Faculty Profile

Gillian Warner-Søderholm

Associate Professor - Department of Communication and Culture


Dr. Gillian Warner-Søderholm is a full time faculty member of the BI Norwegian Business School, and is also the head of the department of Communication, Culture and Languages. She also holds the position of Associate Professor, teaching on a number of programs in intercultural communication, international business, Scandinavian culture, study strategies, negotiations, and presentations. She holds a Bachelor degree in Education and Administration, a Master’s degree in English Literature, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Consultancy and a Doctorate in Business Administration in Culture and Leadership. Gillian is originally from England and has lived and worked in Norway for 18 years.

Gillian was born and grew up in Kent, in the south of England. After college she worked for an international retailing company on-board cruise ships, and in the Miami and London offices, working on staff training programmes, management coaching and negotiations with international suppliers world-wide. Gillian moved from a business teaching environmnet to an academic environmnet in 1993, lecturing in business studies programmes for mid-kent college.

In 1995 Gillian moved to Oslo with her husband and family and started teaching English and cross cultural communicatons for the Norwegian School of Trade and Retail management, the Norwegian Houses of Parliament, the Insurance Academy, the Central Bank of Norway and the Norwegian Armed Forces. Much of her time has been spent combining executive language training programmes for the private and public sector with part time lecturing for the Norwegian School of Management BI. Gillian feels that this has been the secret to her success at BI - combining real life international work and experience with academic teaching. ( Gillian has won 4 'Lecturer of the Year Awards' ).

Gillian still maintains links with international companies and the Norwegian Houses of Parliament and works as a guest lecture in the public and private sector for some hours every month. In addition she has lectured at Hønefoss University College in American and English literature and Intercultural Communications since 2003. Gillian claims that the secret to her loving life and loving her work is the support and enthusiasm she gets from her fantastic husband Trond and also from their two daughters Annika and Emily.

She was awarded a 'top ten place in the ' European doctorate paper competition' by EDAMBA and was also nominated in 2012 for a place on the leadership foundation's top international leaders in Norway competition.

Teaching areas

Cross cultural management, International Business, Intercultural Communication in English, Presentations and negotiations, Business English, English and American Literature, study strategies.


Warner-Søderholm, Gillian; Minelgaite, Inga & Littrell, Romie Frederick (2020)

From LBDQXII to LBDQ50: preferred leader behavior measurement across cultures

Journal of Management Development, 39(1), s. 68- 81. Doi: 10.1108/JMD-03-2019-0067 - Full text in research archive

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to refine and validate the most widely used leader behavior measurement instrument, LBDQXII, into a more parsimonious instrument for assessing cognitive templates of preferred leader behavior across cultures. Design/methodology/approach: The 100-item LBDQXII survey was administered to 6,451 participants from 14 countries; these data were used to refine the survey. Findings: The shorter survey instrument is a valid and reliable tool for assessing preferred leader behavior. Four periods in the LBDQXII “evolution” are identified: emergence, expansion, stagnation and revival. Research limitations/implications: The new LBDQ50 can be used to collect data across cultures, contributing to both global management development and scholarly studies. Practical implications: This project corresponds to calls to shorten the well-established leader behavior instrument into a measurement tool that is reliable and valid across cultures and languages. This can be administered by both private and public organizations, contributing to greater effectiveness. Furthermore, it retains its scholarly scope encompassing follower-centric studies of leadership. Social implications: Leadership processes are found in all aspects of life and can be better understood and improved within and across cultures using the shorter version. Originality/value: An efficient instrument to measure preferred leadership behavior across and within cultures. The availability of the LBDQ50 will allow practitioners and researchers to advance understanding of preferred leadership behavior as a predictor of organizational effectiveness. Most such instruments are overly-long, which hinders data collection opportunities. This newly developed instrument can lead to better response rates and easier applicability in organizational settings.

Grenness, Tor & Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2018)

Project GLOBE differences in values and practices scores - mind the gap: the case of the nordics

Journal of International Doctoral Research, 7(1), s. 116- 142.

