Investigating followers' perceptions of transformational leadership in multicultural workforces: a New Zealand case study
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The unprecedented globalisation and large scale immigration in recent years has transformed the demographic composition and employment practices in New Zealand to a great extent. There is now considerable ethnic diversity to recruit from particularly in Auckland as well as an increasing dependence on skilled migrants. Transformational leadership has been widely recognised by scholars as the most suitable leadership style in global multicultural contexts. The main aim of this dissertation was to examine if ethnically diverse participants’ perceptions of leadership align with the behaviours identified as transformational or transactional in the New Zealand context. The project was also intersectionally sensitive of the influences other demographic characteristics may have on the perceptions of participants. A descriptive interpretative paradigm was adopted in this study to discover the perceptions of the followers from different ethnicities towards transformational leadership. A single case study was undertaken in the Debt Management Department of an international organisation in Auckland, New Zealand. The main method of data collection was face-to- face semi-structured interviews along with field notes and company reports. The findings indicated that followers have a strong preference for transformational leadership in a multicultural New Zealand work setting. It therefore supports previous studies on the suitability of transformational leadership outside the American context. This study has important implications in regards to development of transformational leadership behaviour training programs. It also highlights the area of leader-follower relationship duration and its effects on transformational leadership outcomes as a potential field for future research.