The relationship between perceived leadership behaviours and employees’ attitudes to work : an empirical study in Indonesia
Leadership is a phenomenon that exists in all groups or societies, and has unique and distinct characteristics across cultures. The effectiveness of leadership is determined by the cultural background of the individuals within a group or society. This study provides evidence that the ways Indonesians think about effective leadership behaviours is distinct from those in the United States. In this study the MLQ (Bass and Avolio, 1995) was back-translated for use in Indonesia. Pilot testing showed that some of the US-derived items were ambiguous or perhaps meaningless for Indonesian workers, and suggested two leadership behaviours (benevolent parent figure and directive) as being important to them. In the main study (n=618), factor analysis showed that the way Indonesian respondents classified leadership behaviours did not conform to Bass and Avolio's transformational and transactional taxonomy. Rather three factors emerged representing leadership behaviour that was seen as "ideal", "minimal" and ''unacceptable'' to Indonesian workers. Further, the "ideal" and "minimal" behaviours appear to reflect the two basic human needs in Herzberg's (1966) two-factor theory - the needs for growth and to avoid pain. Taken together with Shaw's (1990) leadership categorisation theory, this study proposes a new way of explaining how subordinates think about and categorise leadership behaviours in a non-Western culture. The correlations between the three leadership behaviours and four outcome variables Gob satisfaction, organisational commitment, trust and intention to leave) were all significant in this data set. This shows that the new taxonomy developed is relevant for the Indonesian sample, and also demonstrated some important factors contributing to employees' attitudes. Finally, this study has theoretical and practical implications for developing and broadening our knowledge and skill about effective leadership processes. Some limitations are discussed together with call for future research to clarify the new taxonomy proposed.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsleadership behaviours; transformational leadership; transactional leadership; Herzberg's two-factor theory; leadership categorisation theory; employee's attitude; job satisfaction; organisational commitment; trust; intention to leave
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