Paik, Yongsun; Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Huse, Morten (2018)

In search of an institutional framework for anticorruption: Lessons from Scandinavia

Thunderbird International Business Review, s. 1- 14. Doi: 10.1002/tie.22028

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Søderholm, Annika (2018)

Ansattes preferanser for lederkommunikasjon: Finnes det regionale forskjeller i Norge?

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 21(4), s. 28- 39. - Full text in research archive

I denne artikkelen spør vi hva slags lederkommunikasjon som er foretrukket av ansatte i Norge, og om det finnes regionale forskjeller. Dette er viktig å undersøke fordi manglende forståelse for ansattes (følgeres) preferanser for kommunikasjonsadferd fra en leder lett kan svekke organisasjonen på mange områder. Derfor er aktivt følgeskap (followership) i økende grad trukket frem i litteraturen som drivkraften i organisasjoner som et alternativ til lederskap. Forskning viser at ansattes preferanse for lederkommunikasjon predikerer lederes suksess (Judge, Piccolo, & Iles, 2004). Hvilke typer lederkommunikasjon foretrekker ansatte i Norge som ‘følgere av en leder’? Vi viser i denne studien til empiriske data og analyser som svarer på dette. Undersøkelsen er basert på et utvalg på 801 norske følgere ved bruk av LBDQXII-instrumentet (Littrell, 2013), Dette er et godt validert spørreskjema som operasjonaliserer og tester ELT (eksplisitt ledelsesteori) med et følgersentrert perspektiv på ledelse og kommunikasjon. Studien setter søkelyset på hva slags type lederkommunikasjon og lederadferd følgere anser som viktig. Hovedfunn i studien viser at norske ansatte foretrekker 1) klar kommunikasjon for bedre konfliktløsning, 2) kommunikasjon som viser hensyn til andre, og 3) tydelig kommunisert problemløsning. Studien viser også at de tre elementene som er minst viktig for ansatte i Norge, er 1) eksplisitt kommunikasjon om produktivitet, 2) mye snakk om fremtidig planlegging, samt 3) bruk av rik overtalelsesretorikk. Studien finner også interessante regionale forskjeller i Norge, spesielt gjelder dette i hvilken grad en leder burde kommunisere med følgere for å finne løsninger på hverdagslige, jobbrelaterte problemer, og i hvilken grad lederen kommuniserer eksplisitt om produktivitet. Praktiske implikasjoner oppsummeres i form av fem konkrete råd til ledere som ønsker å kommunisere i tråd med følgeres preferanser.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian; Bertsch, Andy & Søderholm, Annika (2018)

Data on social media use related to age, gender and trust constructs of integrity, competence, concern, benevolence and identification

Data in Brief, 18, s. 696- 699. Doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.03.065 - Full text in research archive

This article contains data collected from self-report surveys of respondents to measure 1) social media usage, 2) age, 3) gender and 4) trust, measured within five major trust constructs of a) Integrity, b) Competence, c) Concern, d) Benevolence and e) Identification. The data includes all instruments used, SPSS syntax, the raw survey data and descriptive statistics from the analyses. Raw data was entered into SPSS software and scrubbed using appropriate techniques in order to prepare the data for analysis. We believe that our dataset and instrument may give important insights related to computers in human behavior, and predicting trust antecedents in social media use such as age, gender, number of hour online and choice of content provider. We have also created a parsimonious five factor trust instrument developed from the extant literature for future research. Hence, this newly developed trust instrument can be used to measure trust not only in social media, but also in other areas such as healthcare, economics and investor relations, CSR, management and education. Moreover, the survey items developed to measure social media use are concise and may be applied to measure social media use in other contexts such as national cultural differences, marketing and tourism. For interpretation and discussion of the data and constructs, please see original article entitled “Who trusts social media” (Warner-Søderholm et al., 2018) [1].

Littrell, Romie Frederick; Warner-Søderholm, Gillian, Minelgaite, Inga, Ahmadi, Yaghoub, Dalati, Serene, Bertsch, Andrew & Kuskova, Valentina (2018)

Explicit preferred leader behaviours across cultures: Instrument development and validation.

Journal of Management Development, 37(3), s. 243- 257. Doi: 10.1108/JMD-09-2017-0294

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a reliable and valid field survey research instrument to assess national cultural cognitive templates of preferred leader behaviour dimensions to facilitate education, development, and training of managerial leaders operating across diverse organisations. Design/methodology/approach - The study consists of focus group evaluations of the validity and the translations to local languages of a survey instrument assessing leader behaviour preferences in business organisations. Findings - The studies find that the survey instrument and its translations are valid and reliable for assessing preferred leader behaviour across national cultures. The length of the survey is problematic, and a new project is underway to produce a shorter version with equivalent reliability and validity. Research limitations/implications - As the research project is long term, at this point, a relatively long survey is available for research, with a shorter version planned for the future. Practical implications - Practical implications include producing and validating a field survey research instrument that is reliable and valid across cultures and languages, and can be employed to improve the understanding, development, and education of managers and leaders of international business organisations. Social implications - Management and leadership processes are employed in all aspects of life, and can be better understood and improved through this research project. Originality/value - The majority of cross-cultural research is leader-centric studies of implicit leader characteristics; this project expands the scope of studies further into follower-centric studies of observed leader behaviour.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian; Bertsch, Andy, Sawe, Everlyn, Lee, Dwight, Wolfe, Trina, Meyer, Josh, Engel, Josh & Fatilua, Vepati Normann (2018)

Who Trusts Social Media?

Computers in Human Behavior, 81, s. 303- 315. Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.12.026 - Full text in research archive

Trust is the foundation of all communication, yet a profound question in business today is how can we psychologically understand trust behaviors in our new digital landscape? Earlier studies in internet and human behavior have shown a significant connection between social media use and user personality (Hughes, Rowe, Batey, & Lee, 2012). Still, the connection between type of online user and their trust values is an under researched area. Today, millions of people globally read newsfeeds and information via their digital networks, but we do not know enough about human behavior related to which specific users of social media actually trust the news they read online. In this study we apply items from five different validated scales to measure trust to investigate to what degree a users' perception of trust varies depending on their gender, age, or amount of time spent using social media. Using a convenience population sample (n = 214) significant differences in levels of trusting behavior were found across gender, age, social media newsfeed preferences and extent of social media use. The findings suggest that women and younger users have the highest expectations for integrity, trusting others and expecting others to show empathy

Nguyen, Hanh Thi Hai; Bertsch, Andy, Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Ondracek, Jim (2017)

Understanding Cultural Factors which Affect Women Serving on Boards of Directors

International Research Journal of Human Resources and Social Sciences, 4(1), s. 278- 305. - Full text in research archive

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Cooper, Charles J (2016)

Be Careful What You Wish for: Mapping Nordic Cultural Communication Practices & Values in the Management Game of Communication

International Journal of Business and Management, 11(11), s. 48- 58. Doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v11n11p48 - Full text in research archive

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Grenness, Tor (2016)

Kulturelle normer, selvsensur og ytringsfrihet: finner vi regionale forskjeller?

Alm, Kristian; Brown, Richard Mark & Røyseng, Sigrid (red.). Kommunikasjon og ytringsfrihet i organisasjoner

Seierstad, Cathrine; Warner-Søderholm, Gillian, Mariateresa, Torchia & Huse, Morten (2015)

Increasing the number of women on boards: The role of actors and processes

Journal of Business Ethics Doi: 10.1007/s10551-015-2715-0

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian; Bertsch, Andy & Abdullah, ABM (2014)

Doing Business in Norway: An International Perspective

Asian Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management, 4(11), s. 32- 45. Doi: 10.5958/2249-7307.2014.00971.2 - Full text in research archive

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian & Kriger, Mark P. (2014)

The Art of Dealing with Religious and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

International Journal of Business and Management, 9(10), s. 149- 160. Doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v9n10p149

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2014)

Project GLOBE's place in intercultural communication theories

Poutiainen, Saila (red.). Theoretical Turbulence in Intercultural Communication Studies

Bertsch, Andy & Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2013)

Exploring societal cultural values and human rights and development

Sage Open, 3, s. 1- 13. Doi: 10.1177/2158244013502988 - Full text in research archive

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2013)

Beyond a Literature Review of Hall’s Context Dimension: ScaleDevelopment, Validation & Empirical Findings Within a Norwegian Study

International Journal of Business and Management, 8(10), s. 27- 40. Doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v8n10p27 - Full text in research archive

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2012)

Was the Grass Trampled When the Two Elephants Fought? Measuring Societal Cultures: Project GLOBE vs. Hofstede

Journal of International Doctoral Research, 1(1), s. 74- 96.

In quantitative-based research within the field of societal cultural studies, two of the foremost research teams, namely Hofstede (2001) and House et al. (2004), have held the limelight during the last half decade. During this period, numerous research journals have published critiques of these two approaches to quantifying cultural dimensions. These are critiques written either both ‘camps’ in a written battle, or are reviews written by other scholars who show a preference for either Hofstede or Project GLOBE’s research. The title of this article refers to Smith’s seminal paper (Smith, 2006) and, to an African proverb that states that when two elephants (two great forces) meet, the grass (the research environment) can be damaged. Hence, this article has two aims: Firstly, to offer a brief literature review of the research environment of cross-cultural studies. Secondly, to review this ‘battlefield’.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2012)

Culture Matters: Norwegian Cultural Identity within a Scandinavian Context

Sage Open, 2012(2), s. 1- 12. Doi: 10.1177/2158244012471350

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2012)

But we're not all Vikings! Nordic societal cultural practices

Journal of Intercultural Communication

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2010)

Regionale forskjeller i forretningskultur i Norge "glokal" kommunikasjon og kultur

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 13(3), s. 20- 28.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2010)

"Global" kommunikasjon og kultur: Regionale forskjeller i forretningskultur i Norge

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 13(3), s. 20- 28.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2015)

interkulturelle utfordringer på arbeidplassen


Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2011)

Norske ledere tror de er gode i språk

E24 og VGnett [Avis]

Bang, Tor & Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2013)

The Development of Norwegian PR

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Communication Director, s. 38- 41.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2011)

Standing on the shoulders of Giants or seeing the emporers' new clothes: a critical analysis of project GLOBE

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Intercultural Communication Symposium.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2011)

Measuring Hall's High-Low context dimension:scale development and validation and some initial findings

[Academic lecture]. US colloquium of International Doctoral Research.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2011)

Culture matters: Norwegian cultural identity within a Nordic Context

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Academy of Management Meeting.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2010)

Cultural Mindfulness in the Business English Classroom

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Språk og språkundervisning, 43(1), s. 30- 36.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2010)

The Role of Societal Cultural Practices within Corporate Communication: Opening Pandora’s Box

[Academic lecture]. Corporate and Organizational Communication Conference.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2010)

Mapping Contemporary Nordic Cultural Practices

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Network for intercultural Communication.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2008)

Understanding Cultural Differences in societal cultures: applying Hofstede's measures: report to research colloquium

[Report]. Henley Business School.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2008)

Comparing national values

[Academic lecture]. Reading University Research Seminar.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2008)

Was the grass trampled when the two elephants fought

[Academic lecture]. Henley Business School- Wisconsin Seminar.

Warner-Søderholm, Gillian (2008)

Paradigm mapping societal cultural studies

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Intercultural Communication Seminar.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2010 Henley Management College D.B.A.
2005 and mellomfag, University of Oslo M.A.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2021 - Present USN Professor and Head of Department
2021 - Present BI Adjunct position
2012 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor
2012 - 2021 BI Norwegian Business School Head of Department