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Gender and cultural influences on expected leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field: transformational and transactional leadership styles.

Introduction

Much has been written about leadership in the fields of organizational communication, management, and applied psychology. Due to the process of globalization, the contemporary workplace has become more and more culturally diverse. Thus, conducting leadership research in the international context is necessary (Scandura & Dorfman, 2004). In addition, contemporary leadership studies have paid much attention to gender impacts on leadership because gender diversity is also an important diversity issue in the contemporary workplace (e.g, Ritter & Yoder, 2004). Despite the importance of such an issue, gender and cultural impacts on leadership in the public relations field are under-investigated. As of yet, only a few leadership studies (e.g., Aldoory, 1998; Aldoory & Toth, 2004) in the public relations field have been focused on gender impact on leadership styles. Aldoory (1998) argued that female leadership in public relations should deserve more scholarly attention because of the process of feminization in this field.

Aldoory and Toth (2004) studied gender influences on expected transformational and transactional leadership styles in the U.S. public relations field. The results of their study are noteworthy because small but significant differences were found between male and female participants' perceptions about the effectiveness of different leadership styles. Thus, their study has "helped close a gap in an area of research that has not been covered in public relations" (Aldoory & Toth, p. 180). However, gender and cultural impacts on transformational and transactional leadership styles in other cultures need further investigation. In order to expand the understanding of gender impacts on leadership styles in the international setting, this study compares male and female Taiwanese public relations practitioners' expected leadership styles. The next section of this paper reviews literature about transformational and transactional leadership styles, gender and leadership in the public relations field, and the relationships between culture, gender, and leadership.

Literature Review

Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles

Burns (1978) was the first researcher who proposed transformational and transactional leadership styles. Transactional leadership involves an exchange relationship between leaders and followers. Different from transactional leadership, transformational leadership involves motivating followers to achieve exceptional performance. Bass (1985) discussed transformational leadership in his book, Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. According to Bass (1985), organizational leaders who use transformational leadership can encourage their employees to perform beyond expectations. Bass (1990) further discussed the differences between the transformational and transactional leadership styles in the third edition of Handbook of Leadership. According to Bass (1990), "transactional leaders approach followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign contributions. Such transactions comprise the bulk of the relationships among leaders and followers" (p. 23). He further explained that "the transformational leader also recognizes the need for a potential follower, but he or she goes further, seeking to satisfy higher needs, in terms of Maslow's (1954) hierarchy of needs, to engage the full person of the follower" (Bass, 1990, p. 23).

Similar to Bass (1990), Hackman and Johnson (2004) distinguished these two leadership styles based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs in the fourth edition of their book, Leadership: A communication perspective. According to Maslow, five hierarchically arranged human needs (from the lower level to higher level) exist: physiological, safety, belonging and love, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Before higher level needs are satisfied, lower level needs must be satisfied first (as cited in Hackman & Johnson, 2004). According to Hackman and Johnson, the major distinction between transformational leadership and transactional leadership is based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They argue:
 The transactional leader is most concerned with the
 satisfaction of physiological, safety, and belonging
 needs ... Transformational leaders also attempt to
 satisfy the basic needs of followers, but they go
 beyond mere exchange by engaging the total person
 in an attempt to satisfy the higher-level needs of
 self-esteem and self-actualization (p. 89).


Transactional leaders communicate with their followers in a more passive way by rewarding them and maintaining the status quo. Transformational leaders communicate with their followers in a more active way and transform their followers by providing a sense of mission, inspiration, and intellectual stimulation (Hackman and Johnson, 2004).

