What's the ideal leader? Managers' visions in three different European countries

M. Pellegrini, Giuseppe Scaratti, P. Pappalardo, S. Tronchet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Following the previous research titled “The Effectiveness of Leadership - the feedback of direct report subordinates as an element of comparison and improvement for the manager” (Pellegrini M. et al.) presented in the recent international congress of Berlin 20-25 July 2008, we decided to delve into this topic by analyzing all data at our disposal. The aim of this research (in a cross-country prospective) is to explore, in great detail, the perceptions of managers concerning what they recognize as the ideal leadership style. The sample consists of a group of 600 European workers and their 100 managers, working in 42 European companies in various sectors (industry, distribution, energy, finance, service, and food). The survey instrument is an on-line questionnaire (126 items) on Leadership-style Grid feedback 360° (Blake and Mouton - Managerial Grid Model). The main focus is on managers and their ideal vision of the most effective leadership style, with comparisons in three different cultural contexts (Italy, Germany and Czech Republic). Analysis of data, by using the non-parametrical method Kruskal Wallis, highlights significant differences between the three groups on the perception of the ideal leadership style, in particular on 9.9 style (χ²(2) = 7.123; p< 0.05 Post hoc analysis p global = 0.05/3 = 0.017; Bonferroni’s correction). We notice that the ideal leader for German managers is oriented towards 9.9 style (mr(D) = 59.59), more than Italian managers’ ideal (mr(I) = 50.13) and Czech managers’ ideal (mr(CZ)= 41.73). We can highlight, in addition, significant differences on 9.1 style (χ²(2) = 14.744; p < 0.01 Post hoc analysis p global = 0.01/3 = 0.003 Bonferroni’s correction) as the ideal leader for Italian managers (mr(I) = 60.47) is more results oriented than the ideal leader for German managers (mr(D) = 40.34). We can also highlight that the ideal leader for Czech managers (mr(CZ) = 60.71) differs from the German ideal (mr(D) = 44.71) on 5.5 style (χ²(2) = 12.428; p <0.01 Post hoc analysis p global = 0.01/3 = 0.003 Bonferroni’s correction). Last of all, European managers (German in particular) are ideally 9.9 oriented (M-Italian = 85,33; M-German = 89,94;M- Czech = 77,65). Italian managers have a concept of the ideal leader being a little more oriented to results and control of their employees (9.1 style). The Ideal leader for Czech managers has a preference for compromise and balance (5.5 style).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Duration: 11 Jul 201016 Jul 2010




  • ideal leader
  • leadership effectiveness
  • managerial grid model


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