic Leader, 2015).

Steve Jobs integrated his charisma and transformational leadership style in his management role that saw the elevation of the stagnating company to greater heights. He influenced the company’s stakeholders including employees and customers through his shared vision for prioritizing the needs of users. The visionary values included being different, an innovator, and a trendsetter. The leader used his bold personality to lead the followers at Apple Inc. The leadership of Steve Jobs involved a process of mutual stimulation and evaluation. The process entailed the conversion of the employees into moral agents. He empowered followers to be in a position to change the world. He demonstrated his charismatic leadership during Apple events during the launch of new products as well as in the middle of crises.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates was born in 1955 in the city of Seattle. In 1975, he left Harvard School before his graduation and allied with his friend Paul Allen to develop software to target the newly emerging PC market (Flatten et al., 2015). Guided by his vision that every business and household ought to have a computer that runs on Microsoft software, Bill Gates has become one of the most successful leaders in the multinational business.

His leadership perspective can be summed up in a few statements (Flatten, Adams, & Brettel, 2015). First, he recruited and retained the best talent in the software industry. The recruits portrayed the ability to learn fast, ask questions, and possess a deep familiarity with programming structures. Bill Gates showed boldness in failure. He believed that numerous trials in the software industry were crucial for the breakthrough of Microsoft (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). For instance, the failure of the Omega database project gave birth to the successful Microsoft Access (Flatten, Adams, & Brettel, 2015). He encouraged free thinking on his followers. He supported career growth for his employees and paying high wages. He is a transformational leader.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook Inc. He dropped out of college after his sophomore year to commit full-time to Facebook. Mark demonstrates successful leadership leading to his listing among accidental billionaires (Cenkci & Özçelik, 2015). He turned the idea of Harvard connection, which was initially developed by his three fellow students Divya Narendra, and twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss into what has become the largest social network in the World. Mark Zuckerberg demonstrates his unconventional leadership characteristics through the power of innovation and less control of the Facebook social site (Cenkci & Özçelik, 2015). Most of his improvements to the site come from interactions with the users. He opened up the project to external developers, a move that led to the inclusion of numerous features that delight users (Mulki et al., 2015).

Jack Welch

Unlike the three leaders mentioned above, Jack Welch completed his education up to the doctoral level. During his tenure at General Electric (GE), Jack Welch was regarded as the most admired Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the United States (Jack Welch, 2016). He elevated the market value of GE from approximately $13 billion to over $250 billion between 1981 and 2001. Jack Welch led the company to generate substantial wealth for the stakeholders (Yin-Tsuo, 2015).

Wall Street labels Jack Welch as the most prominent business leader in the twenty-first century. He demonstrated the transformational leadership style, where he led GE in the implementation of innovative management and production processes (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). His leadership style consisted of three qualities including passion, care for employees, and the ability to energize his followers. He identified four qualities of leadership including energy, energizer, edge, and execution (Rothacker & Hauer, 2014). All these qualities guided Jack Welch throughout his leadership tenure at GE.

Larry Page

Larry Page is one of those leaders whose career was determined largely by the family background. Otherwise stated, both his parents were engaged in the computer science field. Page’s outstanding project, Google, was initially designed as the research he and his friend, Sergey Brin, carried out at Stanford University. In 1988, the two friends managed to raise money from their families and friends and founded one of the most powerful companies in the world (Larry Page, 2016).

His style is often characterized as “inspiring.” In other words, the leader is said to promote not only innovative ideas but innovative thinking as well. His employees note that the core demand that Page advanced resided in targeting at better prospects (Blazek, 2015). It might be assumed that this leadership approach contributed significantly to the company’s rapid development.

Culture and Leadership

The idea of culture cannot be exempted when the role of leadership concepts across diverse geographical settings (Takahashi et al., 2012). Most previous studies focus on showing whether the elements of leadership and leadership theory can be applied universally across diverse environments (Flatten et al., 2015). Takahashi et al. (2012) reveal that leaders in multinational organizations have to be vigilant in the selection of leadership styles due to the cultural environments in which they are operated.

