The Influence of Leadership Practices on Organizational Culture

Leadership practices are not only instrumental in defining organizational culture but also in sustaining it over time. Leaders are not only responsible for setting strategic goals and driving business results but also for creating a conducive work environment and building a positive culture. We will explore how leadership practices influence organizational culture and discuss key findings from recent research. We will also gain a deeper understanding of the impact leaders have on shaping the culture within their organizations.

How Leadership Practices Influence Organizational Culture

1. Connection Between Leadership and Organizational Culture:

Successful organizations understand that leadership and culture are closely intertwined. Research by Edgar Schein, a prominent organizational psychologist, supports this correlation, suggesting that leadership behaviour directly influences organizational culture and climate. Leaders are the architects who shape the beliefs, values, and norms that become embedded in an organization’s culture.

2. Transformational Leadership and Culture:

Transformational leadership style encourages and energizes followers to attain remarkable results. Studies have shown that transformational leadership positively impacts organizational culture, promoting innovation, collaboration, and employee engagement. A meta-analysis conducted by Wang, Oh, Courtright, and Colbert (2011) found a strong positive relationship between transformational leadership and desirable cultural outcomes.

3. Role Modeling and Behavioral Norms:

Leaders have a significant impact on organizational culture through their role modeling and the establishment of behavioral norms. When leaders exhibit desired values and behaviors consistently, it sets the standard for employees to follow. A study by Treviño, Hartman, and Brown (2000) found that leaders who prioritise ethical behaviour and integrity create a culture that values ethical conduct throughout the organisation.

4. Cultivating Transparency and Meaningful Communication:

Open and transparent communication is a hallmark of effective leadership and a driving force behind a positive organisational culture. When leaders communicate honestly, share information, and encourage feedback, they encourage a culture built on trust and mutual respect. A survey by Gallagher (2020) revealed that organisations with transparent and communicative leaders have higher levels of employee happiness and satisfaction.

5. Developing Individuals to Excel:

Leadership practices that help employees grow have a significant impact on organisational culture. This involves delegating decision-making authority, offering freedom to work, and providing opportunities for growth and development. Research by Conger and Kanungo (1998) shows that organisations with leaders who help to grow the team’s full potential have a culture that values initiative, innovation, and continuous learning.

6. Diversity and Inclusion Leadership:

Leadership practices that prioritise diversity and inclusion create a culture that values diversity of thought, embraces different perspectives, and fosters innovation. A Deloitte study in 2017 found that companies led by inclusive leaders are six times more inclined to exhibit innovation and agility.By promoting diversity and inclusion, leaders cultivate a culture that respects and harnesses the potential of every individual.

7. Encouraging Learning and Growth:

Effective leaders understand the importance of continuous improvement. By encouraging feedback and providing opportunities for professional growth, leaders create a culture that values learning and development. This cultivates a sense of personal and professional fulfilment among employees and establishes a culture focused on growth and excellence.

8. Feedback and Continuous Improvement:

Leaders who prioritise feedback and encourage a culture of continuous improvement drive organisational growth and development. By providing constructive feedback, leaders create a learning environment that values feedback both upward and downward. A study by Smither, London, and Reilly (2005) found that leaders who give regular feedback and actively seek feedback from employees foster a culture that continuously strives for excellence.


Leadership practices have a profound impact on organisational culture. Organizations can cultivate a positive workplace environment that fosters innovation, teamwork, and employee engagement by understanding the relationship between leadership behavior and culture. Transformational leadership, role modelling, open communication, empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and feedback are key practices that shape organisational culture. By adopting these practices, leaders can create a culture that attracts and retains top talent, drives organisational success, and supports the well-being and growth of employees. Organisations can succeed in today’s dynamic business landscape with a strong focus on leadership management and development because it will ultimately shape organizational culture.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *