Paternalistic Leadership and Subordinate Responses: Establishing a Leadership Model in Chinese Organizations
Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 7, pp. 89-117, 2004
29 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2007
Paternalistic leadership (PL) is the prevalent leadership style in Chinese business organizations. With an approach similar to patriarchy, PL entails an evident and powerful authority that shows consideration for subordinates with moral leadership. Although PL is widespread in Chinese business organizations, very few studies have focused on this leadership style and those that have were simply conceptual analyses and not empirical studies. We sampled 543 subordinates from local businesses in Taiwan to investigate PL, Western transformational leadership, and subordinate responses to these two leadership styles. Our hypotheses were as follows: (1) PL has a significant and unique effect on subordinate responses compared to Western transformational leadership; (2) there exists an interaction between the three elements of PL (benevolence, morality, and authoritarianism)and subordinate responses; and (3) the authority orientation of a subordinate's traditionality has a moderating effect upon the relation between PL and subordinate responses. Statistical analyses generally supported these hypotheses. Directions for follow-up studies are offered and implications for leadership theory and practice are discussed.
Keywords: authoritarian leadership, benevolent leadership, moral leadership, paternalistic leadership, subordinate responses
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