About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 887-898
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Workplace diversity implies a variety of challenges for leaders and employees. The mix of people, personalities and cultures contributes towards a dynamic working environment and results in numerous work-related and personal preferences that have to be accommodated.

This article examines the whole-brain theory’s relevance to leadership and it’s influence on communication in the organisation. It provides an overview of the brain preferences (dominance) of employees; to indicate whether brain preferences between genders and occupational categories (academic versus administrative staff) differ; and to elaborate on whether or not a correlation exists between the variables of brain preference, preferred communication and preferred leadership styles. In other words, do people with left or right brain dominance prefer different communication and leadership styles? The focus is to relate the theoretical foundations of these differences and preferences against the whole-brain theory of Ned Herrmann (1989).

Survey research was conducted, based on a proportionate stratified random sample which represented the strata of male and female academic and administrative staff members of an academic institution. Cronbach alpha, chi-square tests as well as frequency analyses between the variables and correlations were applied in the analysis of collected data.

Findings of the research endorse the facts that everything people do depends on both our physiological (in general) and neurological activities (in particular). These findings have resulted in the assumptions that knowledge of the brain preferences of employees can be applied as a mechanism for the improvement of relationships, communication styles and improved work performance in organisational contexts; and that knowledge of this nature will improve the understanding of people and relationships in organisations.
brain dominance, brain preference, communication styles, diversity, ned herrmann.