Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository

Comparability of leadership constructs from the Malaysian and Pakistani perspectives

Hussain, G. and Ismail, W. K. W. and Javed, M. (2017) Comparability of leadership constructs from the Malaysian and Pakistani perspectives. Cross Cultural and Strategic Management, 24 (4). pp. 617-644. ISSN 2059-5794

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare the applicability of transformational leadership and substitutes-for-leadership theories in Malaysia’s and Pakistan’s work settings. Design/methodology/approach – This study employed a survey-based approach using professional employees in both countries as respondents. In total, 215 responses to a web-based survey in Malaysia and 523 responses to a survey administered using personal methods in Pakistan were used for the analysis. Findings – The results revealed that Malaysia’s leaders were rated high on the dimensions of transformational and transactional leadership. The transformational leadership dimensions produced desirable effects on subordinates’ outcomes in both samples, but the contingent punishment dimension of transactional leadership produced especially undesirable effects on subordinates’ outcomes. Substitutes for leadership also independently affected subordinates’ outcomes and produced similar effects on subordinates’ outcomes in both samples. In general, the effects in the Malaysian sample are larger than those in the Pakistani sample. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that the transformational leadership style is effective in both cultures, but the transactional leadership style is culturally contingent. While leaders in collectivist cultures like Malaysia and Pakistan should practice more transformational leadership than transactional leadership, leaders in Pakistan should be particularly careful while practicing transactional leadership because of the society’s high level of collectivism and moderately high-power distance orientation. Practical implications – The results suggest that the transformational leadership style is effective in both cultures, but the transactional leadership style is culturally contingent. While leaders in collectivist cultures like Malaysia and Pakistan should practice more transformational leadership than transactional leadership, leaders in Pakistan should be particularly careful while practicing transactional leadership because of the society’s low power distance orientation. Originality/value – Since this study is the first to compare the applicability of western theories in collectivist cultures that differ significantly in their power distance orientation, it contributes meaningfully to the cross-culture leadership field.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:leadership style, cultures
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5549.5.M63 Employee motivation
Divisions:International Business School
ID Code:76072
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:30 May 2018 12:18
Last Modified:30 May 2018 12:18

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