The concept of leadership in a global environment has caught the attention of many researchers and practitioners with the focus of articles, research reports, and blogs among others continue to intensify (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). A lot of work has been done concerning the prerequisites of a good leader for MNCs, best practices, in multinational leadership development, and the need for diverse leadership styles to handle cross-cultural disparities (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). Multinational leaders and HR practitioners tend to use more ideological slogans and academic factoids than practical applications (Luo & Jiang, 2014).

The globalization effect implies that individual firms are judged and assessed internationally and their actions have an impact on the global environment (Mulki et al., 2015). The role of leadership in any organization cannot be underestimated. Where ineffective leadership prevails, the organization is bound to collapse in the course of its operations (Mulki et al., 2015; Yin-Tsuo, 2015). The international perspective of multinational business cannot allow flawed leadership when the organization seeks to grow and achieve sustainable profitability. The global trade environment is characterized by rigorous changes including technology, marketing methods, human capital demographics, and distribution systems (Flatten et al., 2015).

Additionally, modern consumer exhibits a unique behavior that is highly unpredictable. These changes require a particular set of leadership requirements that can drive globally placed firms through change and adaptation (Takahashi et al., 2012; Mulki et al., 2015). Without a combination of appropriate leadership styles, leaders and organizations will find it hard to navigate through these changes.

Leadership is an organizational function that entails the establishment and sharing of the vision with the followers to achieve the set objectives and stakeholders’ expectations (Luo & Jiang, 2014). Leadership is a management quality that requires cultivation with the use of the appropriate mentoring process in a favorable climate that boosts it (Eisenberg, Pieczonka, Eisenring, & Mironski, 2015). Many authors argue that charismatic leaders are in a position to inspire followers out of their inborn psychological temperaments. Charismatic leadership is an exceptional quality of power that distinguishes the leader from the followers. It is a gift since it stems from inborn traits. It can be defined as a skill that one possesses to attain positive personal or organizational goals where leaders set themselves apart from the ordinary people (Eisenberg et al., 2015).

Leadership is a central factor in the success of expatriate programs for MNCs. Leaders’ satisfaction with their roles often leads the MNCs to success (Mulki et al., 2015). The effectiveness of a leader depends on several factors such as consensus building, motivating others to grow, and the ability to integrate into cross-cultural environments, and identifying the pool talent among employees from diverse backgrounds (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). The multinational business arena has more opportunities for growth than the challenges they pose to leaders (Luo & Jiang, 2014). A leader can identify the success factors when dealing with multi-culturally oriented followers, empowering teams that represent each culture of the employees.

The twenty-first has seen most leaders have exhibited two styles. First, Transformational leadership is a more recent style of leadership that entails leaders and followers advancing to a high level of moral support for development (Rothacker & Hauer, 2014). Through the strength of their vision, mission, core values, and personality, transformational leaders can inspire their followers to change perceptions and motivations to work on common objectives (Yin-Tsuo, 2015).

There are four components of transformation leaders including intellectual stimulation, where the leader changes the status quo and encourages creativity and innovations among the followers (Rothacker & Hauer, 2014). Individualist consideration offers support and encouragement to individual followers to enhance relationships (Flatten, Adams, & Brettel, 2015). It keeps the line of business communication open and hence the followers feel free to share ideas with the leaders. Hence, there is a direct recognition for each unique subordinate member in the entire organization (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). The transformational leadership style was shown by Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates.

Second, charismatic leadership is common among leaders such as Steve Jobs (Rothacker and Hauer (2014) reveal that both leadership approaches are geared towards stimulating thinking and motivation among employees and other members of the organization. The difference is inherent in their fundamental motive (Yin-Tsuo, 2015). While transformational leaders focus on the change at both team and organizational levels, charisma leaders emphasize the development of personal goals (Flatten et al., 2015). They might be unwilling to change anything regarding the organization of followers’ status quo (Takahashi et al., 2012).

