The Role of Cross-Cultural Communication Competence

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Dr. Alexi Matveev
College of Staten Island
New York, NY, USA

Dr. Elena Lvina
Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


New theoretical frameworks are needed to better understand effective transformational leadership in different cultural contexts. In this article we illustrate the relationship between transformational leadership and the cross-cultural communication competence frame. We show how national culture orientations and cross-cultural communication competence affect the full range leadership framework and transformational leadership dimensions. Attributes of effective leadership and the choice of communication strategies vary for different cultural contexts; however, the charismatic or value-based leadership dimension contributes the most to universally perceived effective leadership styles. We draw attention to the importance of transformational leadership research utilizing the cross-cultural communication competence construct.


Transformational leaders rely heavily on their rhetorical skills in order to articulate a vision and create meaning for their followers. While the leader's message is important, the process by which it is communicated appears to be just as significant. The communication style is a critical distinguishing factor in whether the leader’s message will be remembered and endorsed. Flauto (1994) determined that every leadership dimension (charisma, individual consideration, intellectual stimulation) was positively correlated with the communication competence construct. Implicit in this assumption is the belief that leader’s communication competence is a prerequisite for effective leadership (Barge, 1994). Stigall (2005) found that individuals who are perceived as emergent leaders have significantly greater self-reported and other-reported communication competence. This...
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