Situational Leadership and Employee Job Performance and Productivity in Multicultural Work Settings

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 18
Words: 5004
Reading time:
19 min
Study level: PhD


The shifting global economy coupled with an increasingly competitive business environment implies that organizations must deploy the right kind of leadership to survive, as effective leadership has been shown to encourage innovation, respond swiftly to changes in markets and environments, creatively address challenges, as well as sustain high employee and organizational performance (Amagoh, 2009). It is reported in the leadership scholarship that leaders who want the best results for the organization and employees should not depend on a single leadership style (Chen & Silverthorne, 2005), and that a fundamental component of leadership effectiveness is embedded in the identification of important situational or contextual factors that may substitute for the leader’s behavior, so that the leader can adapt his or her leadership behavior and style accordingly (Muchiri & Cooksey, 2011).

However, although previous research has demonstrated that an understanding of leadership and leadership effectiveness is essential in order for leaders to understand how to motivate employees and hence attain organizational objectives (Silverthorne & Wang, 2001), and that effective leadership is related to desirable organizational characteristics such as performance, commitment, learning and engagement (Vigoda-Gadot, 2007), only a few studies have attempted to empirically test the situational leadership theory (SLT) and analyze its contributions to varied organizational measures affecting contemporary multicultural work settings (Keung & Rockinson-Szapkiw, 2013; Muchiri & Cooksey, 2011). In this light, the main purpose of this paper is to undertake a critical review of the literature on SLT with the view to establishing a researchable topic on the leadership phenomenon as demonstrated in the gaps in the literature.

Literature Review


This section critically reviews relevant literature on the situational leadership phenomenon based on a comprehensive evaluation of scholarly articles sourced from various databases, including Academic Source Premier, Business Source Premier, as well as Emerald. The terms ‘situational leadership’, ‘leadership effectiveness’, ‘situational leadership and employee performance’, and ‘leadership in multicultural settings’ have been used to conduct electronic searches from 2000 to April 2014 of the mentioned databases. It is of fundamental importance to note that the search strategy has been an iterative process that has included evaluating reference lists of selected studies, with the view to identifying additional citations for inclusion in this review.


The exercise of collating the evidence base from the reviewed literature has led to the identification of six main themes that are relevant to this research: overview of situational leadership, situational leadership effectiveness in work settings, situational leadership and follower performance and productivity, as well as leadership in multicultural settings. The findings of the review are presented as follows:

Overview of Situational Leadership

The literature on the definition and conceptualization of situational leadership is well documented and a multiplicity of issues has been examined. Conceptualized by Paul Hersy and Ken Blanchard (1969, 1982, 1988, 1996) and extensively cited in Avery (2001), Avery and Ryan (2002) and Farmer (2005), SLT basically prescribes the amount of task behavior (the extent to which a leader engages in one-way communication by explaining what a follower is to do, as well as when, where, and how the tasks are to be realized) and relationship behavior (the extent to which a leader engages in two-way communication with a follower by providing socioemotional support, psychological stroking, and facilitating behavior) a leader should provide to a follower to facilitate performance, given the maturity level for a particular task. It is demonstrated in the literature that the situational approach to leadership speculates that a good match between leadership style and follower readiness results in the attainment of higher levels of follower satisfaction and performance (Amagoh, 2009), and that the leadership approach demonstrates an intuitive appeal as it acknowledges the importance of subordinates (leadership tends to be done with people, rather than to people) and builds on the logic that leaders can compensate for ability and motivational limitations in their followers (Avery & Ryan, 2002).

According to Chen and Silverthorne (2005), “the four quadrants in the SLT represent four basic leadership styles: high task and low relationship (S1, telling); high task and high relationship (S2, selling); low task and high relationship (S3, participating); low task and low relationship (S4, delegating)” (p. 281). These authors further contend that the core principle of SLT is embedded in the fact that “as the level of follower readiness increases, effective leader behavior will involve less structure (task orientation) and less socio-emotional support (relationship orientation)” (p. 281). Chamberlin (2013) reinforces this perspective by acknowledging that leaders using the SLT need to avail directions to followers at the lower levels of readiness, but such a situation should change once the subordinate gains higher levels of readiness and demonstrate responsibility for task direction. Consequently, as suggested by Chen and Silverthorne (2005), SLT does not rely on one best way or leadership style to influence people as it is constructed based on the assumption that the follower dictates the most appropriate leader behavior as demonstrated by his or her readiness level.

