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Managerial orientation, cultural orientation and gender orientation: a cross-cultural study of the relationship between superiors and subordinates

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https://www.eduzhai.net International Journal of Applied Psychology 2012, 2(5): 104-109 DOI: 10.5923/j.ijap.20120205.05 Orientations of the Managers, Culture and Gender: Cross-cultural Study of Supervisor-Subordinate Relationship Zorica Marković1, Elisaveta Sardžoska2, Kalina Sotiroska2,* 1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Niš, Serbia 2Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje, M acedonia Abstract This study investigated differences in the attitudes toward workplace practices between male and female managers fro m Serb ia and Macedonia. There were included 200 managers, 100 managers fro m Macedonia and 100 managers fro m Serb ia. The analyses is aimed at determination differences of orientations toward cultural dimensions collectiv ism-indiv idualis m and power distance, paternalism, and affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship between male and female Macedonian and Serbian managers. The results suggest significant differences in orientation toward power distance and collectivis m-individualism, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship among managers fro m Serb ia and Macedonia. Macedonian managers score higher on collectiv istic orientation, and contractual supervisor-subordinate relationship than Serbian managers. But Serbian managers score higher on orientation toward power distance and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship. The study showed that there are no differences according to gender and there is no interaction effect of culture and gender on orientations toward collectiv ism-indiv idualis m and power distance, paternalism and supervisor-subordinate relationship. The results of the study lend support for the notion that the culture influences on organizational practices. With increasing knowledge about the differences of attitudes of managers with different cultural background, increases the possibility of developing open and productive relations in the business world. Keywords Cu lture, Leadership, Managers, Gender 1. Introduction This study examines possible national differences in the moderating effect of supervisor-subordinate relationship on the managers work attitudes. In recent times researchers are trying to discover the background characteristics of managers in order to improve organizational performance. Gender and culture are the features that have attracted the most attention in identifying background characteristics and leadership behavior of managers[20]. The world co mmunity is increasingly developing interest in the topic that includes gender and leadership, specifically differences between men and wo men in the higher positions in o rgan izat ions. Fo r various reasons as methodo logical difficult ies and domination of male-researchers, who have ignored gender equality in the leadership, the researchers fled th is top ic u nt il th e sevent ies o f the last cent au ry * Corresponding author: kalinasotiroska@gmail.com (Kalina Sotiroska) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2012 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved (Chermes1997; Hoyt 2008[16]). According to Dienesch and Liden (1986;[21]) the key determinants of the quality of a supervisor-subordinate relationship are indiv idual characteristics as race, gender and nonperformance behaviors as personal relat ionships. With increasing number of wo men occupying leadership positions, there is a question weather men and wo men differ in leadership styles. Empirical results to support gender differences in leadership behavior are mixed, and conclusions cannot be made about gender differences for the whole world[20]. There are many studies that showed the differences in the perception of adequacy of leadership roles between women and men in several cultures In the study conducted by Garcia-Retamero and LopezZafra[5] was tested whether the leadership role is mo re appropriate to male o r to female gender role among German and Spanish participants. The results showed that Spanish participants express more prejudice against female candidates for leadership position than German participants. Also it was assumed that leadership is more congruent with masculine gender ro le than the femin ine gender role. In sum, the characteristics that are associated with 105 International Journal of Applied Psychology 2012, 2(5): 104-109 leadership role, as power, authority, and co mpetition are attributer more to men than wo men. The relationship between the leadership and national culture is often studied in the cross-cultural management literature, causes a lot of attention among researchers. The leadership processes reflect the culture in which they unfold; this conclusion is accepted as an axio m by international res earch ers [6]. The research of gender differences in management are conducted in the North America and Europe, otherwise research in Balkan cultures has been very limited because of the main ro le of the wo men as mother-wife-daughter-sister. By the years there is