My important theoretical and empirical background for the study.

My interested area topic research is related to the Educational Management in Asia, especially in Thailand, which is my home country. In this assignment, I choose a journal article that is related to the interested area I would like to conduct my own research. The article “The relationship among Leadership Styles, Work-Related Cultural Values, and Organizational Outcomes in Higher Educational Institutions in Thailand” by Kittiphat Suwannachin was published in Nova Southeastern University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing page1-153 in 2003. The purposes of this assignment are to review, discuss and summarize the article and then demonstrate how the chosen article is relevant to my interesting research topic.

The aim of this article is to examine the relationship among leadership styles, work-related cultural values, and organizational outcomes in higher educational institutions in Thailand from 359 faculty members from several colleges and universities in Thailand. The authors used Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) to measure transformational and transactional leadership and the outcome variables and use Dorfman and Howell’s work-related cultural values scale to measure five cultural values. The article starts with the introduction and definitions of terms before discusses the important theoretical and empirical background for the study. After that, it discusses the method of data collection also followed by the result of the finding, and then concludes the paper respectively.

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Effective leadership is critical to the success of organizations. Leaders who understand the subtle complexities of organizational contexts, such as culture, will be more effective. Furthermore, societal and organizational cultures have an important role in influencing leadership and organizational processes (House, Javidan, Hanges, & Dorfman, 2002). To better understand the relationship between leader behavior and work-related cultural values, more empirical research in various environments must be conducted. Moreover, cross-cultural leadership research may help leaders to better understand organizational processes and be able to practice more efficiently.

There is a conceptual framework in the article created by the authors. The model for this study derives from Bass’ transformational and transactional leadership dimensions and Hofstede’s culture values dimensions. Bernard Bass defined transactional leaders as those who determine what it is their followers want and then try to attain it for them if their performance merits it. The transactional relationship between leader and follower is based on exchanges that satisfy both leader and follower. Transactional leadership has three dimensions which are Contingent Reward Behavior, Passive Management by Exception, and Active Management by Exception. By contrast, transformational leaders raise their followers’ levels of consciousness of the importance of developing and motivating to achieve outcomes that are valued, and inform strategies for doing so. They encourage followers to rise above limited self-interests to work for the better of the group. There are four factors of transformational leadership which are Individualized Consideration, Intellectual Stimulation, Idealized Influence (Charisma), and Inspirational Motivation. Another kind of leadership is called Laissez Faire Leadership, which is considered to be non-leadership.

Organizational Outcomes have three outcomes or dependent variables. First, the extra effort involves getting others to do more than they expected to do, to try harder and aspire to succeed. Second, satisfaction with leadership concerns perceptions of his/her working well. Third, leader effectiveness concerns the leader’s meeting job-related needs and leading an effective group.

Hofstede’s founding work is one of the most regularly cited studies in the relationship between national culture and work-related cultural values (Bhagat & McQuaid, 1982). He identified four key work-related dimensions of national culture which are Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism /Collectivism, and Masculinity/ Femininity. Afterwards, Dorfman and Howell developed the Hofstede’s set of measures of cultural values that are suitable for the individual or micro unit of analysis (Fernandez, Carlson, Stepina, & Nicholson, 1997). The scales measure four dimensions and an additional one, Paternalism which is a significant dimension characterizing superior-subordinate relationship, especially in the Eastern traditional cultural context (Redding & Hsiao, 1995).

According to Hofstede’s culture map, Thailand ranks high in Power Distance, high in Collectivism, high on Uncertainty Avoidance, and high on Femininity.  The high power distance characterizing Thai culture forms the behaviors of administrators, teachers, students, and parents so that they must always show high respect towards those of senior status in all social relationships. High power distance also creates an environment in which administrators are expected to lead by giving direct orders. The high collectivism of the Thai culture forms the context for change by locating it more in the group than in individuals. Thais tend to exhibit a strong “we” as contrasting to “I” mentality. High uncertainty avoidance means that Thais are strongly socialized to conform to group norms, traditions, rules, and regulations. They demonstrate a stronger tendency to seek stability than to be creative, and they find change disruptive and more disturbing than people in lower uncertainty avoidance cultures. The feminine sides of the culture lead Thais to place a very high value on social relationships, harmony, and conflict avoidance. Thais also place a great deal of importance on living and working in a satisfying atmosphere, and on raising a strong spirit of community through pleasant and congenial social relations. Furthermore, Thai culture is an “Authority ranking culture”, characterized by a high degree of collectivism and a high degree of power distance. This type of culture emphasizes that superiors and subordinates have obligations toward one another transcending job descriptions.

