The proposed study rests on the specific theoretical framework linked to the issue under research and formulated research questions. As stated previously, the study aims at investigating the major aspects of transformational leadership and implicit leadership theory and how these frameworks can be applied to improve the functioning of cross-cultural teams. It means that the framework should include the possible interactions between these issues and promote an improved understanding of the nature of relations between them. At the same time, it should establish the basis for further assumptions and investigation by offering the mode of how the selected aspects interact. For this reason, the choice of the theoretical framework for the research is fundamental for the credibility of findings and the ability to acquire relevant and practical outcomes.
The study’s theoretical framework was formulated considering the four major variables vital for the research and necessary to answer the main question. These include:
- Independent variable 1: transformational leadership methods
- Independent variable 2: individualized consideration
- Dependent variable: corporate culture
- Mediating variable: cognitive representations of individuals.
The variables are selected regarding the research questions formulated within the study, objective, and purpose. The analysis of the literature and data collected in the course of the study help to make the assumption of how the variables interact. It is assumed that the corporate culture of a particular organization (DV) is impacted by the transformational leadership methods (IV1) and individualized consideration (IV2) as an approach to influence individuals, and, at the same time, their relationship is mediated by the cognitive representations of individuals belonging to a team (MV). For this reason, the theoretical framework for the following study can be represented in the following way:
The scheme shows relations between the introduced variables and supports the formulated assumption that transformational leadership supported by specific methods can impact the corporate culture and guarantee the appropriate changes in individuals.
The selected variables are also discussed and determined by other researchers, so their definitions can be offered to understand their nature, scope, and importance. Thus, the idea of transformational leadership was first introduced by James McGregor Burns, who emphasized that leaders following this style can inspire individuals to alter their expectations, visions, and motivations to work together and achieve existing goals (Svendsen et al., 2018). It can be determined as a specific leadership approach causing changes in individuals, groups, and social systems (Shepherd & Williamson, 2022). The methods include various ways to encourage followers, motivate them, and promote positive change.
Individualized consideration is a method of transformational leadership that can be used in various conditions. The existing literature defines it as a method implying focusing on each individual’s needs to create the desired atmosphere and avoid conflicts (Groves, 2020). For this reason, it becomes an effective and practical way to manage cross-cultural teams. In terms of the study, it is also viewed as the tool to form the desired corporate culture and attain the needed changes in individuals’ views, methods, and perspectives on a particular goal. It is also an essential aspect of forming the desired attitude to working in a collective and meeting diverse needs.
Corporate culture is also a broadly discussed concept viewed as a fundamental aspect of any organization’s work. Numerous researchers and authors offer their vision of the concept and how it influences the work of companies. Driskill (2018) defines it as a set of beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes determining how employees and management interact and work together to support the organization’s evolution. This definition of the dependent variable is accepted for the given study as it gives a clear understanding of the major goals. At the same time, the definition implies behaviors and attitudes which can be influenced by transformational leadership and its methods.
Finally, cognitive representations are also discussed by numerous authors as part of implicit leadership theory. The concept is defined as existing and inbuilt visions and perceptions of the world peculiar to employees belonging to different cultures (Guo, 2018). Any person has multiple cognitive representations linked to different issues which continue to evolve and affect everyday interactions (Guo, 2018). For this reason, these visions critically influence the work of collectives and organizations as their impact the effectiveness of interactions and employees’ ability to function regarding the existing corporate culture. Leaders’ ability to consider these representations regarding the implicit theory might increase the effectiveness of teambuilding efforts and contribute to the establishment of the desired corporate culture. For this reason, it is viewed as a mediating variable that should be considered during the study.
Altogether, the theoretical framework of the study is formed by the mediated variable (corporate culture), two independent variables (transformational leadership, individualized consideration), and a mediating variable (cognitive representations). Their interactions are critical for answering the research questions and achieving the research objectives. The definitions outlined above are taken for the following discussion and interpretation of findings necessary for accomplishing the research and acquiring reliable data.
Research Design and Procedures
The proposed research is based on the quantitative research paradigm. For this reason, the survey distributed online was used as the main data collection method. It was designed to determine the respondents’ visions of leadership styles, their effectiveness, and methods that can be used to form the desired corporate culture. The list of questions helped to acquire information about the outlined variables and investigate the nature of relations between them. Designing the survey, the research questions and goals of the study were considered. Participants were asked to answer a set of questions and rate specific statements about the four variables vital for the research and its results. It was decided to include statements linked to transformational leadership, corporate culture, and significant methods that might effectively cultivate a specific corporate culture. It helped to collect the information necessary for answering the research questions.
First, the survey scheme using Microsoft Word was created. Second, it was necessary to form a list of applications with their emails to provide them with the invitation to participate in the study. All respondents received the invitation letter via email. After the consent was provided, they were considered participants of the study. The research presupposed that surveys should be sent online for participants to complete and offer the needed information. For this reason, all individuals selected for the research and ready to share information were contacted by using email. The survey was supported by the brief instruction and guarantees of the confidentiality of data shared with the researcher. After the completion, the files with the blanks were sent back to the researcher to process the acquired information, structure it, and use the SPSS tools to provide clear and detailed results. In general, the research design and the procedures were conducted regarding the goals of the investigation, initial plans, and the desired results. It helped to find necessary pieces of evidence to prove the major assumptions and answer the formulated research questions.