increasingly nu mber of wo men on managerial positions in the organizat ions. In Taiwan the researchers found that male emp loyees had higher job satisfaction and job levels, but there was no difference in work values by male and female emp loyees[18]. Also in the research conducted in Macedonia, found that gender is a significant factor for job satisfaction, where male health workers are more job satisfied than female health workers[. Yugoslavia was the only Eastern block country that had a part in Hofstede’s research of national cultural differences, conducted in 1970. Macedonia and Serbia were parts of Yugoslavia in that time. Serb ia in 1970 manifested higher power d istance 86 than Yugoslav average of 76. Although Yugoslavia manifested average of 27 for cultural dimension collectiv ism-indiv idualis m, Serb ia showed 25. There are many different defin itions of culture; with the intention that culture is a very complex construct that encompasses various aspects of individual’s lifestyle. Hofstede and Hofstede defined culture as collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the member of one group or category of people from another. Individuals belong to different groups of people at the same time and have several layers of mental programming that correspond to different levels of the culture. In this study are analyzed national level and gender level o f the culture. National level of the culture refers to one’s country, while gender level of culture refers to whether ind ividual is born as male or as fe male . According to Bocher & Hesketh[4] individualized measures of culture are used when the culture is an independent variable as to suppose any individual measured variable. Cu ltural orientations are personal constructs arising fro m the cultural dimensions. Specifically cultural orientations are cultural dimensions at individual level. This study covers two cultural orientations: orientation toward cultural d imension collectivis m-individualis m and orientation toward cultural dimension power d istance. Individualism-collectivis m is the most common ly applied construct to explain and predict cultural differences[8]. According to[19], orientation toward individualism is characterized with attitudes of group independence; giving priority to personal goals, using attitudes much more than norms as determinates of their social behavior. While orientation toward co llect ivis m is characterized with intensive interpersonal relat ionships, loyalty and security, also maintaining group harmony. Power d istance dimension is the extent to which the less powerful people in the organizat ions and institutions accept and expect unequal power distribution[11]. Indiv iduals who are high on power d istance accept a subservient hierarchy in terms of authority, also accept their status. Power distance reinforces interdependent relations, where individuals have to adhere to their beliefs that are aligned in society and they have no many alternatives. In every society family is of enormous importance. Especially within developing countries, as Serbia and Macedonia, despite the nuclear family, also extended family is prio rity. Family and work are interrelated, so the work is in the function of family[2]. Paternalis m reflects behavior of supervisors to their subordinates as father to their children. In the organization, leader creates family at mosphere, acting as father to his/her subordinates, developes close interpersonal relationships with the subordinates, to detail is familiar with their personal problems and family situation, maintains authority, giving importance to differences of status. Also this study reviews the supervisor-subordinate relationship as integral part to understand the complex construct leadership. Recent revisions of theories for leadership describe a life-cycle of a leader-follower relationship, which begins trial than proceeds in a mo re reliable and binding relationship or remains fixed at the initia l stage[13]. However, every relat ionship starts with low quality but the leader should continue to develop relations to higher levels. There are four supervisor-subordinate relationships: (1) Affective supervisor-subordinate relationship in which supervisor and subordinates develop close interpersonal relat ions and emotive attachment; (2) Instrumental supervisor-subordinate relationship is based on submission of a reward o r punishment, instrumental behavior is motivated of goal achievement; (3) Contractual supervisor-subordinate relationship, in wh ich supervisors and subordinates perform their duties specified in advance of organizational regulation; (4) Ob ligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship in wh ich leader shows authority by giving directions and orders, that their subordinates should follo w. According to Eagly, Karau, M iner and Johnson[1] wo men are less then men impose its authority on others. Also Eagly and Johnson[1] suggested that women displayed more democratic and interpersonal behavior than men. The purpose of this paper is to test prior theoretical background regarding culture’s and gender’s influence on attitudes toward collectivis m-individualis m and power distance, paternalism and supervisor-subordinate relationship. To reach the