Paternalistic Leadership and Subordinate Responses: Establishing a Leadership Model in Chinese Organizations

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School Research Paper

Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 7, pp. 89-117, 2004

29 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2007

See all articles by Bor-Shiuan Cheng

Bor-Shiuan Cheng

National Taiwan University

Li-Fang Chou

Yuan Ze University

Tsung-Yu Wu

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

Min-Ping Huang

Yuan Ze University

Jiing-Lih Larry Farh

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Management & Organization

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Bor-Shiuan and Chou, Li-Fang and Wu, Tsung-Yu and Huang, Min-Ping and Farh, Jiing-Lih Larry, Paternalistic Leadership and Subordinate Responses: Establishing a Leadership Model in Chinese Organizations. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School Research Paper; Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 7, pp. 89-117, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007398

Bor-Shiuan Cheng (Contact Author)

National Taiwan University ( email )

1 Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road
Taipei 106, 106
Taiwan

Li-Fang Chou

Yuan Ze University ( email )

135, Far-East Rd., Chung-Li
Taoyuan, ROC
Taiwan

Tsung-Yu Wu

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology ( email )

Keelung Road
Sec 43
Taipei
Taiwan

Min-Ping Huang

Yuan Ze University ( email )

135, Far-East Rd., Chung-Li
Taoyuan, ROC
Taiwan

Jiing-Lih Larry Farh

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Management & Organization ( email )

2416
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong, PRC
852-2358 7735 (Phone)

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