Brad Kirkman: Power Distance and Transformational Leadership

Mike interviews Brad Kirkman about his research on how culture affects leadership. Brad discusses how the cultural value of power distance affects how followers respond to leaders. When followers espouse low power distance values, transformational leadership greatly affects follower perceptions of fairness and citizenship behaviors.

Bradley L. Kirkman is the John E. Pearson Associate Professor of Management in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research centers on global virtual teams, work team effectiveness, leadership, and international management. He has also worked in the College of Management at The Georgia Institute of Technology and the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He was also a Visiting Associate Professor in the Management and Organizations Group at the University of Western Australia in 2006.

Recommended further readings:

  • Bass, B.M., & Riggio, R.E. (2006). Transformational leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  • Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software for the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Kirkman, B., Chen, G., Farh, J., Chen, Z., & Lowe, K. (2009). Individual power distance orientation and follower reactions to transformational leaders: A cross-level, cross-cultural examination. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 744-764.
  • Kirkman, B.L., Lowe, K.B., & Gibson, C.B. (2006). A quarter century of Culture’s Consequences: A review of empirical research incorporating Hofstede’s cultural value framework. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(3), 285-320.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington. He can be reached via