Regarding higher education in Thailand, all public and private universities and colleges are under the supervision of the Ministry of University in present. Most of higher education institutions are organized on an administrative system of faculties, each under a separate dean. Teaching and course organization are similar to the U.S. system, using a credit course system. Thailand’s school-related educational system is classified into four levels: pre-school education, primary education, secondary education and higher education. Higher education is classified into three levels: lower than bachelor’s degree level, bachelor’s degree level, and graduate level.

Public higher education institution has its own Act empowering the University Council to function as the governing body. The President controls the institution according to the policy laid down by the University Council, which is comprised of the chairman, president, deans, directors of the institution of the university and other qualified persons not salaried by the university. The Dean’s Council and the Faculty Senate are two advisory bodies, which may also take part in governing the university.

For private higher education institutions, The Ministry of University Affairs is the coordinating unit between the government and private institutions. Rules and regulations are conducted by the Ministry of University Affairs to ensure the standards and accreditation of private higher education institutions. The Ministry of University Affairs also considers granting approval to the programs of study offered by these institutions. Each institution has its own council and administrative bodies responsible for developing academic programs and managing their administrative functions.

For the research methods, the study addressed questions about; the influence of work-related cultural values on leadership styles in higher education institutions in Thailand; The relationship between work-related cultural values and organizational outcomes; the moderating effect of work-related cultural values on the relationship between leadership styles and organizational outcomes.

This study used the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) (Bass & Avolio, 1995) to measure leadership variables of transformational, transactional, and Laissez-faire. The MLQ also measures three outcomes of leadership: Extra Effort on a job, Leader Satisfaction with Leadership, Perception of Leader Effectiveness. The Dorfman and Howell cultural values scale were used to measure power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and paternalism (Hofstede, 1980; Dorfman & Howell, 1988). Questionnaires were distributed by mail and in person to 550 faculty members from several public and private higher educational institutions in Thailand but only 359 were usable. The data were analyzed using SPSS for Windows.

From the author’s findings, the result shows that administrators in higher educational institutions in Thailand display both transformation and transactional leadership alike. It demonstrated that subordinates want administrators to balance transformational and transactional leadership in order to increase whole organizational productivity. These results support Bass’ leadership model in that he indicates that transactional leadership, especially contingent reward and active management-by exception is an essential foundation on which to build transformational leadership. While passive management-by-exception and Laissez-faire leadership were negatively correlated with all three outcomes. This point out subordinates view administrators who do not intervene or who do not make timely decisions as ineffective in term of fostering employee motivation (extra effort), being effective leaders, and their satisfaction with leadership.

The resulted cultural values scale shows Thailand’s power distance was relatively low when compared with Hofstede’s culture data. The findings may also be related to the respondents being university instructors and professors who are highly educated, many in western countries, and high in self-determination. Low gender roles (masculinity) means that respondents viewed their culture as having feminine qualities with concerns for people, the quality of life, empathy, and interdependence.

The study examined the relationship between cultural values and outcome variables. The result of cultural value dimensions showed high levels of uncertainty avoidance, collectivism, and paternalism. It indicates that uncertainly avoidance and paternalism were positively correlated with all three outcomes and collectivism was positively related to extra effort and effectiveness. This indicates that high uncertainty avoidance, paternalism and collectivism are consistent with the desired organizational outcomes.

It also examined relationships between cultural values and leadership styles. Interestingly, the results indicated that uncertainty avoidance was positively related to all transformational leadership dimensions and two transactional. However, uncertainty avoidance was significantly negatively related to Laissez-Faire factors. Collectivism was positively correlated with three transformational factors which are an idealized influence, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation. Paternalism positively correlated with intellectual stimulation. These findings suggest that there are strong linear relationships between some cultural values and leadership behaviors

The study also examined the moderating influence of cultural values on the relationship between leadership styles and organizational outcomes. The results demonstrate that there were no significant interactions between transformational leadership and cultural values. There were three significant interactions between transactional leadership factors and cultural values.

There was a significant interaction between contingent reward and power distance with satisfaction with leadership. So, power distance moderates the relationship between transactional leadership and university instructors’ satisfaction with university administrators. For the outcome variable of extra effort, the regression equation indicated that there was a significant interaction between the transactional leadership of management by exception (passive) and also power distance and gender roles (masculinity). As a result, both power distance and gender roles moderate the effect of Management by Exception (Passive) on the subordinate extra effort.

The number of interactions between power distance and leadership variables on subordinates’ satisfaction with leaders shows that subordinates who believe in the imbalanced distribution of power are satisfied with leaders who are high in power distance and not satisfied with leaders who are not high in power distance. This result can be clarified in that people in high power distance cultures generally show high respect towards those in authority. In addition, the results of the study show that respondents are high in uncertainty avoidance. These results also suggest that subordinates expect and are satisfied with leaders who provide direction to avoid uncertainty and satisfied when administrators provide the direction to proceed.

The results of this analysis show that the interaction accounts for only the modest level of variance in the outcomes. The interaction of contingent reward and power distance emerged as the most significant effect of the relationship between contingent reward dimension and satisfaction. Moreover, the interaction of management by exception (passive) and gender roles emerged as the most significant effect on the relationship between management by exception (passive) and subordinates’ extra effort.

It is reasonable to conclude that respondents are high in power distance and expect leaders to lead by giving direct orders, and they are more satisfied with leaders who provide direction than with those who do not. This conclusion supports Gannon’s observation of Thai people and culture. Thais emphasize that the relationship between superiors and subordinates has mutual obligations and Thai subordinates expect to be treated with respect.

The reasons that I choose this article is because it is an interesting research topic that provides detailed information about the relationship among leadership styles, work-related cultural values, and organizational outcomes which are useful content that would be able to apply for other further studies. Moreover, it is also related to higher educational institutions in Thailand since I am interested in the research topic about the educational management as I already mentioned above. According to the other article that I found, there is a systematic search of eight ‘core journals’ in educational leadership and management (Gough, 2007; Hallinger, 2012, 2013) which are; The journals were Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ), Journal of Educational Administration (JEA), School Effectiveness and School Improvement (SESI), Educational Management Administration and Leadership (EMAL), International Journal of Leadership in Education (IJLE), International Journal of Educational Management (IJEM), Leadership and Policy in Schools (LPS) and School Leadership and Management (SLAM). There are several scopes to do research about this area. From all of these reasons, I started to read the article that has basic information about leadership which is essential to the organization.

Another reason why I wanted to research on the educational management is because of the lack of research papers and materials from and for those of lower educational institution, such as middle schools and primary schools. From the articles that I had read and researched on, there has been a lack of research papers from these lower educational institutions. Moreover, in the future, I hoped and strive to help my family business which is a primary school in my country, Thailand. Hence, I would like to be able to research and write up articles for these primary schools to broaden the knowledge about our younger generations to the world.

Leadership and culture are vital features due to the increasing globalization of business and industry. Both of these traits, leadership and culture, are essential for successful global managerial business practices, they are also necessary for the domestic workplace which is becoming increasingly multicultural and diverse. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was an exemplary role model for someone who has both the trait s of leadership and culture. He was known to be a great president and an even better American statesman, who had a major role in the civil war. He is also a man of culture because he advocated the African American culture, abolishing slavery in the United States and created a fair and just country. (The Biography, 2017)

Some research (Ardichvili, 2001; Kuchinke, 1999) investigates the relationship between leadership styles and cultural values. But, there is very little research within Asian cultures, including Thailand. There is a need for more leadership research, especially in Asian cultures, in order to learn more about the relationship between leadership style and cultural values. The results of this study may provide a better understanding of relationships between leadership style and cultural values and may lead to improving organizational outcomes in higher educational institutions in Thailand where the study will be conducted.

The limitations of the research it could be useful to study relationships between transformational/transactional leadership and other organizational outcomes, such as job satisfaction and commitment, in order to see whether the results are still consistent with previous results.

In conclusion, this study demonstrates a relationship among leadership styles, cultural values, and organizational outcomes in Higher Educational Institutions in Thailand. The results of the study demonstrate the consistency of results of the transactional-transformational paradigm in Thai culture. It also demonstrated some degree of cultural influence. Further and expanded studies are required to gain a complete understanding of these important issues.


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