Charismatic leadership leads to improved working speed, reduced absenteeism due to a high level of job satisfaction among the subordinates (Flatten et al., 2015). Charismatic leadership is inborn but not artificial (Tenzer & Pudelko, 2015). In multinational companies, this leadership style is highly praised and appreciated by practitioners and scholars (Rothacker & Hauer, 2014). It is renowned for enhancing productivity.

In foreign countries, the role of leaders shifts from managing to one of interacting. Managing implies that leaders spent much of their time performing administrative tasks such as planning and scheduling (Mulki et al., 2015). On the other hand, interacting is the involvement of leaders in conversations with followers. Interacting has been shown as more critical than managing in MNCs across the globe (Takahashi et al., 2012).

According to Luo and Jiang (2014), the quality of leaders’ interactions with subordinates can create sustainable relationships with their followers. The favorable connections between leaders and the employees are likely to boost the motivation and commitment of the latter towards the goals of the organizations. Additionally, most employees in multinational companies come from diverse cultural backgrounds (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). Where the leaders engage with the workforce, differences between society-embedded cultures and that of the organizations are likely to be harmonized (Takahashi et al., 2012). The leaders stand a good chance of unraveling culturally-oriented challenges among employees. Leaders who use aristocratic or leading from the top styles are not likely to realize the benefits of interrelationships with employees.

Numerous consequences stem from the leaders who focus too much on managing rather than fostering interactions with their subordinates (Luo & Jiang, 2014). Some adverse effects of failing to indulge in interactions with followers include less job satisfaction, high turnover rate, and minimal engagement among junior leaders (Flatten et al., 2015). Time spent by leaders in interactions with subordinates is more valuable than when calling and scheduling (Takahashi et al., 2012).

A leader who spends too much time on administrative tasks and fails to form positive relationships with followers is likely to lead the organization toward failure. Where stimulated leadership prevails several benefits are inevitable (Luo & Jiang, 2014). First, followers feel more valued and their self-esteem goes high. Second, the employees and junior level leaders show a high commitment to listening and responding with empathy (Takahashi et al., 2012).

Third, despite the cross-cultural disparities among the workforce, a good leader will foster teamwork that is likely to bridge gaps brought about by diversity. Hence, teamwork enhances collaborations that see the subordinates highly encouraged to help each other in solving problems at their levels. Additionally, when leaders interact with employees, sharing of thoughts, feelings, and rationale by the followers is likely. The leader-employee interrelationships provide support without removing responsibility (Mulki et al., 2015).

Recent research shows that new leadership approaches are continually established to replace traditional styles, which are not only irrelevant but also retrogressive (Eisenberg et al., 2015). Particularly, with the emergence of uncertainties characterizing the global business environment, organizations require relevant leadership styles that are dynamic (Mulki et al., 2015). A global leadership framework would contribute towards the generating of larger organizational competencies in multinationals. These new global leadership styles should take into account the cross-cultural perspectives that define the globalized operations, especially the hiring of the workforce from diverse backgrounds (Eisenberg et al., 2015).


To carry out this research, a mixed approach was employed – the research has a qualitative design with some quantitative elements. The methodological concept of the research was worked out by the targeted questions and advanced hypotheses. Thus, it was considered rational to divide the study into three parts.

The first part of the study is aimed at examining the educational background of the world’s top leaders. Otherwise stated, it targets to find out the role of education in the formation of a successful leader.

As a result, based on the relevant theoretical analysis, the first hypothesis might be posed as follows:

  • H1: The level of education does not play a significant role in the formation of a leader.

To test this hypothesis, a comparative analysis of the relevant data was carried out. At this point, the research might be characterized as a case study; it employs structured data collection and purposive sampling. The essential data was retrieved from the relevant biographies and analyzed with the help of the inductive approach.

The second part of the study is aimed at assessing the efficiency of different leadership styles in MNCs. This part targets to test the following hypothesis based on the theoretical analysis:

  • H2: charismatic leadership is the most effective type of leadership for MNCs.

To test this hypothesis, an interpretive analysis was employed. The data was retrieved from the official reports and analyzed through the inductive approach.

The third part is focused on the examination of the perception of charismatic leadership in employees. This part is a qualitative element of the study – the data was collected through a survey and analyzed through tabulation and percentage conversion. The sample size was 50 people (all respondents work for MNC). The research comprised 8 questions.