In the situational leadership literature, the concept of follower readiness is of immense importance as it denotes the capacity of the follower to take sole responsibility for his/her actions, implying that the capacity moderates two primary aspects of leadership namely task/relationship and leader effectiveness (Avery, 2001). According to the situational leadership approach, “as the level of readiness of the follower continues to increase, the demand for structure facilitation on the part of the leader decreases, as does the need for the leader to interact with the group for socioemotional support” (Silverthorne, 2000 p. 68). Consequently, it is clear that individuals tend to be in differing levels of readiness in a situational leadership approach and it is therefore the task of the leader to sufficiently evaluate the level to which he/she must supervise members of the group for optimal performance and effectiveness (Chamberlin, 2013). This view is consistent with the finding by Farmer (2005), that a core component of SLT is embedded in its demonstration of the need by leaders to treat followers differentially depending on the prevailing environmental contexts and the maturity of followers.

Situational Leadership Effectiveness in Work Settings

Extant leadership scholarship demonstrates that, in SLT, “a leader’s task and relationship behaviors interact with subordinate readiness to significantly influence leader effectiveness, which is defined as the extent to which a follower demonstrates the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task” (Chen & Silverthorne, 2005 p. 281). Leadership effectiveness has also been defined as an evolutionary process of interconnected events and responses to events that avail the capacity for the leader to successfully influence followers toward the accomplishment of set organizational goals (Amagoh, 2009). Leadership effectiveness from a SLT approach, according to Avery (2001) and Farmer (2005), can be analyzed using a set of variables such as work-related contexts, leader adaptability, and employee readiness.

It is evident from the reviewed literature that leadership styles vary across work-related situations. For example, Lee-Kelly (2002) found that “there is no single leadership style that is appropriate for all situations” (p. 474). Arvidsson, Johansson, Ek, and Akselsson (2007) indicate that the frequency of leadership styles used by leaders are statistically significantly different among all situations, and that leadership is more relationship-oriented and supportive in Success scenarios and Group scenarios, and more task oriented in individual scenarios and in Hardship scenarios. These authors further acknowledge that situational leadership positively influences the safety culture and work-related stress particularly in high-risk work environments.

Available leadership literature demonstrates that leadership adaptability and employee readiness are core tenets of situational leadership approach. Chen and Silverthorne (2005) are of the opinion that, in SLT, leadership effectiveness is perceived to be enhanced if a leader “uses the style of leadership that best matches the readiness, ability and willingness of subordinates and that a good match between leadership style and subordinate readiness leads to a higher level of subordinate satisfaction and performance” (p. 281). Silverthorne (2000) suggests that the readiness and willingness of employees or followers to undertake tasks are fundamental aspects that contribute to a leader’s effectiveness, particularly upon the realization that the situational leadership approach assumes that leadership style and influence should only be initiated after a leader has successfully evaluated the readiness of his/her followers to undertake a specific task. In demonstrating situational leadership effectiveness in work settings, therefore, leaders must show both leadership adaptability and leadership flexibility in not only adapting their leadership styles to suit both the situation and the level of readiness by employees to undertake a specific task, but also in choosing the appropriate leadership style for the appropriate situation.

Situational Leadership and Follower Performance & Productivity

There is evidence in the literature that a situational leadership characteristic known as leader adaptability influences leadership effectiveness as well as several employee performance and productivity indicators. For example, Silverthorne (2000) used the variables of employee absenteeism, turnover rate, organizational profits and quality rating to determine the influence of situational leadership style on organizational productivity in Taiwan. The study found that:

  1. the more adaptable the leader the less absenteeism and presumably the greater the productivity,
  2. the higher the leader’s adaptability scores, the lower the turnover rate and therefore the higher the productivity,
  3. the higher the leader’s adaptability scores, the higher the profits,
  4. the higher the leader’s adaptability scores, the higher the organizational quality rating, though this relationship was not statistically significant.

