A Cultural Analysis of Paternalistic Leadership in Chinese Organizations

  • Jiing-Lih Farh
  • Bor-Shiuan Cheng

Abstract

Paternalistic leadership, which combines strong discipline and authority with fatherly benevolence and moral integrity couched in a ‘personalistic’ atmosphere, has been found to be prevalent in overseas Chinese family businesses (CFBs). After critically reviewing the extant literature, we identify three constituent elements of paternalistic leadership (PL): authoritarianism, benevolence and moral leadership. We trace the deep cultural roots of each element and explore their relevance to organizations in contemporary Chinese societies. We then identify key research issues and propose a preliminary PL model for future studies on leadership in Chinese organizations.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bass, B. M. 1985. Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bass, B. M. 1996. A New Paradigm of Leadership: An Inquiry into Transformational Leadership. Alexandria, VA: US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.Google Scholar
  3. Bellah, R. N. 1970. ‘Father and son in Christianity and Confucianism’, Beyond Belief Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditional World: 76–99. New York: Harner and Row.Google Scholar
  4. Bowers, D. G. and Seashore, S. E. 1966. ‘Predicting organisational effectiveness with a four-factor theory of leadership’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 11: 238–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burns, J. M. 1978. Leadership. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  6. Chan, W. S. 1963. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chang, S. K. C. 1985. ‘American and Chinese managers in U.S. companies in Taiwan: A comparison’, California Management Review, 27: 144–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, X. P. and Farh, J. L. 1999. ‘The effectiveness of transactional and transformational leader behaviors in Chinese organizations: Evidence from Taiwan’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago.Google Scholar
  9. Cheng, B. S. 1990. Leadership and Situation: An Interactional Psychology Approach (in Chinese). Taipei: Dayang.Google Scholar
  10. Cheng, B. S. 1995a. Authoritarian Values and Executive Leadership: The Case of Taiwanese Family Enterprises. Report prepared for Taiwan’s National Science Council. Taiwan: National Taiwan University. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. Cheng, B. S. 1995b. ‘Chaxuegeju and Chinese organisational behaviour’, Indigenous Psychological Research in Chinese Societies, 3: 142–219. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Cheng, B. S. 1995c. ‘Paternalistic authority and leadership: A case study of a Taiwanese CEO’, Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology Academic Sinica, 79: 119–73. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Cheng, B. S. 1998. ‘Organizational culture across the Taiwan Strait: A comparison of the PRC and Taiwanese enterprises’, in B. S. Cheng, K. L. Huang and C. C. Kuo (eds), Corporate Culture in Taiwan and China. A Sinyi Cultural Foundation Series: The Management in Taiwan and China, vol. 1: 1–53. Taipei, Taiwan: Yuan Liou. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Cheng, B. S. and Zhuang, S. J. 1981. ‘Factor analysis of effective leader behaviours of rank-and-file military personnel in Taiwan: Relationships among leadership effectiveness, leader roles, and leadership styles’, Journal of Chinese Psychology, 23: 97–106. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. Chu, T. S. 1961. Law and Society in Traditional China. Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
  16. Chu, G. C. and Ju, Y. 1993. The Great Wall in Ruins: Communication and Cultural Change in China. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  17. Craig, S. B. and Gustafson, S. B. 1998. ‘Perceived leader integrity scale: An instrument for assessing employee perceptions of leader integrity’, Leadership Quarterly, 9: 127–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Deyo, F. C. 1978. ‘Local foremen in multinational enterprise: A comparative case study of supervisory role-tensions in Western and Chinese factories of Singapore’, Journal of Management Studies, 15: 308–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Deyo, F. C. 1983. ‘Chinese management practices and work commitment in comparative perspective’, in L. A. P. Gosling and L. Y. C. Lim (eds), The Chinese in Southeast Asia: Identity, Culture and Politics, vol. 2: 215–30. Singapore: Maruzen Asia.Google Scholar
  20. Dumaine, B. 1997. ‘Asia’s wealth creators confront a new reality’, Fortune, December: 42–52.Google Scholar