In the last decade, many leadership studies have focused on either transformational leadership or both leadership styles. Thus, transformational and transactional leadership styles have provided a paradigm for leadership studies since 1990. For example, several contemporary leadership studies (e.g., Aldoory & Toth, 2004; Antonakis, Avolio, & Sivasubramaniam, 2003; Barbuto, 2005; Hautala, 2005) attempted to discuss the factors which affect transformational leadership or both leadership styles. The results of Barbuto's (2005) study indicated that leaders' motivation is an antecedent of both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors. Hautala's (2005) study suggests that subordinates' personality, such as extravert vs. introvert, can affect their appraisal of transformational leadership. These previous studies demonstrate that leaders' and subordinates' gender, personality, and motivation are antecedents for both leadership styles. Specifically, subordinates' gender is one of the important variables which affect expected leadership styles. Aldoory and Toth (2004), Antonakis et al. (2003), and Powell, Butterfield, Alves, and Bartol's (2004) studies demonstrate gender impacts on expected transformational and transactional leadership styles. For example, Powell et al.'s study demonstrates that "female subjects described leaders engaging in a greater amount of transformational behavior and a small amount of transactional leadership behavior than male subjects. Perhaps subjects described the leaders' behavior in terms what were most associated with people like themselves" (p. 6). However, the way in which gender affects leadership expectations in the public relations field is a new research issue and needs more scholarly attention. As yet, only Aldoory and Toth's study has discussed gender impacts on transformational and transactional leadership styles in the U.S. public relations field. The following section reviews literature about gender and leadership in the public relations field.

Gender and Leadership Studies in the Public Relations Field

Due to the feminization of the public relations profession, scholars have begun to pay attention to the impact of gender on leadership styles in recent studies. According to Aldoory (1998),
 The concept of women's leadership has been
 studied in the field of management, in feminist
 studies, and in sex role research, but little has been
 done in public relations research. Female leadership
 in public relations, however, deserves scholarly
 attention because of the concern with feminization,
 the growing number of women entering the field
 and the debate about the increase (p. 73).


Aldoory conducted a study to investigate the language use and leadership styles of female public relations leaders. The results of her study demonstrated that "their leadership language pointed an interactive style ... The women also emphasized a humanist approach to staff" (p. 98). Recently, Aldoory and Toth (2004) conducted a study to compare male and female public relations practitioners' perceived effectiveness of transformational and transactional leadership styles and explored the gendered nature of leadership in public relations based on respondents' perceptions. Their study demonstrates that transformational leadership, instead of transactional leadership, was the most preferable leadership style for both genders. Both male and female participants strongly agreed that men and women could be equally competent leaders. However, male participants tended to disagree that women make better leaders than men do.

Culture, Gender, and Leadership

The results of previous studies have brought significant insight about the relationship between gender and leadership in the American public relations field. However, the results of American gender studies may not apply to other cultures. L. P. Stewart, Cooper, A. D. Stewart, and Friedley (2003) argues that "gendered communication behavior is socially constructed" (p. 5) and further suggests that there is an intertwined relationship between culture and gender. Antonakis et al. (2003) also discuss the way in which contexts, such as cultural and gender contexts, affect studies on transformational and transactional leadership styles. Antonakis et al. summarize the arguments and results of several previous leadership studies and make the following argument:
 Demographic variables can be considered as a
 contextual variable (see Rousseua& Fried, 2001).
 Johns (2001) state, "Gender, occupation, and social
 class are often treated as individual
 differences ... [however,] they are surrogates for a
 range of social and occupational context differences
 that merit attention" (p. 39). According to Eagly
 and Johnson (1990), follower gender may
 determine to a large degree the type of behaviors
 displayed by leaders (p. 271).


The results of Antonakis et al.'s empirical studies also demonstrate that gender was an important contextual factor which affected the structure of the nine-factor model of transformational and transactional leadership questionnaire.

Previous literature (e.g., Antonakis et al., 2003; Stewart et al., 2003) has suggested that culture and gender are important contextual variables for studying leadership behaviors worldwide. However, as yet, very few (e.g., Wu, 2006) articles published in the mainstream U.S. public relations journals have explored the relationship between gender and leadership in Taiwan. Taiwan is an interesting theoretical site for research because Taiwanese culture is very different from the U.S. culture. For example, previous research (Hofstede, 1984; 2001; Wu, 2008) suggests that the U.S. culture is an individualistic culture, whereas Taiwanese culture is a collectivistic culture. The individualism/ collectivism cultural dimension refers to how people value themselves and their groups/organizations. Previous research (e.g., Hofstede, 1984; 2001; Wu & Stewart, 2005) suggests that this cultural dimension affects organizational behaviors and expected leadership styles. Organizational goals are viewed as more important than individual goals in collectivistic cultures. However, individual achievements are viewed as more important than organizational/group goals in individualistic cultures. Due to cultural differences between the U.S. culture and the Taiwanese culture, it would be meaningful to further explore cultural and gender influences on expected leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field.