Overall, Silverthorne (2000) findings illuminate that a leader’s adaptability, which is one of the hallmarks of situational leadership, is a positive factor in enhancing organizational and employee performance, in large part due to the fact that the level of leadership adaptability can cause substantial effects on absenteeism, turnover rates, profitability, and quality. Contrasting these results, however, the findings of Chen and Silverthorne (2005) demonstrate that the matching of leadership score with employee readiness factors did not have any significant impact on several work-related variables, including “employee job satisfaction, job performance, job stress, and intention to leave” (p. 285). Although the Chen and Silverthorne’s study found that employees working with leaders who had a higher leadership score felt more satisfied, less stress and expressed a desire to continue serving the organization, it was because of the employee’s ability and willingness rather than the demonstrated leadership style, implying that an employee’s knowledge, experience, and skills targeted to a specific task will often influence his or her confidence, commitment, and motivation. This view is further reinforced by Furtado, Batista, and Silva (2011), who advocate for a situational approach to leadership which consents to leaders employing the style of leadership that is of optimal equivalence to readiness, ability, and willingness factors demonstrated by followers.

In their study, Avery and Ryan (2002) assert that leaders using an effective situational approach of leadership may indeed positively influence the performance and productivity of employees by providing them “with differing amounts of direction and support on different tasks and goals, depending on the follower’s developmental level” (p. 243). These authors further postulate that for optimal employee performance and productivity, the leader’s style of leadership should shift with corresponding shifts in the employee’s competence (knowledge and skills) and commitment (follower’s motivation and confidence on that task). Their study found that:

  1. SL can be used for managing staff, as well as for a range of other management tasks including counseling, team development, performance appraisals, conflict resolution and initiating new staff,
  2. organizational support for SL differs from those companies with an identifiable SL culture and those who provide review sessions to maintain the culture, to those where management support for SL is available only upon request,
  3. the understanding between the leader and employees is enhanced when followers understand SL, although the necessity for non-managerial staff to attend SL training is disputed (Avery & Ryan, 2002).

Leadership in Multicultural Settings

A number of studies demonstrate that SLT has the potential to lend itself to global applications, though research is still limited on how the theory can be used in multicultural settings to spur employee performance and productivity. Silverthorne (2000) takes cognizance of the fact that most studies testing the situational leadership model have been conducted in the United States and other Western countries; however, the findings of his study “suggest that the theory has some applicability in a non-Western culture and provide some support for a generally accepted and useful theory of leadership” (p. 74). Although the study of culture and leadership has progressively developed as a research stream since the mid-1990s (Alves et al., 2006), and although research has shown that a workforce comprising employees from diverse cultural backgrounds obliges attention to subordinate leadership preferences (Brain & Lewis, 2004), there still exists a dearth of the literature on how SLT can influence employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings.

Part of the problem has been due to the overreliance of other leadership styles (e.g., transactional and transformational leadership approaches) in the investigation of how leadership affects employee performance in multicultural settings (Brain & Lewis, 2004; Furtado et al., 2011), as well as the little empirical support SLT has been able to attract so far due to issues of internal ambiguities and inconsistencies in the model (Avery, 2001; Cairns, Hollenback, Preziosi, & Snow, 2011; Vigoda-Gadot, 2007). Although SLT is one of the most widely-known and used approaches in the Western world today and has been a major factor in training and development programs for over 400 of the Fortune 500 companies (Papworth, Milne, & Boak, 2009), there is need to develop an empirical research base on how this leadership model can be used in multicultural settings to spur employee performance and productivity.

Discussion and Findings

This section critically reviews five empirical studies on the situational leadership theory (SLT), with the view to developing a researchable topic dealing with the situational leadership (SL) phenomenon.

Silverthorne’s (2000) study used a quantitative research methodology on a cross section sample of 174 employees (subordinates and managers) with the view to examining the applicability of SLT in Taiwan. In designing this study, the researcher wanted to develop knowledge on whether SLT is useful in a different culture outside the United States since most of the existing published research on the leadership approach has not focused on other non-Western cultures. Constructs for the study were operationalized using pre-meditated measures of employee absenteeism, turnover, overall productivity and quality of work, while data were collected using two sets of questionnaires and later analyzed quantitatively. The author found that:

  1. SLT can be applied across cultures,
  2. leadership adaptability is directly associated with employee and organizational productivity as measured by absenteeism, turnover rates, profitability and, to a lesser extent, quality,
  3. the greater the match between self and other leadership scores the more accurate the leader is in terms of perception of his/her own strengths and weaknesses.

Arising from these findings, therefore, it can be argued that the author made a compelling case intended to demonstrate that SLT is not an American affair and that leadership adaptability, a key attribute of SLT, is a positive variable in leadership effectiveness, employee performance, as well as organizational productivity.