purpose it is necessary to answer the question: are there differences in orientations toward collectiv ism-indiv idualis m and power distance, paternalism and supervisor subordinate relationship among male and female managers fro m Serb ia and Macedonia? The authors discuss possible exp lanations for the fo llo wing results (a) orientation toward collectivis m-individualis m, paternalism and supervisor-subordinate relationship among managers Zorica M arković et al.: Orientations of the M anagers, Culture and Gender: Cross-cultural Study 106 of Supervisor-Subordinate Relationship fro m two cultures: Serbian and Macedonian, (b) orientation toward collect ivism-individualism, paternalis m and supervisor-subordinate relationship among male and female mangers, (c) orientation toward collectiv ism-ind ividualism, paternalism and supervisor-subordinate relationship among male and female mangers fro m Serbia and Macedonia. The authors discuss possible exp lanations for differences in attitudes toward collectivism-individualism and power differences, paternalis m and supervisor-subordinate relationship (a) based on culture, (b) based on gender and (c) based on the interaction of culture and gender. 2. Method 2.1. Hypotheses H1: Macedonian managers score higher on orientation toward cultural d imension collectivis m-individualis m and power distance, paternalism, affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinates relationship than managers fro m Serbia. H2: Male managers score higher on orientation toward cultural d imension collectivis m-individualis m and power distance, paternalism, affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinates relationship than fe male . H3: There are significant differences on orientation toward cultural d imension collectivis m-individualis m and power distance, paternalism, affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinates relationship between male and female managers fro m Macedonia and Serbia. 2.2. Participants The questioners were co mpleted by 200 managers, 100 managers fro m Serbia and 100 managers fro m Macedonia fro m different industries. The average age of the participants is 42 years (SD=9.18), the youngest is 22 years old and the oldest 67 years. The structure by gender, education and level of management is adequate in both groups (Table 1). Procedure The researchers distributed questionnaires individually to examine workplaces with pointing at the object of research that is the impact of organizational practices among cultures over managerial attitudes toward working and socio-cultural environment in Serb ia and Macedonia. The instrument was obtained through back-translation procedures based on English version. A 12 item scale developed by Dorfman and Howell (1998) measured individualis m-collectiv ism and power-distance orientations; a 6-item scale fro m Pellegrin i and Scandura (2006) measured paternalism and 12-item scale constructed by Jiang (2005) measured affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship. The participants were requested to give answers on a six point Likert -type scale (1=strongly disagree, 2=d isagree, 3= somewhat disagree, 4=so mewhat agree, 5=agree, 6=strongly agree). Table 1. Demographics of the participants Serbia Macedonia Gender Educat ion Level of Management Et hn icity Male Female Primary school High school College Bachelor Postgraduate level First-line Middle Top level Macedonian Albanian Serbian Mont en egrin Bosnian Slovak Number of p art icipant s 74 26 2 14 21 53 10 34 66 0 0 0 96 2 1 1 % Number of % P art icip ant s 74% 75 75% 26% 25 25% 2% 0 0% 14% 11 11% 21% 38 38% 53% 46 46% 10% 5 5% 34% 31 31% 66% 37 37% 0% 32 32% 0% 50 50% 0% 50 50% 96% 0 0% 2% 0 0% 1% 0 0% 1% 0 0% 107 International Journal of Applied Psychology 2012, 2(5): 104-109 Source Table 2. Result s of mult ivariat e analyze of variance Variable Sum of square Df Mean square F Sig. Gender Collectivistic orientation 0.73 1 0.73 0.05 0.83 Power distance orientation 51.06 1 Cult ure P atern alism 7.36 1 Affective relationship 1.60 1 Instrumental relationship 0.04 1 Contractual relationship 0.58 1 Obligatory relationship 50.23 1 Collectivistic orientation 2808.60 1 Power distance orientation 524.59 1 P atern alism 2.28 1 Affective relationship 7.04 1 Instrumental relationship 0.01 1 Contractual relationship 508.35 1 Obligatory relationship 83.05 1 Gender and Cult ure Collectivistic orientation 2.92 1 Power dist an ce 11.94 1 P atern alism 60.93 1 Affective relationship 3.445 1 Instrumental relationship 4.06 1 Contractual relationship 24.115 1 Obligatory relationship 47.37 1 51.06 7.36 1.60 0.04 0.58 50.23 2808.60 524.59 2.28 7.04 0.01 508.35 83.05 2.92 11.94 60.93 3.445 4.06 24.115 47.37 2.15 0.24 0.19 0.01 0.05 3.385 181.95 22.14 0.075 0.83 0.00 46.83 5.60 0.15 0.50 2.005 0.41 0.59 2.22 3.19 0.14 0.62 0.66 0.94 0.82 0.67 0.00 0.00 0.78 0.36 0.96 0.00 0.02 0.70 0.48 0.16 0.525 0.44 0.14 0.08 3. Results Table 2 p resents main and interaction effects of culture and gender on collectivistic and power distance cultural orientation, paternalism and affect ive, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship. Regarding the main effects of cu lture and gender, there are differences in the mean values of culture on collectiv istic orientation (F (1, 98) =181.95; p<0.01), power distance orientation (F (1, 98) =22.14; p <0.01), contractual (F (1, 98) =46.83; p<0.01) and obligatory (F (1, 98) =5.60; p<0.05) supervisor-subordinates relationship. Macedonian managers score higher on collect ivistic orientation and contractual supervisor subordinate relationship than Serbian managers. Furthermore Serb ian managers score higher on power distance orientation and obligatory supervisor subordinate relationship than Macedonian managers. There are no differences in the mean values of gender; also there is no interaction effect of gender and culture on collectiv istic and power distance orientation, paternalism, and affective, instrumental, contractual and obligatory supervisor-subordinate relationship. 