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Does Globalization Matter : The Change of Power Distance and Its Effects on Authoritarian Leadership


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Title: Does Globalization Matter : The Change of Power Distance and Its Effects on Authoritarian Leadership

Does Globalization Matter The Change of
Power Distance and Its Effects on Authoritarian
Leadership in Chinese Organizations
  • Li-Fang Chou
    Bor-Shiuan Cheng
  • Kaohsiung Medical University National Taiwan
  • Globalization and Development in Chinese Economic
    Region Conference,
  • June 22, 2006 in Taipei, R. O. C

Presentation Outline
  • Introduction
  • Research Purposes
  • Theoretical Review
  • Research framework
  • 2 Studies (Results and Summary)
  • Discussion

  • Globalization and Leadership
  • Paternalistic Leadership (PL)
  • Combines strong discipline and authority with
    fatherly benevolence and moral integrity couched
    in a personalistic atmosphere (Farh Cheng,
  • Authoritarian Leadership (AL) of PL
  • Leader take rigorous control over subordinates
    and demands complete obedience .

  • Leadership and authoritarian values under
  • The transformation of AL
  • The Change of power distance values regarding
  • The effectiveness of transformational AL and the
    key role of power distance within the
    relationship between transformational AL and
    individual outcome

Study Purpose
  • To probe into the influencing factors that will
    affect the difference of employees power
  • To realize the effects of different power
    distance values upon transformational
    authoritarian leadership.
  • To better understand the effectiveness of
    authoritarian leadership across individuals
    holding difference power distance

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • The impact of Globalization on Organizational
  • Transcendence / compression of space and
    economic, technology and information circulation
  • Cultural aspect, globalization ? values
    homogeneous or heterogeneous all over the world
    /nation /organization ?
  • ?Globalization ?Culture values ? Leadership

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • What happen to Authoritarian Leadership in
    Chinese under Globalization ? Will be disappeared
    ? or transformed ?
  • According to the content of AL, Farh Cheng
    (2000) suggested that
  • AL behavior hurts subordinates dignity should
    and will be lessened.
  • AL behavior about performance, principle, and
    core values should and will be retained or

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • The Transformation of Authoritarian Leadership
    (Jen, Farh, Cheng, Chou,2003 Cheng
  • People-related AL
  • - Emphasizing leaders personal authority
  • - Control over Subordinate
  • - Focus on subordinates compliance and fear
    toward leader.
  • - Unwilling to delegate, ignore sub.
    suggestion, information manipulation
  • Task-related AL
  • - Emphasizing high performance standards, norms
    and core values which were built by leader or
  • - Control over task or job process and detail
  • - Focus on subordinates performance and work
  • - Didactic behavior, monitor work process, high-
    goal setting

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • What will happen with the Transformation of AL?
  • Do people and task related AL co-existed ?
  • Convergence Hypothesis (Myer, 1975 Yang, 1988)
  • The Challenge of Convergence hypothesis
  • Cultural theory (Beck,1998)
  • Traditionality and Modernity (Huang, 1995 Yang,
  • The relationships of people - and task related
    AL with subordinate effectiveness
  • Work motivation or incentive, emotional feeling
  • People-related AL ? effectiveness(-)
  • Task-related AL ? effectiveness()

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • PD which the values regarding submission to
    authority have been gradually altered as the
    social modernization and industrial/ commercial
  • Organizational Centralization (Janssens Brett,
    1994) ? PD ()
  • Power distance theory (Mulder, 1977 Poppe,
    2003) leaders PD gt subordinates PD Male
    PD gt Female PD
  • The emphases on egalitarian (Farh Cheng, 2000)
    Age (), Education (-)

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • The demonstrations of AL behaviors
  • Trait theory Organizational characteristic
    (Yukl, 2003)
  • Subordinates expectation and preference
    regarding leadership ( Hofstede, 1980 Dorfman,
    et. al, 1997)
  • Organizational Centralization
  • Leaders PD
    Leaders AL ()
  • Subordinates PD

Relative theories and Previous Studies
  • Power Distance (PD) and AL
  • PD refers to peoples ideas about the what is
    acceptable in superior-subordinate relationship
    (Lee, Pillutla, Law, 2000) Accept authoritys
    decision uncritically (Begley, Lee, Fang Li,
  • PD shapes subordinates reactions to the
    supervisors leadership / decision / treatment
    (Farh, Liang, Hackett, 2006)
  • ? The effect of AL on individual outcome will
    be moderated by PD

Research Framework
Organization char. Hierarchical position and
personal char.
Study 1
Power Distance
Study 2
AL -People related -Task - related
Subordinate Effectiveness
Study 1
  • Subject
  • 92 work team from business organization and 125
    battalions from military organizations (both are
    Taiwan sample)
  • Business sample
  • 92 leaders and 629 team members (one leaders with
    3-13 members) from 60 organizations
  • Military sample
  • 125 Battalion commanders (leaders), 402 company
    commanders (members) and 1121 platoon leader
    (members). One leaders with 12 members
  • Measures
  • Variables Subjects gender , age, education,
    leader position and type of organization
    (business / military organization)
  • PD, People-related AL, and Task related AL

Organization chart. Hierarchical position and
personal chart.
Study 1
Power Distance
AL -People related -Task - related
Study 1 Draft Results
? Factors for PD difference ?
Study 1 Draft Results
  • HLM Factors for demonstration of AL?