Avery’s (2001) descriptive quantitative study used data from 49 supervisors and 247 senior/middle managers sampled from Australia to investigate their preferences for SL styles and perceived effectiveness as rated using Blanchard’s latest model (SLII) for “self” and “other” ratings. The constructs were operationalized as predominant styles, rater congruity, flexibility, and effectiveness. The study found that:

  1. Australian managers and supervisors demonstrate clear preferences for using the supportive S3 (supporting) and S2 (coaching) leadership styles,
  2. there exists a lack of rater congruity in demonstrated leadership styles due to substantial differences between “self” and “other” ratings on all SLII styles,
  3. there is lack of awareness on alternative styles that leaders in Australia can deploy to demonstrate leadership flexibility,
  4. there is little agreement between leaders and subordinates on leader effectiveness as mediated by SL styles.

Drawing from these findings, the author seems deficient in demonstrating why leader effectiveness is not necessarily mediated by SL styles and the implications of such an orientation.

Following the need to deconstruct leadership into small segments with the view to producing a comprehensive analysis of the process involved in leading people, Furtado et al (2011) employed SLT to describe nurse managers’ leadership behaviors, comparing them with subordinates’ perceptions of their leader’s leadership, as well as to determine if leadership elements influence job performance and satisfaction. The quantitative study, which used a sample of 266 nursing leaders and subordinates, employed descriptive, inferential and correlational statistics to establish statistically significant relationships between the perceptions and constructs. Data analysis was done using SPSS v 15.0, with results demonstrating that:

  1. young and inexperienced nurses perform well and are satisfied with their job under a strong supervision leadership behavior (S2),
  2. alternative leadership behaviors such as S3 (participating) seem adjusted to staff nurses maturity stage,
  3. a variety of leadership components (e.g., positive reinforcement, high versatility, adaptability, interpersonal skills, training and integrity) are directly related to staff nurses’ satisfaction levels.

The authors make a compelling case, particularly in the context of showing why nurse leaders must not only demonstrate awareness of their leadership, but also apply appropriate leadership styles to develop their subordinates’ skill, performance, and satisfaction levels.

Owing to the fact that few studies have attempted to investigate the value of SLT in general and its application in non-Western cultures in particular, Chen and Silverthorne (2005) set out to test the theory’s leadership effectiveness and the impact of the degree of match between leadership style and employee readiness level on a variety of measures of leadership outcomes in the Taiwan culture. The study used a quantitative research methodology and a survey approach to mail 350 questionnaire instruments to randomly sampled managers of manufacturing and service organizations throughout the United States; however, only 126 duly completed questionnaires were returned. The measures used for the study included “employee job satisfaction, job performance, job stress, and turnover intention” (Chen and Silverthorne, 2005 p. 282). The findings of the study fell short of supporting SLT’s assumption that a suitable match between leadership style and behaviors on the one hand, and follower readiness levels on the other leads to elevated levels of employee work-related satisfaction and performance, while substantially reducing work-related stress and turnover. Nevertheless, the findings somewhat lend credence to SLT’s assertion that the higher the leader’s leadership score the more effective is the leader’s influence, with some important highlights showing a positive association between ability and willingness, subordinate job satisfaction, and job performance. Overall, it can be argued that the authors made a compelling case in demonstrating SLT’s level of effectiveness in an Eastern culture, and also in showing the effectiveness of the theory across several organizational constructs such as employee job satisfaction, job performance, and intention to leave.

Lastly, using a randomly stratified sample of 38 adaptive leaders, 41 non-adaptive leaders, 79 managers and 234 subordinates selected from a cross section of employees from 20 high-technology organizations based in Taiwan, Silverthorne and Wang (2001) developed a quantitative study aimed at evaluating the impact that both adaptive and non-adaptive leaders have on six measures of organizational productivity, namely absenteeism, turnover rate, quality of work, reject rates, organizational profitability, and units produced. Additionally, their study intended to examine the usefulness of the Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description (LEAD) questionnaire, and also to investigate whether successful organizations are more likely to have a higher percentage of adaptive leaders than unsuccessful organizations operating in Taiwan. The study found that:

  1. the greater the level of leadership adaptability the more productive the company is likely to be,
  2. the LEAD questionnaire is an accurate predictor of adaptability and valid for deployment in Taiwan,
  3. successful companies are more likely to have adaptive leaders than unsuccessful companies. Generally, the findings supported the value of adaptive leadership styles in high-technology firms in Taiwan, implying that the evidence adduced by the authors is consistent with a major SLTs assumption which lends credence to the fact that different situations may require different leadership styles based on subordinates’ level of readiness and maturity.