Bass' (1990) transformational vs. transactional leadership theory has provided a theoretical framework for this study. Previous literature about gender and cultural influences on leadership styles lead to two research questions which guide this study:

RQ1: What are gender influences on expected leadership styles? Do male and female public relations practitioners in Taiwan have similar or different expected leadership styles?

RQ2: What are cultural influences on transformational and transactional leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field?

Research Methods

Research Instrument

A quantitative questionnaire survey is used as the research instrument in this study. The questionnaire includes Likert-Scale questions and demographic questions. The leadership investigation is composed of questions which measure participants' expected leadership styles, including transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and passive avoidant leadership.

The operationalization of transformational and transactional leadership styles are based on Bass' (1990) and Bass and Avolio's (2000) descriptions about both leadership styles. As reviewed earlier, Bass (1990) described transformational leaders as leaders who pay attention to subordinates' higher order needs and encourage exceptional performance. According to Bass and Avolio (2000), transformational leadership includes the concepts of charisma/inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Thus, questions which represent transformational leadership include the concepts of charisma, inspiration, encouraging exceptional performance, and individualized consideration as described by Bass (1990) and Bass and Avolio (2000). Different from transformational leadership, transactional leadership is a simple mutual exchange relationship between leaders and followers (Bass, 1990). Bass and Avolio (2000) argue that transactional leadership includes the concepts of contingent reward, active management-by-exception, and passive avoidance. However, Bass and Avolio (2000) further argued that passive avoidance can be regarded as a separate leadership dimension. Thus, based on Bass and Avolio's (2000) conceptualization, the researcher considers transactional leadership and passive avoidant leadership as two different leadership styles. Transactional leadership includes the concepts of contingent reward and active management-by-expectations. The concept of passive avoidance is not included in the transactional leadership scale.

The questionnaire was designed by the researcher and then translated into Chinese. Brislin (1970) argues that backward translation is needed for conducting international studies. In this research design, the researcher had a business manager who is fluent in both English and Chinese translate the Chinese questionnaire into English. Then, the researcher compared the meanings of both questionnaires and makes sure that the meanings of both versions match with each other. In this regard, Brislin's (1970) rule for backward translation has been met.

Data Collection

The quantitative questionnaire was distributed to 140 Taiwanese public relations practitioners in Taipei and Kaohsiung from August 2004 to February 2005. In previous Taiwanese public relations studies, researchers (e.g., Wu, Taylor, & Chen, 2001; Wu & Taylor, 2003) had key informants help them collect data in order to ensure high response rates. Thus, the researcher followed previous researchers' data collection approach and had well-connected business professionals and public relations practitioners help her collect data. Follow-up interpersonal communication was used to ensure a high response rate. In order to equally represent male and female public relations practitioners' expected leadership styles, a proportional sampling method is used in this study. Seventy (50%) questionnaires were distributed to male public relations practitioners. Seventy (50%) questionnaires were distributed to female public relations practitioners.

One hundred and five Taiwanese public relations practitioners returned the survey to the informants. After checking completion, 104 (74% response rate) are useable questionnaires. The gender distributions for the respondents are 50 male (48%) and 54 female (52%). Nineteen (18%) participants work for local PR agencies. Ten (10%) participants work for international PR agencies. Thirty-six (35%) participants work for for-profit organizations. Seventeen (16%) participants work for non-profit organizations. Twenty-two (21%) participants work for government offices. The average age of participants is 33 years old (M=32.6). The average years working in the public relations field is about five years (M=5.1). Respondents' titles include director, investor relations manager, public relations manager, special assistant, specialist, and account assistant. One (1%) participant has a high school degree. Seventeen (16%) participants have a junior college degree. Forty-four (42%) participants have a four-year college degree. Thirty-eight (37%) participants have a master's degree. Four (3.8%) participants did not answer the question about their education level. The majority of participants in this study are highly educated.

