This multi-level study examined the relationship between leaders’ global mindset with followers’ rating of trust in leader, quality of the leader-member relationship (LMX), and organizational commitment. Complexity of global role and leader distance were also examined as moderating variables.
Data were collected from 78 leader participants and 240 raters from one Fortune 100 multinational organization. A multilevel data analysis was conducted using Hierarchical Linear Modeling. No significant relationships were found between global mindset and ratings of follower trust in leader and quality of the leader-member-relationship. A significant negative relationship was found between global mindset of leaders and follower organizational commitment.
Global roles and physical distance between the leader and the follower did not moderate the relationship between global leadership and outcome variables, however the frequency of interaction between leaders and followers did. Specifically, the involvement of frequency of interaction between leaders and followers increased and strengthened the relationship between global mindset and followers’ ratings of organizational commitment. This supported the notion that without a high amount of interaction, global mindset would not significantly impact ratings of organizational commitment. The relationship between the frequency of leader- follower interaction when a single follower interacted on average with more frequency than others in the group (within), significantly moderated the relationship between global mindset and affect-based trust in leader, LMX, and organizational commitment. Specifically, the involvement of frequency of leader-follower interactions within weakened the relationship between global mindset and affect-based trust, LMX, and organizational commitment as rated by followers. These results indicate that followers who interact on average more frequently with the leader than the rest of the group and the leader who has a global mindset, report lower scores of trust in leader, LMX, and organizational commitment. Because most participants were from a collectivistic culture, these findings are indicative that followers would rather be a part of the group than separate from the group even if that means less interaction with the leader.