Data Collection

The data collection was carried out at three different levels by the targeted stages that the research design implies.

Stage 1

This stage is aimed at identifying the educational level of the most recognized leaders. To do that, five top business leaders have targeted: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, and Larry age. The choice of these leaders was determined by two critical criteria. First and foremost, it was supposed that the leader or/and the associated corporation are internationally acclaimed. Hence, those names were selected that figured most frequently in the Net search results when the search was set at “top business leaders.” Secondly, it was considered important that all the leaders worked for MNCs to make the research relevant to the core thesis.

To identify the level of education for each leader, their official biographies were employed. The biographies were retrieved from the Web.

Stage 2

At this stage, it was essential to indicate the type of leadership that is most typical of the top business leaders of MNCs. For this research stage, a larger sample of business leaders was employed. The names that figure in the sample were retrieved from the chart composed by Entrepreneur four years ago. The type of leadership was determined about both individual analysis and the most commonly accepted experts’ opinion. At this point, it is essential to note that it was rather problematic to determine the type of leadership. Thus, the same leader would be characterized differently by different experts. Therefore, the most frequently met characteristic was assigned. However, it is assumed that to increase the accuracy of data, separate research should be carried out to determine the leadership style of every personality.

Stage 3

This stage was the most complicated in terms of the data collection process. The main objective of this aim was to evaluate the perception of charismatic leaders in employees of MNCs. To do that, a relevant survey was composed. The survey comprised 8 questions: 1 dichotomous question and 7 multiple-choice questions (see App.3).

The sample group comprised of 50 respondents. The selection of respondents was carried out through popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). At first, it was a group of 150 people targeted, basing on the criterion that they all were employed in MNCs. Then, they were invited to take part in the research. The official agreement was received from 50 people that composed the final sample group. The respondents received the survey templates via e-mails or through social networks and returned the final variants in the same manner.

The data collection was carried out by the ethical research norms and standards. Hence, all the respondents were ensured that the provided information would be used for scientific purposes only. Also, they were guaranteed that their names, as well as their names of their organizations, would not be revealed.

At this point, a small remark should be introduced. Thus, some of the survey questions suggested the option “other,” and the respondents, choosing this option, were expected to provide some clarifications. However, none of the respondents explained this choice.


The collected data was organized into the tables to simplify its interpretation. The results will be overviewed separately for every stage of the research.

Stage 1

The research findings show that 60% of the examined leaders’ personalities have not completed their higher education (see App.1). It should be, however, noted that 100% of the leaders made attempts to receive a degree: 80% targeted at a university degree and 20% intended to receive a college degree. 40% of leaders have managed to receive more than one degree.

Thus, it might be concluded that H1 is verified.

Stage 2

The research has shown that 56% of the top leaders are characterized as transformational, 34% – charismatic and 10% – educational (see App.2). It should be reminded, though, that, as it has been already mentioned above, the styles’ characteristics are rather subjective than objective. Otherwise stated, these are the characteristics that are most frequently assigned to these leaders, while a profound analysis might show other results.

Thus, it might be concluded that H2 is rebutted.

Stage 3

At this stage, a series of critical findings need to be discussed:

  1. The major part of respondents like the transformational style of their current manager.
  2. An equally high number of people (16%) characterize charismatic and authoritarian styles as inefficient, whereas the number of those who assign this characteristic to the transformational style is twice smaller – 8% and vice versa – 68% consider transformational leaders effective.
  3. The prevailing number of respondents (50%) would like to work with charismatic leaders. The same prevalence might be observed when the respondents are asked to indicate what leaders they would like to make – 44% for the charismatic type.
  4. The major part of respondents (50%) likes Jobs, though when asked who they would like to work with, they choose Gates (54%). (See App.4-5)

Thus, it might be concluded that H3 is partially verified.


The analysis of the results will be, likewise, performed at three levels.

