Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe research which aimed to discover whether there were differences in leadership practices and perceptions of good leadership practice between German and UK organisations.
Design/methodology/approach – A survey based on analysis of self-assessment documents submitted for the European Quality Award or its equivalents in Germany and the UK was distributed to 300 organisations in Germany and the UK. A response rate of 20 per cent was achieved. The survey was also distributed to 20 assessors.
Findings – There were more differences in perceptions of good practice between German organisations recognised for excellence and German organisations not using the Excellence Model than between German and UK organisations. In the UK, there were more differences between what was described as good practice and what was described as usual practice among organisations not using the Excellence Model than among organisations recognised for excellence. German assessors differed in their view of good practices from UK assessors and German organisations.
Research limitations/implications – The number of respondents was small, the organisations which chose to respond may not be typical and responses may not be accurate. A larger survey would help establish the generalisability of the findings. Focus groups would be particularly helpful in understanding the difference in perspective of the assessors.
Practical implications – An awareness of Anglo German differences is helpful for managers with cross-border teams. The difference in assessor perceptions suggests that the training offered by the EFQM has not resulted in a common understanding.
Originality/value – The paper is valuable both to academics who are interested in cross cultural leadership and to practitioners wrestling with the issues posed by cross-cultural teams.