The field of cross-cultural leadership has seen a boom in empirical research over the last few decades, yet there are still few large-scale studies that seek explanations for leadership behavior. Earlier research has provided knowledge and awareness about differences and similarities in leadership attitudes, ideals, perceptions and preferences across countries and cultures, but to predict leadership behavior remains difficult. In this chapter, leader’s ‘action intent’ is proposed as a ‘close-to-action’ concept in contrast to the more ‘far-from-action’ concepts used in earlier leadership research. Importantly, for ‘close-to-action’ concepts to be able to provide better predictions these need to provide contextual and situational cues. In our study, carried out in 22 countries, respondents have ranked their preferred action alternative for six specific leadership scenarios. We find inter-country and intra-country variation in action intent for each scenario and meaningful correlations with culturally endorsed leadership ideals. Drawing on our empirical illustration we provide implications from our findings for global leadership. And although there are no simple answers as to how to predict leadership behavior, we posit that using ‘action intent’ as a leadership measure will generate a better understanding and provide stronger predictions of leader behavior globally.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account
Edited by Lena Zander
Handbook