4. Discussion and Implications The results of this study show that there are cross-cultural diffe rences in organizat ional attitudes among managers with different cultural background, Serbia and Macedonia. Nevertheless the results confirm the claim that local culture has influenced in each domain and in organizat ional practices. There are not found differences in attitudes towards cultural o rientations, paternalis m, leader-member relationship among men and wo men managers fro m Serb ia and Macedonia. Macedonian managers score higher on collectiv istic cultural orientation than Serbian managers. According to[12] Macedonians live in the expressed collectivistic cultural environment. Serbian managers score higher on power d istance cultural orientation. According to Janicijevic[15], the high power distance in Serbian national culture favors autocratic managerial behavior, taking responsibility and risks, as well making decisions. Serbian managers show higher obligatory relat ionship than Macedonian managers. Ku zmanovic[22] in a comprehensive study in Serbia and Montenegro, without Kosovo, confirmed that 56.6% of the participants in most cases show authoritativeness, 28.8% show no authoritativeness and 15% show hesitation or mixed orientation. The war and UN sanctions in Serbia gave opportunity to managers for absolute power and a perfect cover for various kinds of abuse, corruptions. Smith et al.[5] showed that managers in high power distance cultures, their actions are based on formal ru les and Zorica M arković et al.: Orientations of the M anagers, Culture and Gender: Cross-cultural Study 108 of Supervisor-Subordinate Relationship procedures. The previous findings showed that Macedonian managers score higher on power distance cultural orientation, also the results in this study showed that they are higher on contractual su p erv is o r-su b o rd in ate relatio n s h ip . Subordinates prefer to give its support to those with power, using legitimate power. However, after the breakdown of Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Serbia entered in the process of transition, which lasts a very long time, and it is exhausting in any aspect of life. In the current crisis conditions there is increased authoritarian orientation, because of people’s frustrations. 5. Conclusions The results of this study showed that there are cross-cultural differences among managers from Serbia and Macedonia. It nevertheless lends support for the notion that local culture influences each human behavior, furthermo re influences organizational practices. One of the key findings fro m this research suggests that male and female managers do not differ much in the leadership attitudes. These results are in favor of reducing gender stereotypes, especially about wo man as manager. In addition of the findings is the reasoning of Costa et al.[20] that biologica l diffe rences were not found to explain leadership behaviors of men and wo men. By identify ing significant relationships between culture and managerial orientations, this study established a conceptual framework for future research including mo re different courtiers, and the ethnicities within the countries. According to cross-cultural researchers mapping of cultural d ifferences can serve as a general guide to different people[22]; so the results fro m this study will contribute to better understanding of cultural differences between neighboring countries, which could enable mutual good and cooperative business relations. Knowledge of obstacles and ways to overcome are very useful for further successful interaction. To determine normative reco mmendations for Western investors and business associates who would co llaborate with Serbia and Macedonia, besides the need to become fa miliar with the social values, it is necessary to consider the assumptions about the attitudes of the managers and their leadership styles. Closer acquaintance of a neighbor contributes to overcoming the conflicts, developing mutual cooperation that is essential for the future of Se rbia and Macedonia. Challenges and opportunities, In Lonner, W. L., Daniel, D. L., Hayes, S. A. & Sattler, D. N. (Eds), Online Available: ht tp ://www.wwu.edu/~cult ure [3] Cheung, H. Y. & Chan, A. W. H., How Cultures Affects Female Inequality Across Countries: An Empirical Study, Journal of Studies in International Education, 11, 2, 157-179, 2007 [4] Clugston, M ., Howell, J. P. & Dorfman, P. 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