Research Development

Research Problem, Purpose & Question

From the review and discussion, it is evident that there has been no research that has directly looked into the relationship between SLT and employee performance and productivity in purely multicultural work settings. Although it has been reported in the literature that a workforce comprising employees from diverse cultural backgrounds obliges attention to employee leadership preferences (Brain & Lewis, 2004), the few studies available (e.g., Avery & Ryan, 2002; Silverthorne, 2000; Silverthorne & Wang, 2001) have only attempted to investigate the value of SLT in non–Western cultures rather than in purely multicultural work settings. A strand of existing literature (e.g., Brain & Lewis, 2004) has discussed leadership in multicultural contexts, but only to the extent of transformational and transactional leadership styles, further lending credence to the fact that more needs to be done to expand our knowledge of SLT and its influence on important organizational measures in multicultural work settings. Owing to the fact that SLT is widely used by leaders despite its theoretical and empirical deficits (Alves et al., 2006; Cairns et al., 2011, Papworth et al., 2009), it would be prudent to undertake a quantitative study that investigates how SLT affects employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings. Consequently, the proposed study will be guided by the following research question:

  • RQ: How does leadership adaptability in SLT affects employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings?


The proposed research will employ a quantitative research approach with an explanatory correlational design to explore how SLT affects employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings. Creswell (2008) acknowledges that this type of design is used when the researcher want to explore “the extents to which two or more variables co-vary, that is, where changes in one variable are reflected in changes in the other” (p. 358). It is important to note that in an explanatory correlational study, field data is only collected once as focus is not based on past or future performance of the study participants, hence the need to analyze participants as a single group rather than developing subcategories of participants during analysis (Lidico, Spaulding, & Voegtle, 2006).


The sample for this study will include selected employees and managers of four Fortune 500 companies operating in multicultural work contexts. Specifically, 120 employees (30 employees per organization) will be conveniently selected and 8 managers/leaders (2 leaders per organization) purposively selected to take part in the study.

Data Collection

Two sets of self-developed questionnaires will be used to collect mostly numeric data from the study participants through the use of items of diverse formats including “multiple choices, asking either for one option or all that apply, dichotomous answers like YES and NO, self assessment questions measured on the 5-point Likert-type scale and open-ended questions” (Nicholas & Childs, 2009 p. 117). One set of the self-completion questionnaires will contain 25 items and will be administered on the sampled employees for the purpose of collecting pertinent data that will assist the researcher in answering the stated research question. The other set will contain 20 items and will be administered on mangers/leaders of the four Fortune 500 firms for the same purpose, implying that data collection for the study will assume a survey approach (Olsen, 2012).

Data Analysis

Data for the study will be entered into the Statistical Software for Social Sciences (SPSS v. 12) for univariate analysis (frequency tables, measures of central tendency, diagrams and measures of dispersion) and bivariate analysis (contingency tables, Pearson’s r, and Pearson’s rho). In the bivariate analysis, evidence will be sought using Pearson’s r and Pearson’s rho to show if a variation in one variable coincides with variation in another variable, though it should be remembered that the variance is only meant to prove relationships but not causality. Contingency tables will be employed in the form of cross-tabulations, while Pearson’s r will be used to examine relationships between interval/ratio variables (0=no relationship; 1=perfect relationship), and Pearson’s rho (represented by Greek letter p) to examine relationships in pairs of ordinal variables as well as in pairing an ordinal variable with an interval/ratio variable (0=no relationship; 1=perfect relationship). Relationships will be tested for statistical significance to establish their strengths or weaknesses (Bryman & Cramer, 2005).

Strengths and Weaknesses of Envisioned Design & Methods

The main strength of adopting an explanatory correlational design is based on its capacity to assist the researcher establish a relationship between the variables of interest; however, this type of design can only establish relationships but not causality (Creswell, 2008). In sampling, the purposive approach will assist the researcher in gaining an in-depth and holistic understanding of the phenomenon since managers will be selected or “handpicked” based on their expansive knowledge of the issues of interest to the researcher. The approach is also easier to administer, convenient and economical than other probability sampling approaches; however, it is prone to researcher bias (Mason, 2002; Sekaran, 2006). Similarly, convenience sampling (for employees) is easier to administer and assist the researcher to gather important data and information that would not have been possible using probability sampling techniques; however, it is prone to researcher bias and it is difficult to develop a representative sample because the sampling frame is not known (Mason, 2002).