Scale Development

Factor Analysis

Originally thirteen questions represented transformational leadership styles. Ten questions measured transactional leadership styles. In order to ensure that each leadership scale is one dimensional, principal component factor analyses (PCA) was conducted to identify the underlying factors within these leadership scales. Comrey and Lee (1992) suggested that factor loadings in excess of .71 are considered excellent, .63 very good, .55 good, .45 fair, .32 poor. In this study, factor loading of .55 is chosen as the cutoff point of deciding the primary loading of an item. One item did not have clear-cut factor loading for the transformational leadership style and so was dropped.

The first analysis was for the transformational leadership style. Two factors were extracted, and a Varimax rotation was done. There are eight items in the first factor. It is named transformational leadership. Different from the western concept about transformational leadership, a second factor appeared. There are four items in the second factor. This factor is named individualized consideration leadership. Based on Comrey and Lee's (1992) standard, one item does not have a clear-cut factor loading. Thus, the item is not included in either scale. Table 1 summarizes the results of the principal component factor analysis for transformational leadership.

Second, a principal component factor analysis was conducted to analyze the transactional leadership style. Only one factor appeared. Table 2 summarizes the results of the factor analysis.

Reliability Analysis

After conducting the factor analysis, a reliability test is conducted to check the internal consistency of each scale (Based on Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha, Cronbach, 1951). The reliability score for transformational leadership is .90. The reliability score for individualized consideration leadership is .80. The reliability score for transactional leadership is .91. The reliability scores for all leadership scales used in this study are satisfactory.

Results and Discussion

Gender Influences on Expected Leadership Styles

The first research question of this study asks what gender influences on Taiwanese public relations practitioners' expected leadership styles are. In order to compare male and female participants' views, independent-samples t-tests were conducted. The statistical results demonstrate both gender differences and gender similarities on expected leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field.

First, both male and female participants have very high scores on transformational leadership style. Among all of the leadership styles, transformational leadership is the most preferred in the Taiwanese public relations field. The overall average score for this style is 6.03. The mean difference between male and female practitioners on transformational leadership style was significant, t (101) = -3.22, p<.01, [[omega].sup.2] = 0.08. Male participants' average score (M = 5.78) is significantly lower than female participants' score (M = 6.26). The mean difference on this scale is -.48.

Second, both male and female participants also have high scores on transactional leadership preference. Among three expected leadership styles which are included in the study, transactional leadership is the second most preferable leadership style. The overall average score for this style is 5.82. The mean difference between the sexes on transactional leadership is significant, t (102) = -2.74, p<.01, [[omega].sup.2] = 0.06. Male participants (M = 5.62) have a lower score on transactional leadership than female participants (M = 6.01) do. The mean difference on this scale is -.39.

Finally, there is no statistical difference between male and female participants on individualized consideration leadership, t (102) = -1.31, p = .19, power = .94. Individualized consideration leadership ranks the last among these three expected leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field. The overall average score for this style is 5.58. The average score for male participants is 5.48. The average score for female participants is 5.69.

Table 3 summarizes male and female participants' mean scores on each leadership scale and the results for the independent-samples t-test analyses.

