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A cross-cultural analysis of current trends of French and German leadership

  • Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine leadership trends in France and Germany. It is examined whether leadership in both France and Germany is going to become participative in the near future due to increasing internationalization and due to the emergence of a new leadership generation in France and Germany with different expectations and behaviors, namely Millennials. Design/methodology/approach – This thesis comprises three major parts: First, leadership career paths in France and Germany are compared. Second, French and German management cultures are compared and their likelihood of convergence examined. Third, a closer look is taken at inter- as well as intra-generational differences with particular focus on Generation Y/ Millennials – the new leadership generation. Their differences and similarities in comparison with older generations as well as across national cultures are presented and discussed. Findings – The analysis shows that outstanding leadership in both France and Germany seems to be participative. Further, French and German Millennials tend to be more open towards participative leadership than older generations. Nevertheless, participative leadership is more likely to be practiced in Germany than in France. French top managers still share very distinct national career path patterns, providing an elitist reputation and certain privileges. This often leads to rather non-participative, but authoritarian command-and-control based leadership practices in France. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of this thesis include the enormous scope of the topic - not everything could be covered in depth. Further, the up-to-date nature of the data used must be questioned - the incredible speed of change in today’s business world makes even recent research studies outdated within a short period of time. Originality/value – French and German top management career paths as well as French and German management practices have been examined individually as well as comparatively in countless studies. However, different than probably any research study so far, this thesis also includes inter- generational as well as intra-generational differences and similarities in France and Germany in order to reveal future trends. All in all, this thesis provides a broad outline of leadership trends in France and Germany and points out where further research must be carried out in more depth.

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Author:Teresa Schön
Advisor:Nikola Hale
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Release Date:2015/11/26
Tag:French and France; German and Germany; leadership trends
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Andere/Other