Document Type

Journal Article


Purpose – The aim of this research was to determine whether leadership practices vary between German and UK organisations.

Design/methodology/approach – The author used self-assessment documents submitted by German and UK organisations to the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), to identify leadership practices in both countries. A survey was used to determine whether these practices were commonly used and whether they were regarded as good practice.

Findings – The research found similarities but also differences, e.g. feedback, recognition and communication. Many of the approaches described as good practice by UK organisations, were not described as usual practice. Where modern leadership practices had been adopted in Germany, they appeared to be more consistently deployed.

Research limitations/implications – The research findings indicate changes are happening in Germany, for instance with strategic management more common than found by previous researchers. A longitudinal study could track the adoption of new approaches in both countries. The study does not evaluate the effectiveness of the approaches identified.

Practical implications – Recommendations are made for how the findings may be used in training.

Originality/value – The paper is original in its use of self-assessment documents to identify leadership practices in two European countries. The findings reflect current differences and may be helpful to people working with German and UK colleagues, either in mergers and acquisitions, collaborative research, supply chain or other forms of cooperation, by making them aware of some of the different perceptions they may encounter.