The results of independent-samples t-tests demonstrate that there are both gender differences and gender similarities on expected leadership styles. However, the mean differences between male and female participants are not very strong. This result is consistent with Aldoory and Toth's (2004) gender study on transformational leadership and transactional leadership styles in the American public relations field. According to Aldoory and Toth; "comparing survey responses of men to women resulted in a few significant differences, but overall, there were no really strong differences between male and female respondents and their preference for leadership style" (p. 175). Although the difference is not very dramatic, the significant finding of this study is that female participants score higher on both transformational leadership and transactional leadership styles than male participants do. The result that female subordinates have higher preference on transformational leadership is consistent with previous literature (e.g., Powell et al., 2004). According to Powell et al. (2004), "overall, transformational leadership is more associated, although not uniformly, with feminine than the masculine gender stereotypes" (p. 2). Female participants in this study expect their leaders to be powerful and have charisma. In contrast to the results of western studies, female public relations practitioners in Taiwan also have a higher preference for the transactional leadership style. Specifically, female participants (M=6.43) score much higher than male participants (M=5.07) on one item: An effective public relations leader should provide psychological rewards, such as compliments, on the fulfillment of obligation. The mean difference on this item is 0.73. This result may indicate that female public relations practitioners in Taiwan would expect more compliments from their leaders in order to exchange their efforts for future works.

Cultural Influences on Expected Leadership Styles

The second research question of this paper asks what cultural influences on transformational and transactional leadership styles are in the Taiwanese public relations field. There are two important findings. First, the results of this study have identified Taiwanese public relations practitioners' preference for expected leadership styles. The average scores of all participants demonstrate that Taiwanese public relations practitioners from both gender groups prefer both transformational and transactional leadership styles. The most preferable leadership style is transformational leadership (M=6.03). The second preferable leadership style is transactional leadership (M=5.82). The third preferable leadership style is individualized consideration leadership (M=5.58).

The result that transformational leadership is the most desirable leadership style is consistent with previous leadership studies conducted in both western cultures and eastern cultures (e.g., Aldoory, & Toth, 2004; Huang, 1998) although the way in which transformational leadership is operationalized is somewhat different. However, the result that Taiwanese public relations practitioners have high preferences on both transformational and transactional leadership styles is noteworthy. The results of Aldoory and Toth's (2004) public relations study, which was conducted in the United States, demonstrates that there was "a strong preference for transformational leadership style over transactional leadership" (p. 178). Different from Aldoory and Toth's study, Taiwanese public relations practitioners have high preferences on both transformational and transactional leadership styles. The mean difference between transformational leadership and transactional leadership is only 0.21 based on the 7-point Likert scale.

As noted by Hofstede (2001), leadership and subordinate-ship are inseparable. Singer and Singer's (1989) study demonstrated that Taiwanese organizational leaders displayed both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors with similar frequencies. Taiwanese organizational leaders display both leadership styles and Taiwanese public relations practitioners expect both leadership styles. Individualized consideration is considered as the third preferable leadership style out of four demonstrating the importance of collectivistic value in the Taiwanese society. However, the mean score on individualized leadership is medium high (M=5.58). It demonstrates that Taiwanese public relations practitioners still need some individualized consideration. But, organizational achievements are more important than individualized consideration.

Second, the results of factor analysis in the scale development process demonstrate that the factor structures of the transformational leadership style are different from western studies. The transformational leadership style items were not one dimensional. Two factors were extracted here. The first factor is still named transformational leadership because items in this scale include the concepts of leader charisma and exceptional performance for the organization. The second factor is named individualized consideration. According to the American definition (e.g., Bass, 1990), a leader who displays transformational leadership should provide followers' individualized considerations. However, the United States is a highly individualistic culture (Hofstede, 1984; 2001; Fernandez, Carlson, Stepina, & Nicholson, 1997) where Taiwan is a collectivistic culture (Hofstede, 1984, 2001; Wu et al., 2001; Wu, 2006). As reviewed earlier, Bass' (1990) definition of transformational leadership is based on the individualistic American culture value and Maslow's (1954, 1970) hierarchy of needs theory. He argued that transformational leaders should motivate followers to achieve exceptional performance in order to achieve their higher order needs, such as the need for self-actualization, as described by Maslow (1954, 1970). Due to cultural differences, Maslow's (1954; 1970) theory on the hierarchy of needs and Bass' (1990) definition about transformational leadership may not apply to the Taiwanese culture.

