Gender and cultural influences on expected leadership styles in the Taiwanese public relations field: transformational and transactional leadership styles.
Much has been written about leadership in the fields of organizational communication, management, and applied psychology. Due to the process of globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation , the contemporary workplace has become more and more culturally diverse. Thus, conducting leadership research in the international context is necessary (Scandura & Dorfman Dorfman is a surname and may refer to:
n. pl. ritter
[German, from Middle High German riter, from Middle Dutch ridder, from r & Yoder, 2004). Despite the importance of such an issue, gender and cultural impacts on leadership in the public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most 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 feminization /fem·i·ni·za·tion/ (fem?i-ni-za´shun)
1. the normal development of primary and secondary sex characters in females.
2. the induction or development of female secondary sex characters in the male. 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.
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 according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. 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 Hack´man
n. 1. The driver of a hack or carriage for public hire. 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 Mas·low , Abraham 1908-1970.
American psychologist and a founder of humanistic psychology who developed a model of human motivation in which a higher need is expressed only after lower needs are fulfilled. , five hierarchically hi·er·ar·chi·cal or hi·er·ar·chic or hi·er·ar·chal
Of or relating to a hierarchy.
hi arranged human needs (from the lower level to higher level) exist: physiological physiological /phys·i·o·log·i·cal/ (-loj´i-kal) pertaining to physiology; normal; not pathologic.
phys·i·o·log·i·cal or phys·i·o·log·ic
adj. Abbr. phys.
1. , safety, belonging and love, self-esteem self-esteem
Sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity. Family relationships during childhood are believed to play a crucial role in its development. , and self-actualization self-actualization The process of self-discovery & personal growth . 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 [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. . 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 ANTECEDENT. Something that goes before. In the construction of laws, agreements, and the like, reference is always to be made to the last antecedent; ad proximun antecedens fiat relatio. of both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors. Hautala's (2005) study suggests that subordinates' personality, such as extravert extravert /ex·tra·vert/ (eks´trah-vert) extrovert. vs. introvert introvert /in·tro·vert/ (in´tro-vert)
1. a person whose interest is turned inward to the self.
2. to turn one's interest inward to the self.
3. a structure that can be turned or drawn inwards. , 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 Powell See Osceola. , Butterfield Noun 1. Butterfield - English architect who designed many churches (1814-1900)
William 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 hu·man·ist
1. A believer in the principles of humanism.
2. One who is concerned with the interests and welfare of humans.
a. A classical scholar.
b. A student of the liberal arts. 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 Stewart, river, Canada
Stewart, river, 331 mi (533 km) long, rising in the Mackenzie Mts., central Yukon Territory, Canada, and flowing generally W to the Yukon River S of Dawson. , 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 sum·ma·rize
intr. & tr.v. sum·ma·rized, sum·ma·riz·ing, sum·ma·riz·es
To make a summary or make a summary of.
sum 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 Empirical studies in social sciences are when the research ends are based on evidence and not just theory. This is done to comply with the scientific method that asserts the objective discovery of knowledge based on verifiable facts of evidence. 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 (tī`wän`), Portuguese Formosa, officially Republic of China, island nation (2005 est. pop. 22,894,000), 13,885 sq mi (35,961 sq km), in the Pacific Ocean, separated from the mainland of S China by the 100-mi-wide (161-km) 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 in·di·vid·u·al·ist
1. One that asserts individuality by independence of thought and action.
2. An advocate of individualism.
in culture, whereas Taiwanese culture is a collectivistic col·lec·tiv·ism
The principles or system of ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively, usually under the supervision of a government. culture. The individualism/ collectivism collectivism
Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class). It may be contrasted with individualism. 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?
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 avoidant /avoid·ant/ (ah-void´ant) moving away from; negatively oriented. leadership.
The operationalization Operationalization is the process of defining a concept as the operations that will measure the concept (variables) through specific observations.
That even the most basic concepts in science, like "length," are defined solely through the operations by which we measure them, 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 in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. consideration. Thus, questions which represent transformational leadership include the concepts of charisma An earlier presentation graphics program for Windows from Micrografx that included a comprehensive media manager for managing large libraries of image, sound and video clips. , 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 con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: , 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 Chinese, subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languages), which is also sometimes grouped with the Tai, or Thai, languages in a Sinitic subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan language stock. . 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 fluent /flu·ent/ (floo´int) flowing effortlessly; said of speech. 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.
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 follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.
follow-up plan interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information between two or more people. Types of Interpersonal Communication
This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, Public speaking, and small-group 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 Noun 1. proportional sampling - the population is divided into subpopulations (strata) and random samples are taken of each stratum
representative sampling, stratified sampling
sampling - (statistics) the selection of a suitable sample for study 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 In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. 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 Investor relations
The process by which the corporation communicates with its investors. 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.
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 Cutoff point
The lowest rate of return acceptable on investments. 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.
After conducting the factor analysis, a reliability test is conducted to check the internal consistency In statistics and research, internal consistency is a measure based on the correlations between different items on the same test (or the same subscale on a larger test). It measures whether several items that propose to measure the same general construct produce similar scores. of each scale (Based on Cronbach's Coefficient coefficient /co·ef·fi·cient/ (ko?ah-fish´int)
1. an expression of the change or effect produced by variation in certain factors, or of the ratio between two different quantities.
2. 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 feminine /fem·i·nine/ (fem´i-nin)
1. pertaining to the female sex.
2. having qualities normally asociated with females. than the masculine MASCULINE. That which belongs to the male sex.
2. The masculine sometimes includes the feminine, vide an example under the article Man, and see also the articles Gender, Worthiest of blood; Poth. Intr. au titre 16, des Testamens et Donations Testamentaires, n. 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 com·pli·ment
1. An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
2. A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect.
3. , on the fulfillment ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. 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 United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , 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 Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc .
As noted by Hofstede (2001), leadership and subordinate-ship are inseparable in·sep·a·ra·ble
1. Impossible to separate or part: inseparable pieces of rock.
2. Very closely associated; constant: inseparable companions. . 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 cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat 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 motive or motif (mōtēf`), in music, a short phrase or passage of two or more notes and repeated or elaborated throughout the composition. The term is usually used synonymously with figure. ... Maslow's hierarchy is culturally constrained con·strain
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.
2. " (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.
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 Quantitative Analysis
A security analysis that uses financial information derived from company annual reports and income statements to evaluate an investment decision.
Notes: , 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 MLQ Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire
MLQ Mouvement Luxembourgeois pour la Qualité (French)
MLQ Most Likely Quantity (cost proposal) ), which measures perceived transformational and transactional leadership styles. The results of their study demonstrate that "context should be considered in theoretical conceptualizations and validation See validate.
validation - The stage in the software life-cycle at the end of the development process where software is evaluated to ensure that it complies with the requirements. studies" (Antonakis et al., p. 283). They further argued that "rater rat·er
1. One that rates, especially one that establishes a rating.
2. One having an indicated rank or rating. Often used in combination: a third-rater; a first-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 Quantitative research
Use of advanced econometric and mathematical valuation models to identify the firms with the best possible prospectives. Antithesis of qualitative 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 San Antonio (săn ăntō`nēō, əntōn`), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. , 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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Ming-Yi Wu, Ph.D.
Department of Communication
Western Illinois University For another university which uses the abbreviation "WIU", see Webber International University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
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