Level 1

The key objective of this stage resided in showing that leadership requires some peculiar personal qualities rather than pointing out the uselessness of education in terms of career building. Thus, the findings show that a large percentage of the top leaders did not receive their higher degree; meanwhile, they managed to achieve the best business performance. These findings illustrate the equality in opportunities that the leadership field provides. It is presumed that the elucidated statistics will serve to be the source of inspiration for the beginning leaders notwithstanding their background.

Level 2

Whatever paradoxical it might seem, the principal finding that should be discussed at this level is not the statistical data retrieved in the course of the study. Hence, according to this data, the transformational style should be considered the most efficient for MNCs. However, it is more important to point out the relativity of the characteristics assigned to the leadership. Relevant research shows that different experts use different terms describing the leadership style of this or another leader. It signifies that a successful leader is more than a collection of skills typical of a peculiar style, but a mixture of different approaches and inborn qualities applied successfully to his or her activity.

Level 3

At this level, it is considered rational to discuss several pieces of the analysis.

  1. From an emotional standpoint, most people express their approval of the charismatic leadership style. They report their willingness to work with such leaders and to resemble them. Moreover, they intuitively support Jobs that is the prominent representative of this approach.
  2. From a practical perspective, most respondents tend to choose the transformational leadership style. Thus, most of the respondents support their current transformational leaders and report the willingness to work not with Jobs, but Gates, who is the prominent representative of this approach. Moreover, the major part of respondents associates the term “efficiency” with the transformational style.

As a result, it might be assumed that the concept of the transformational style of leadership is more apparent to the audience – it offers a precise strategy and outlines the potential prospects more distinctly; whereas, the charismatic style of leadership is naturally more attractive. For this reason, the respondents choose the former when it concerns some practical aspects like cooperation, and prefer the latter in more abstract terms.


This study has revealed the current gap in the descriptive concepts of different leadership styles. Thus, it is currently problematic to indicate the style of a particular leader. From this perspective, two alternatives can be possibly offered. First, further research might be carried out to work out precise frameworks for describing each style. In other words, the characteristic concept of each style should be elaborated so that both the expert community and the relevant employees easily distinguish the styles.

Secondly, it might be presumed that the strict differentiation between different leadership styles is no more relevant – the research has shown that the major part of top leaders of MNCs employed different leadership styles to reach their aims. Therefore, if a leader of an MNC intends to carry out efficient management, he or she should be ready to consider different techniques and methods. The multi-level approach seems to be particularly important in MNCs as one style turns out to be insufficient in this type of company. From this perspective, it is recommended that further research is carried out to study how the cultural background of an employee influences his or her perception of a particular leadership style.


MNC is a peculiar type of organization, the management of which requires special consideration. The paper at hand was aimed at examining the best experience of the top business leaders and applying it to the generation of some practical recommendations.

Hence, the study has shown that the most successful leaders of MNCs do not stick to one leadership style but employ a wise combination of approaches and techniques to the solution of the problems. The findings also illustrated that successful leadership is not determined by the social background of a person but by the inborn qualities and efforts he or she makes to succeed.

Also, the research provided some insights into the MNC employee’s attitude towards different leadership styles. Thus, it turned out that the major part of employees consider the transformational style of leadership to be the most efficient from a practical standpoint despite the attractiveness of the charismatic approach.

As a result, it might be concluded that employees, whether they work for MNC or another type of company, are, first and foremost, aimed at reaching the set objectives and receiving some practical values. Therefore, they are likely to accept any type of leadership as long as it ensures productive collaboration and offers some clear prospects.

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Deichmann, D., & Stam, D. (2015). Leveraging transformational and transactional leadership to cultivate the generation of organization-focused ideas. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(1), 204-219. Web.

Jack Welch. (2016). Web.

Eisenberg, J., Pieczonka, A., Eisenring, M., & Mironski, J. (2015). Poland, a workforce in transition: Exploring leadership styles and effectiveness of Polish vs. Western expatriate managers. Journal For East European Management Studies, 20(4), 435-451. Web.

Flatten, T., Adams, D., & Brettel, M. (2015). Fostering absorptive capacity through leadership: A cross-cultural analysis. Journal Of World Business, 50519-534. Web.