Hofstede (2001) questioned the applicability of Maslow's Theory outside the United States. According to Hofstede (2001), "Maslow categorized and ordered human needs according to the U.S. middle-class culture pattern in which he himself was embedded--he could not have done otherwise. American theories fit American value patterns, and French theories fit French value patterns" (p. 18). The results of Hofstede's (2001) cross-cultural study demonstrated that the factor structures of participants' work goals vary from culture to culture. According to Hofstede (2001), "Countries did not group themselves according to Maslow's categories. Instead, national goal patterns could be classified according to two dimensions, an individual/ collective dimension and an ego/social dimension" (p. 58). Thus, Hofstede (2001) further argued that "Maslow's supreme category, self-actualization, is a highly individualistic motive ... Maslow's hierarchy is culturally constrained" (p. 386). Shutte and Ciarlante (1998) and Tao's (2006) study on consumer behaviors also demonstrates that Maslow's bottom two levels of needs (physiological and safety needs) are universal, but the top two levels of needs (esteem and self-actualization needs) are culture-specific.

Hofstede's (2001) criticism on Maslow's (1954, 1970) hierarchy of needs theory and Shuttes and Ciarlante's (1998) argument that the higher levels of Maslow' needs hierarchy are culture-specific can help to explain the factor structures of the transformational leadership style. As discussed earlier, a second factor, individualized consideration, is extracted from the original transformational leadership scale because Taiwan is a collectivistic culture. In the U.S., an individualistic culture, leaders who give subordinates individualized considerations help subordinates achieve their self-actualization needs. Thus, providing individualized consideration to subordinates is considered as transformational leadership behavior. However, in collectivistic cultures, group or organizational goals are more important than individual goals (Hofstede, 2001). Thus, individualized consideration leadership and transformational leadership are regarded as different constructs.

In American culture, a highly individualistic culture, transformational leadership is defined by transforming subordinates' performance to a higher level or encouraging exceptional individual performance. However, the results of this study demonstrate that in Taiwan, a collectivistic culture, transformational leadership is defined by transforming organizational performance to a higher level. According to Wu et al. (2001), "collectivism points to the belief that the needs of a group--whether an organization, community, or group of friends--is more valued than the needs of an individual. When the organization succeeds, then its members succeed" (p. 331). The results of Wu et al.'s (2001) study also indicate that Taiwanese public relations practitioners had a moderately high collectivistic cultural value. Thus, the different factor structures of transformational leadership in different cultures demonstrate cultural impacts on transformational leadership. The way in which transformational leadership is expected and defined is culture-specific. Hofstede's (1984; 2001) individualism-collectivism cultural value dimension seems to have significant impacts on theorizing and operationalizing transformational leadership. On the contrary, the factor structure of transactional leadership is one dimensional in the Taiwanese sample. This result demonstrates that the definition of transactional leadership style could be more culturally universal.

Conclusion

Significance and Implications

By collecting data from Taiwanese public relations practitioners, this study has provided significant insights about gender and cultural impacts on transformational and transactional leadership styles in the international setting. There are several theoretical, methodological, and practical implications.

First, this study contributes to the body of knowledge about leadership in the public relations field and builds on Aldoory and Toth's (2004) study on gender influence on expected transformational and transactional leadership styles in the public relations field in a different cultural setting. Aldoory and Toth's participants were American public relations practitioners. In this current study, the researcher surveyed Taiwanese public relations practitioners. Comparing the results of the quantitative analysis, both similarities and differences are found between these two cultural groups. Similar to Aldoory and Toth's study, transformational leadership is the most preferable leadership style for public relations practitioners. In addition, there are few but small gender differences between male and female participants in terms of expected leadership styles in both Taiwan and the United States. Different from Aldoory and Toth's study, the results of this current study demonstrate that Taiwanese public relations practitioners also prefer the transactional leadership style. The difference between these two studies has revealed that social culture is also a significant variable which affects expected leadership styles in the public relations field.