Self-administered questionnaires have unique advantages over other data collection techniques, which include:

  1. low administration costs,
  2. capacity to allow for a greater geographical coverage,
  3. capacity for interviewer bias reduction,
  4. capacity to guarantee greater anonymity,
  5. low training requirement.

However, questionnaires have several weaknesses, including low response rates, incapacity to capture complex and ambiguous questions, and lack of opportunity to probe participants further as most of the items are closed-ended (Nicholas & Childs, 2009; Olsen, 2012).

Threats to Validity

It is anticipated that some confounding variables may indeed compete with the study’s predictor variable to influence outcome variables, hence adversely influencing study outcomes and ensuring that findings cannot be generalized to a wider population. The researcher intends to deal with this threat by ensuring that all the variables in this study are obtained from previous empirical research studies and tested for relevance before inclusion into the questionnaire instruments. In addressing the threats to the external validity or the degree to which the findings of an empirical study can be generalized to and across individuals, settings, and times (Sekaran, 2006), the researcher will exercise rigor in ensuring the non-probability sampling techniques used in the study come up with a sample that is representative of the population. For example, the researcher will ensure minimal interaction with potential participants during the selection phase to substantially reduce researcher selection bias.

Operationalization of Constructs

Drawing from the review of the literature on the broad topic of SLT and employee performance and productivity, the preliminary constructs intended for measurement will be operationalized as follows: leader adaptability behaviors will be operationalized using components of SLT (S1=telling, S2=selling, S3=participating, S4=delegating); employee performance will be operationalized in terms of activities (actions taken by employees to produce plans), accomplishments (outputs of employee activities), and outcomes (final results of the employee’s engagement with the organization); and productivity will be operationalized in terms of absenteeism, turnover rate, organizational profitability, and quality of work (see Workforce Compensation and Performance Service, 2011 for employee performance variables). Consequently, the predictor variable for the proposed study is leader adaptability according to the SLT, while the outcome variables include employee performance and productivity in purely multicultural work settings.


From the review and analysis of literature on SLT, it is evident that there still exists a gap in the literature on how SLP can be used by leaders to influence employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings. Part of this problem, it seems, has been triggered by the overreliance of transactional and transformational leadership approaches in investigating how leadership affects employee performance in multicultural settings (Brain & Lewis, 2004; Furtado et al., 2011), as well as the realization that the few studies interested in assessing a cultural component in SLT (e.g., Avery & Ryan, 2002; Silverthorne, 2000) have focused attention to investigating the value of SLT in non–Western cultures rather than in purely multicultural work settings.

Drawing from these deficits and gaps in knowledge, it is recommended that a study be undertaken to address how leader adaptability behaviors as demonstrated in SLT influence employee performance and productivity in multicultural contexts. Such a study will go a long way in addressing the leadership needs of employees in multicultural settings for optimal performance and productivity.

Lastly, in cognizance of the fact that a workforce comprising employees from diverse backgrounds obliges attention to subordinate leadership preferences (Brain & Lewis, 2004), it is also recommended that findings of the proposed study be implemented in practice settings to provide multicultural organizations with a framework of knowing which leadership behaviors in the SL continuum have the capacity to positively influence employees in multicultural settings so that leaders in these organizations can adapt their leadership behaviors and styles accordingly. It is contended that such a framework can only lead to optimal employee and organizational outcomes.


This paper has analyzed relevant literature to demonstrate the need to undertake a study on how leader adaptability behaviors influence employee performance and productivity in multicultural work contexts. There exists a profound gap in the literature on how situational leadership can be used in multicultural work contexts to spur employee performance and productivity in spite of the fact that previous research studies have demonstrated the need for leaders to identify important situational and contextual factors that may trigger the urge to adapt to different leadership behaviors and styles for optimal employee performance and productivity. Consequently, it is felt that this research will add a new perspective to the literature by attempting to establish how various leader adaptability behaviors demonstrated in SLT function to influence employee performance and productivity in multicultural work settings. Such a study is important in this day and age as most companies are globalizing, hence increasingly relying on multicultural workforces to drive their growth and competitive agenda.


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