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McKelvey, B. (2010). Complexity Leadership: the secret of Jack Welch’s success. International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 1(1), 4-37. Web.

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Rothacker, A., & Hauer, G. (2014). Leadership in Multinational Management – A Behavior-Set to Motivate Multicultural Teams. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 130(4), 226-236. Web.

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Appendix 1 “Education level of the Top Business Leaders”

Leader’s Name Leadership Style Company/Type Education
Bill Gates Authoritarian (Gilliard, 2005) Microsoft/MNC Harvard – incomplete (Bill Gates, 2016)
Mark Zuckerberg Transformational (Mark Zuckerberg Leadership Style, 2016) Facebook/MNC Harvard – incomplete (Mark Zuckerberg, 2016)
Steve Jobs Charismatic (Why Steve Jobs Was Such a Charismatic Leader, 2015) Apple/MNC Reed Colledge – incomplete(Steve Jobs, 2016)
Jack Welch Complexity Leadership (McKelvey, 2010) National Broadcasting Corporation/ MNC The University of Massachusetts, University of Illinois – complete (Jack Welch, 2016)
Larry Page Inspiring Leadership (Blazek, 2015) Google/ MNC University of Michigan, Stanford University – complete (Larry Page, 2016)

Appendix 2 “Leadership Styles of the Top Business Leaders”

Leader’s Name Leadership Style Company/Type
Lee Iacocca Transformational Chrysler/MNC
Ed Whitacre Charismatic GM/MNC
Steve Jobs Charismatic Apple/MNC
Isaac Perlmutter Transformational Marvel/MNC
Dan Hesse Transformational Sprint /MNC
Terry Semel Transformational Yahoo!
Doug Conant Transformational Campbell’s Soup
Richard Clark Educational Merck & Co.
Gordon Bethune Charismatic Continental Airlines

Appendix 3 “Survey Questions”

  • 1. Do you think your manager’s leadership style is effective?
    • Options: Yes/No
  • 2. What kind of leader is he/she?
    • Options: Authoritarian/Transformational/Charismatic/Other (indicate)
  • 3. Have you had any experience of working with an inefficient leader? What kind of leader was he/she?
    • Options: Authoritarian/Transformational/Charismatic/Other (indicate)
  • 4. What kind of leader would you like to work with?
    • Options: Authoritarian/Transformational/Charismatic/Other (indicate)
  • 5. What kind of leadership do you think is the most efficient?
    • Options: Authoritarian/Transformational/Charismatic/Other (indicate)
  • 6. What kind of leader would you like to make?
    • Options: Authoritarian/Transformational/Charismatic/Other (indicate)
  • 7. Which leader do you like most?
    • Options: Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg
  • 8. Which leader would you like to work with?
    • Options: Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg

Appendix 4 “Responses Tabulation”

Question#1/Question#2 Authoritarian Transformational Charismatic Other
Yes (39) 4 24 7 4
No (11) 6 2 3
Question# Authoritarian Transformational Charismatic Other Gates Jobs Zuckerberg
3 (No-20) 8 4 8 10
4 22 25 3
5 7 31 9 3
6 5 22 23
7 15 25 10
8 27 12 11

Appendix 5 “Percentage Interpretation”

Question#1/Question#2 Authoritarian Transformational Charismatic Other
Yes (78%) 8% 48% 14% 8%
No (22%) 12% 4% 6%
Question# Authoritarian Transformational Charismatic Other Gates Jobs Zuckerberg
3 (No-40%) 16% 8% 16% 20%
4 44% 50% 6%
5 14% 62% 18% 6%
6 10% 44% 46%
7 30% 50% 20%
8 54% 24% 22%

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BusinessEssay. (2022, December 12). Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 12). Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals. https://business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/

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"Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals." BusinessEssay, 12 Dec. 2022, business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/.


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals'. 12 December.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals." December 12, 2022. https://business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals." December 12, 2022. https://business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/.


BusinessEssay. "Leadership Styles and Performace in Multinationals." December 12, 2022. https://business-essay.com/leadership-styles-and-performace-in-multinationals/.