Second, this study brings additional insights about cultural influences on operationalization of transformational leadership. As discussed by Antonakis et al. (2003), "essentially, the critical question is whether measurement of leadership is context-free or context specific" (p. 268). Antonakis et al. (2003) conducted an empirical study to answer the question of whether the measurements of transformational and transactional leadership styles are context-free or context-specific by using the multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ), which measures perceived transformational and transactional leadership styles. The results of their study demonstrate that "context should be considered in theoretical conceptualizations and validation studies" (Antonakis et al., p. 283). They further argued that "rater and leader gender played a role in determining the factor structure of MLQ.Future research should also determine the validity of the theory within national cultural settings" (Antonakis et al., p. 285). This current study extends Antonakis et al.'s research because it examines the factor structures of transformational leadership and transactional leadership within a national cultural setting, Taiwan. The results of this study demonstrate the measurement of transformational leadership as context-specific. However, the measurement of transactional leadership seems to be more context-free.

Third, this study successfully operationalizes several leadership styles and has significant methodological contributions. The reliability scores of two new scales, transformational leadership style (.90) and individualized consideration (.80) are satisfactory. These two leadership scales could be used in future studies which will be conducted in collectivistic cultures. The reliability score for the transactional leadership (.91) is very high. Since this scale seems to be more culturally general, future research which study both collectivistic cultures and individualistic cultures may use the transactional leadership scale.

Finally, the results of this study have practical implications for public relations leaders in Taiwan. Participants from both gender groups have very high scores on both transformational leadership and transactional leadership styles. Thus, public relations leaders in Taiwan may display both transformational and transactional leadership styles in their organizations. In terms of performing transformational leadership, Taiwanese public relations leaders may actively communicate with their subordinates and focus on transforming the organization for exceptional performance, instead of placing too much emphasis on encouraging individuals for extraordinary performance. In Taiwan, such a collectivistic culture, achieving collectivistic goals is more important than achieving individual goals. Based on the results of this study, Taiwanese public relations leaders should have clear missions and visions for their organizations. However, public relations leaders in Taiwan should not forget to reward their subordinates when they successfully complete a task because they also have a very high preference for transactional leadership.

Limitations and Recommendations for Future Study

This study uses quantitative research to explore cultural and gender impacts on transformational and transactional leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field. The statistical results of this study do identify some significant gender differences on expected leadership styles. However, why female Taiwanese public relations practitioners have higher preferences for both leadership styles could be further explored by future qualitative studies. In addition, future studies may collect empirical data from Taiwan and the United States then compare the results between these two cultural groups. Cultural influences on leadership expectations in the public relations field can be further investigated by comparative studies.

* An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2006 International Communication Association Annual Convention, Public Relations Division, San Antonio, TX. The author thanks Tai-Hsiung Hsu, Shih-Wen Cho, Po-Ching Hsu, Mong-Ju Chen, Yi Hu, Brenda Hsu, and Alex Wu for data collection and Dr. Dale Hample for his suggestions on an earlier version.

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Correspondence to:

Ming-Yi Wu, Ph.D.

Department of Communication

Western Illinois University

1 University Circle

Macomb, IL 61455-1390

Email: mingyiwu@att.net

Ming-Yi Wu, Ph.D.

Western Illinois University
Table 1. Factor Analysis of Transformational Leadership
Style After Varimax Rotation

Factor and Items Factor Loadings

 1 2
Transformational Leadership Items

An effective public relations leader should be .772 .150
proactive.

An effective public relations leader should raise .767 .203
follower awareness for collective interests.

An effective public relations leader should have .606 .263
charisma.

An effective public relations leader should be .866 .139
confident and powerful.

An effective public relations leader should have .769 .331
a vision for the future.

An effective public relations leader should build .712 .417
a mission for the organization.

An effective public relations leader should .714 .396
encourage creative thinking.

Individualized Leadership Items

An effective public relations leader should help .489 .655
subordinates satisfy their self-actualization
needs.

An effective public relations leader should .135 .819
pay attention to followers' individual needs.

An effective public relations leader should .240 .789
help followers to explore full potential.

An effective public relations leader should help .201 .675
subordinates achieve long-term goals.

