We examined the validity of three leadership approaches in an organization in India. We used a multi-theory and multi-method design to competitively test transformational leadership theory, the nurturant–task leadership model, and a local organization-specific leadership model. Transformation leadership theory is one of the most widely studied and accepted theories in Western countries and is viewed as a universalistic leadership approach. The nurturant–task leadership model was developed in India and viewed as a culture-specific leadership approach. We also developed a local leadership model, called RDO, a pseudonym for the organization, and viewed it as an organization-specific leadership approach, using a qualitative analysis of interview data. The overall results of our qualitative–quantitative work provide strong support for the RDO leadership model, some support for a nurturant–task leadership model, and minimal support for transformational leadership theory. These results suggest that research designs that include a multi-theory, multi-methods approach in a single culture have the potential to increase our understanding of leadership processes.
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