Study 2 Draft Results
  • The effects of subordinates PD and organization
    type on people-related AL?

Study 2 Draft Results
  • The effects of subordinates PD and leaders PD
    on task-related AL?

Study 1 Summary
  • Values regarding submission to authority--PD has
    been gradually changed as the social change.
  • Age ? PD() on age 50 group
  • Education (years) ? PD (-)
  • PD in Military org. gt PD in Business org.
  • The demonstration of AL
  • Main effects for people-related AL
  • Military Org ? People-AL ()
  • Leader PD , Subordinate PD ? People-AL ()
  • Cross-level interaction on AL
  • Subordinate PD organization type on People- AL
  • Subordinate PD Leader PD on Task -AL

Study 1 Complement for Org. type
Study 2
  • Subject
  • 510 employee ( who cowork with CEO more than one
    year) each business
  • Mainland China sample
  • 375 employees from 53 China private businesses
  • 61 were males 15 had college or higher
    education average seniority was about 4.57
    years, 53 were supervisors
  • Taiwan sample
  • 181 employees from 27 Taiwan private businesses
  • 51 were female 24 had college or higher
    education average seniority was is about 7.60
    years 53 were supervisors
  • Measures
  • Outcome variables Affective Org. commitment
    (a.88, .95), Affective loyalty to CEO (a.86,
    .92), and Obligated Loyalty to CEO (a.80, 88).,
  • Control variables employees gender, age,
    education, position, seniority

Study 2
  • Measures EFA of AL
  • Cheng, Farh, Chou(2005)
  • People-related AL, 10 items, a.87 (China) and
  • He will not reveal any message to me.
  • He will not let me aware of his real intension.
  • He will make all company decisions on his own.
  • He asks me to fully comply with his leadership.
  • He will devaluate my contributions in work.
  • The final decision in meeting will be made based
    on his attitude.
  • He will underestimate my capability.

Study 2
  • Task-related AL, 7 items, a.77 (China) and
  • He asks more work requirements on me than that I
    ask for myself.
  • He requests that his subordinates should achieve
    higher performance than the ones from other
  • He asks me to report to him whenever theres any
    work progress change.
  • He will seriously request my explanation once
    work goal is not achieved.
  • He will take control on my work.
  • His management style is extremely strict.
  • He fully know well of the my work details.

Study 2
  • Measures-- EFA of Power Distance
  • Power distance Dorfman and Howell(1988), 5
    items, a.79 (China) and .80(Taiwan)
  • Managers should seldom ask for the opinions of
  • Managers should make most decisions without
    consulting subordinates.
  • Managers should avoid off-the-job social contacts
    with employees.
  • Managers should not delegate important tasks to
  • It is frequently necessary for a manager to use
    authority and power when dealing with

Power Distance
Study 2
AL -People related -Task - related
Subordinate Effectiveness
Study 2 Draft Results
? Correlations of all Variables ?
Top-right triangle matrix is correlations for
Taiwan sample , and Bottem-left triangle matrix
is correlations matrix for China sample.
Study 2 Draft Results
? Hierarchical regression analysis main and
moderating effects ?
Study 2 Draft Results
? Hierarchical regression analysis moderating
Affective Loyalty to supervisor
Taiwan Sample
Study 2 Draft Results
? Hierarchical regression analysis moderating
Study 2 Summary
  • Authoritarian Leadership
  • Correlation between People- related and
    Task-related AL ()
  • People- related AL ? Outcome (-)
  • Task-related AL ? Outcome ()
  • The moderating effects of PD
  • Only for People- related AL
  • There are different pattern between Taiwan (-
    )(as predict) and Mainland China sample ()

Discussion-Preliminary Finding
  • The impact o f Globalization on Chinese
  • Authoritarian Leadership transformed into two
    type focus on People and Task
  • Globalization ? organization design, social
    development ? employees power distance (values
    regarding leaders authority)
  • Organizational type, PD of leader and sub. ? the
    demonstration of AL
  • The effectiveness of AL and the moderated role of
    PD on outcome

  • Further Direction
  • Longitudinal approach
  • Individual level of globalization indictor
  • individual subjective perception v.s. objective
    job characteristic
  • impact on OB such as loyalty, the relationship
    between employee and organization, organizational
    identity, identification, the conflict/balance
    between work and family life

Thank you for being patient with this
  • And
  • Expect for getting insight from your inspiration
    and idea sharing.
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