Complextly Determined Item

An effective public relations leader should help .511 .520
followers achieve extraordinary performance.

Eigenvalue 6.300 1.265

Percent of Variance Explained 52.5% 10.5%

Cumulative Variance Explained 52.5% 63.0%

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis

Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization

Table 2. Factor Analysis of Transactional Leadership Style

Factor and Items Factor
 Loadings

Transactional Leadership Style

An effective public relations leader should clearly .702
set objectives for their followers to achieve.

An effective public relations leader should monitor .607
the outcomes of whether the objective is achieved or
not.

An effective public relations leader should clarify .774
role and task requirements.

An effective public relations leader should provide .610
subordinates with material rewards, such as pay raise
or bonus on the fulfillment of obligations.

An effective public relations leader should provide .765
psychological rewards, such as compliment, on the
fulfillment of obligations.

An effective public relations leader should ensure .776
that the work standards are met.

An effective public relations leader should provide .711
subordinates assistance in order to change
subordinates' efforts.

An effective public relations leader should actively .822
deal with mistakes, in order to achieve goals.

An effective public relations leader should keep .700
track of mistakes.

An effective public relations leader should help .716
subordinates achieve short-term goals.

Eigenvalue 5.203

Percent of Variance Explained 52.0%

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis

Table 3. Means and T-Test Results for Leadership Styles

 M F t

Transformational Leadership Style

An effective public relations leader 5.98 6.22 -1.31
should be proactive.

An effective public relations leader 6.02 6.37 -1.91
should raise follower awareness for
collective interests.

An effective public relations leader 5.08 5.89 -3.43 **
should have charisma.

An effective public relations leader 6.00 6.50 -2.92 **
should be confident and powerful.

An effective public relations leader 6.00 6.31 -1.80
should have a vision for the future.

An effective public relations leader 5.64 6.07 -2.16 *
should build a mission for the
organization.

An effective public relations leader 5.86 6.43 -3.08 **
should encourage creative thinking.

Total (Overall M = 6.03) 5.78 6.26 -3.22 **

Transactional Leadership Style

An effective public relations leader 6.00 6.33 -1.79
should clearly set objectives for
their followers to achieve.

An effective public relations leader 5.68 6.06 -1.81
should monitor the outcomes of whether
the objective is achieved or not.

An effective public relations leader 5.72 6.20 -2.34 *
should clarify role and task
requirements.

An effective public relations leader 5.16 5.59 -1.88
should provide subordinates with
material rewards, such as pay raise
or bonus on the fulfillment of
obligations.

An effective public relations leader 5.70 6.43 -3.74 ***
should provide psychological rewards,
such as compliment, on the fulfillment
of obligations.

An effective public relations leader 5.82 6.17 -2.01 *
should ensure that the work standards
are met.

An effective public relations leader 5.42 5.50 -.33
should provide subordinates assistance
in order to change subordinates'
efforts.

An effective public relations leader 5.72 6.15 -2.31 *
should actively deal with mistakes,
in order to achieve goals.

An effective public relations leader 5.66 6.02 -1.88
should keep track of mistakes.

An effective public relations leader 5.28 5.63 -1.67
should help subordinates achieve
short-term goals.

Total (Overall M = 5.82) 5.62 6.01 -2.74 **

Table 4. (continued). Means and T-Test Results for Leadership Styles

Individualized Consideration M F t
Leadership Style

An effective public relations leader 5.66 6.00 -1.66
should help subordinates satisfy their
self-actualization needs.

An effective public relations leader 5.46 5.72 -1.33
should pay attention to followers'
individual needs.

An effective public relations leader 5.44 5.59 -.70
should help followers to explore full
potential.

An effective public relations leader 5.34 5.46 -.51
should help subordinates achieve
long-term goals.

Total (Overall M = 5.58) 5.48 5.70 -1.31

M=Male, N = 50, Scale = 1-7; F = Female, N = 54, Scale = 1-7

Note: * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001
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Author:Wu, Ming-Yi
Publication:China Media Research
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Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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