Sources of Data
The research implied using both primary and secondary data. First, the credible sources such as academic articles, scholarly books, and reports provided information about the selected variables, their influence on each other, and the nature of relations between them. Using these sources, it was possible to create the theoretical framework for the research and ensure its increased practical value and utility. These data sources were used at the initial stage of working on the study as it was critical to collect the enhanced vision of the researched topic.
Second, the study implied involving two groups of participants to collect information and use it for making conclusions. First of all, employees from cross-cultural teams were viewed as the source of critical information about the work of such units and the factors influencing it. The information was collected by using a survey distributed online. It allowed the researcher to save money and costs and avoid unnecessary contacts and sophistication. Data provided by this cohort is vital for discussing the role of leadership and its ability to organize the work of diverse teams in a modern environment.
Leaders and managers of cross-cultural teams were also included in the research and viewed as an essential source of data. They were also suggested to undertake a survey and answer the provided questions. The blanks were distributed online in the same manner as with the previous group. The primary data provided by them is also vital for concluding about the role of leaders in supporting and organizing the work of the collective, and their visions of transformational leadership, its advantages and disadvantages in modern organizations. In such a way, the study employed three significant data sources to increase the relevance of the findings.
The non-probability, purposive sampling was used to select participants of the study. First of all, it helped to ensure that only individuals with the necessary experiences were included in the project. Second, it helped to avoid working with unnecessary information coming from people who did not have the background of working in cross-cultural teams with a specific corporate culture. The given sampling technique became the appropriate choice for the project and contributed to the increased credibility of the collected data. The sample size comprised 250 individuals with the necessary knowledge and who were ready to share private data about their experiences. It was expected that the given number of individuals would suffice the goals of the study and help to answer the major research questions formulated previously.
Furthermore, to answer the research questions, it was necessary to select would-be participants with experience working in cross-cultural teams. For this reason, it was vital to send invitations to participants who met these inclusion criteria. At the same time, it was expected that not all who got an invitation would agree to participate in the research. For this reason, about 350 invitations were sent online and using emails to people who had the necessary experiences or cross-cultural teams’ managers. As a result, a required quantity of participants was acquired. Although the number of positive answers was higher, it was decided to stop engaging new participants and ensure 250 employees and managers were involved. It helped to avoid the unnecessary complexity of working with massive data portions and guaranteed the desired level of credibility. All available and gathered data was utilized in the research and used to make conclusions.
Methods and Instruments of Data Gathering
As stated previously, the data was obtained by using a survey designed to meet the study’s objectives and answer the research questions. The survey was divided into five major sections. The first one was devoted to the general questions to acquire an understanding of who provided the information. The remaining four parts were introduced to acquire information about the four variables, such as transformational leadership, cognitive representations, individualized consideration, and corporate culture. The five-point Likert scale was used to determine the degree to which respondents agreed or disagreed with a particular statement (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). This approach to collecting data provided the researcher with the information necessary to conclude the relevance of a particular statement and how it is related to the topic of research.
Data collecting procedures were organized following the major ethical standards of the research. The survey did not contain questions that might damage a participant or result in the deterioration of his/her current state. The blanks provided by participants via emails were copied and saved to avoid occasional data loss as it might damage outcomes and credibility of findings. As a result, the given approach helped to acquire up to date, relevant, and credible data linked to transformational leadership and its ability to impact the organizational culture of organizations. The data was collected in survey forms, with the following processing of results and acquired numbers by using the statistical tools and analysis.
As stated previously, the offered research study implies using quantitative research methods to collect and process data. For this reason, the analysis of the acquired results was performed by using the SPSS software. The choice of the method is explained by the tool’s effectiveness, reliability, and ability to meet research objectives formulated within a study. First of all, the descriptive analysis of the acquired information was performed. It helped to determine the characteristics of variables and the frequency of specific responses linked to them. Moreover, the demographic data provided by the respondents were analyzed to understand the current trends. Furthermore, the regression analysis using SPSS was performed. It allowed the researcher to examine the statistical relationship between dependent and independent variables formulated in the course of the research and conclude about the nature of relations between them. Finally, the correlation analysis was made. It helped to reveal the power and strength of relations between two numerically measured variables and conclude whether they are interconnected.
The selected methods of analyzing quantitative data are critical for the research. They contributed to the increased relevance of findings, their applicability, and practical utility. At the same time, the results acquired by using the SPSS tool and statistical analyses established the basis for the further discussion of the issue under research and conclusion about the interrelation of the outlined variables. For this reason, the chosen statistical treatment is viewed as an effective and appropriate one. It also aligns with the selected paradigm, theoretical framework, and the research purpose.
Creswell, J., & Creswell, D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.
Driskill, G., (2018). Organizational culture in action: A cultural analysis workbook (3rd ed.). Routledge.
Groves, K. S. (2020). Testing a moderated mediation model of transformational leadership, values, and organization change. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 27(1), 35–48.
Guo, S. (2018) The review of the implicit followership theories (IFTs). Psychology, 9, 623-632.
Shepherd, Q., & Williamson, S. (2022). The secret to transformational leadership. Compassionate Leadership LLC.
Svendsen, M., Unterrainer, C., & Jønsson, T. F. (2018). The effect of transformational leadership and job autonomy on promotive and prohibitive voice: A two-wave study. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 25(2), 171–183.