  21. Farh, J. L., Earley, P. C. and Lin, S. C. 1997. ‘Impetus for action: A cultural analysis of justice and organizational citizenship behavior in Chinese society’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 421–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Farh, J. L., Leung, F. and Law, K. 1998. ‘On the cross-cultural validity of Holland’s model of vocational choices in Hong Kong’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 52: 425–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Farh, J. L., Tsui, A. S., Xin, K. and Cheng, B. S. 1998. ‘The influence of relational demography and guanxi: The Chinese case’, Organisation Science, 9: 471–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fleishman, E. A. 1953. ‘The description of supervisory behavior’, Personnel Psychology, 37: 1–6.Google Scholar
  25. French, J. and Raven, B. H. 1959. ‘The bases of social power’, in D. Cartwright (ed.), Studies of Social Power. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  26. Hamilton, G. G. 1990. ‘Patriarchy, patrimonialism, and filial piety: a comparison of China and Western Europe’, British Journal of Sociology, 41(1): 77–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ho, D. Y. F. 1987. ‘Fatherhood in Chinese culture’, in M. E. Lamb (ed.), The Father’s Role: Cross-Cultural Perspectives: 227–45. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  28. Ho, D. Y. F. 1994. ‘Filial piety, authoritarian moralism, and cognitive conservatism in Chinese societies’, Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monographs, 120: 347–65.Google Scholar
  29. Ho, D. Y. F. 1996. ‘Filial piety and its psychological consequences’, in M. H. Bond (ed.), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Ho, D. Y. F. and Chiu, C. Y. 1994. ‘Components of individualism, collectivism, and social organization: An application in the study of Chinese culture’, inGoogle Scholar
  31. U. Kim, H. C. Triandis, C. Kagitcibasi, S.C. Choi and G. Yoon (eds), Individualism and Collectivism: Theory, Method, and Applications: 137–56. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Hof stede, G. H. 1980a. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Hof stede, G. H. 1980b. ‘Motivation, leadership, and organization: Do American theories apply abroad?’, Organizational Dynamics, 9(1): 42–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hof stede, G. H. 1994. ‘Cultural constraints in management theories’, in D. E. Hussey (ed.), International Review of Strategic Management, 5: 27–48. Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. Hof stede, G. H. and Bond, M. H. 1988. ‘The Confucius connection: From cultural roots to economic growth’, Organizational Dynamics, 16(4): 4–21.Google Scholar
  36. House, R. J. and Mitchell, T. R. 1974. ‘Path-goal theory of leadership’, Contemporary Business, 3(Fall): 81–98.Google Scholar
  37. Hsu, F. L.K. 1981. Americans and Chinese: Passage to Differences (3rd edn). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  38. Huang, K. L. and Wang, I. F. 1980. ‘The effects of leadership style and personality trait on worker job satisfaction’, Journal of Changchi University, 41: 45–60.Google Scholar
  39. Hwang, K. K. 1998. ‘Two moralities: Reinterpreting the findings of empirical research on moral reasoning in Taiwan’, Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 1: 211–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King, A. Y. 1991. ‘Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation’, Daedalus, 120: 63–84.Google Scholar
  41. King, A. Y. 1996. ‘The transformation of Confucianism in the post-Confucian era: The emergence of rationalistic traditionalism in Hong Kong’, in W. M. Tu (ed.), Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity: Moral Education and Economic Culture in Japan and the Other Four Mini-dragons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Lin, D. 1994. Confucian Ethic and Legal Culture — A Sociological Analysis. Taipei, Taiwan: Ju Liu. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  43. Ling, W. Q. 1991. ‘Leadership in the P.R.C.’, in Z. F Yang and S. R. Gao (eds), Chinese and Chinese Soul. Taiwan: Yuan Liu. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  44. Ling, W. Q., Chen, L. and Wang, D. 1987. ‘The construction of the CPM scale for leadership behaviour assessment’, Acta Psychologica Sinica, 19: 199–207. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  45. Misumi, J. 1985. The Behavioral Science of Leadership. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  46. Morgan, R. B. 1989. ‘Reliability and validity of a factor analytically derived measure of leadership behaviour and characteristics’, Educational and Psychological Measurement, 49: 911–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pillutla, M., Farh, J. L., Lee, C. and Lin, Z. 1998. ‘Constrained Behaviour: A Cultural Analysis of Reward Allocation in Chinese Groups’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, San Diego.Google Scholar
  48. Pye, L. W. 1981. Dynamics of Chinese Politics. Cambridge, MA: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain.Google Scholar
  49. Pye, L. W 1985. Asia Power and Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Redding, S. G. 1990. The Spirit of Chinese Capitalism. New York: de Gruyter. Scandura, T.A. and Graen, G. B. 1984. ‘Moderating effects of initial leader—member exchange status on the effects of leadership intervention’, Journal of Applied Psychology, 69: 428–36.Google Scholar
  51. Schein, E. H. 1992. Organizational Culture and Leadership (2nd edn). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  52. Silin, R. H. 1976. Leadership and Value: The Organization of Large-Scale Taiwan Enterprises. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Simon, H. A. 1976. Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization (3rd edn). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  54. Smith, P. B. and Peterson, M. F. 1988. Leadership, Organizations and Culture: An Event Management Model. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Smith, P. B. and Wang, Z. M. 1996. ‘Chinese leadership and organizational structures’, in M. H. Bond (ed.), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, R. J. 1994. China’s Cultural Heritage: The Qing dynasty, 1644–1912. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  57. Stogdill, R. M. 1974. Handbook of Leadership:A Survey of the Literature. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  58. Thompson, A. G. F. 1989. ‘Cross-cultural management of labour in a Thai environment’, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 6(2): 323–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tsui, A. S. and Farh, J. L. 1997. ‘Where guanxi matters? Relational demography and guanxi and technology’, Work and Occupations, 24(1): 56–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Van der Sprenkel, S. 1962. Legal Institutions in Manchu China, A Sociological Analysis. London: the Athlone Press, University of London.Google Scholar
  61. Vitell, S. J. and Davis, D. L. 1990. ‘The relationship between ethics and job satisfaction: An empirical investigation’, Journal of Business Ethics, 9: 489–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Walder, A. G. 1983. ‘Organizied dependency and cultures of authority in Chinese industry’, Journal of Asian Studies, 43(1): 51–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walder, A. G. 1986. Communist Neo-Traditionalism: Work and Authority in Chinese Industry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  64. Westwood, R. I. 1997. ‘Harmony and patriarchy: The cultural basis for ‘paternalistic headship’ among the overseas Chinese’, Organization Studies, 18: 445–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Westwood, R. I. and Chan, A. 1992. ‘Headship and leadership’, in R. I. Westwood (ed.), Organizational Behaviour: A SoutheastAsian Perspective: 123–39. Hong Kong: Longman Group.Google Scholar
  66. Whitley, R. 1992. Business Systems in East Asia: Firms, Markets and Societies. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  67. Wong, S. L. 1988. Emigrant Entrepreneurs: Shanghai Industrialists in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Wu, D. Y. H. 1994. ‘Chinese childhood socialization’, in M. H. Bond (ed.), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Xia, R. J. 1987. ‘Participative Decision-Making Behaviour in Industrial Organizations’ (in Chinese). Unpublished master’s thesis, Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences, Beijing.Google Scholar
  70. Xu, L. C. 1989. ‘Comparative study of leadership between Chinese and Japanese managers based upon PM theory’, in B. J. Fallon, H. P. Pfister and J. Brebner (eds), Advances in Organizational Psychology: 42–9. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  71. Yang, L. S. 1957. ‘The concept of bao as a basis for social relations in China’, in J. K. Fairbank (ed.), Chinese Thought and Institutions: 291–309. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  72. Yang, C. F. 1988. ‘Familism and development: An examination of the role of family in contemporary China Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan’, in D. Sinha and H. S. R. Kao (eds), Social Values and Development: Asian Perspectives: 93–123. Sage.Google Scholar
  73. Yang, K. S. 1993. ‘Chinese social orientation: An integrative analysis’, in L. Y. Cheng, F. M. C. Cheung and C. N. Chen (eds), Psychotherapy for the Chinese (selected papers from the first international conference): 19–56. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  74. Yang, K. S. 1996. ‘Psychological transformation of the Chinese people as a result of societal modernization’, in M. H. Bond (ed.), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Yang, K. S. 1998. ‘Chinese responses to modernization: A psychological analysis’, Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 1: 75–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Yang, M. M. 1994. Gifts, Favors and Banquets: The Art of Social Relationships in China. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Yu, S. Y. 1976. History and Thought. Taiwan: Lian Jing. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  78. Yukl, G. 1998. Leadership in Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiing-Lih Farh
  • Bor-Shiuan Cheng

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations