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There are plenty of examples that expatriate managers fail to improve the company performance in China, such as Bill Amelio, who is work for Lenovo before. Russell Reynolds, an American consultancy, said that no more than 50% of expatriate executive success in working in China (Areddy, 2009). The culture chock is considered as the main factors for the failures. There is an example from my internship experience. It is a French insurer, which is the first foreign insurance company set up the subsidiary in the Western China. The most of the employees are Chinese, except for the executive manager and the Chief Financial Officer, who are assigned by the head office and both are French. After the executive manager’s arrival, the Chinese employees started to complaint that he didn’t respect them and support their jobs. The worse is that he Criticize that Chinese Human Resource Manager’s English is poor in front of her. Since the conflict between the manager and employees has happened, it is worth to find out whether and how the French leadership can affect the Chinese employees’ commitment, how to reduce this negative effect effectively.
This paper draws from several literature reviews and divides the content into four parts. They are as follow:
1) The organizational commitment and Chinese employee
2) French style of leadership
3) discussion, concussion and limitation
1. The organizational commitment and Chinese employee
Organisational commitment (CO) has been investigated effectively by the literature and empirical research. This is because the CO and job satisfaction are believed to be the main determinants of organizational performance (Angle, H., 1981, Wang, X., 2007). Benkhoff (1997) claims that the organizational performance can be improved significantly by reduce the employment turnover by OC and job satisfaction. When the employees dissatisfy with the work, they will tend to be less loyal or committed and start to look for opportunities to resign. If the opportunities are unattainable, they are not desirable to work. In the other hand, the OC has a positive relationship with employee motivation, or organizational membership (Riketta, 2002)
Many scholars have examined the organizational commitment and conclude that OC has three main perspectives towards organization. The first one is the perception of identification with the company’s vision and goals. Secondly, it is a sense of participation in organizational duties. At last, it is the organizational loyalty (Laschinger, 2001, Gaertner and Robinson, 1999). Overall, Trice and Beyer (1993) regarded commitment as a common belief and recognition of the organizational values and goals for the employees and the eagerness to take the responsibilities to bring about changes for goals and values to the organization, as well as to maintain loyalty with the organization.
Furthermore, the widespread literature suggests different types of OC. For example, the groundwork for commitment’s classification is created by O’Reilly and Chatman (1986) which are named into three different psychological terms, compliance, identification, and internalization. The most popular dimensions used to analyze the OC are distinguished by Meyer and Allen (1991). According to Meyer and Allen (1991) and their followers, OC can be categorized into affective commitment (AC), continuance commitment (CC), and normative commitment (NC).
AC refers to the psychological attachment or emotional commitment to the organization, and is generally linked to the dominant value orientation in the organizational behaviour (Porter, Steers, Mowday, and Boulian, 1974 cited by Meyer and Allen 1991). CC result in a rational choice viewpoint, which means that employees will compare their sunk costs or individual investment in that organization with benefits of leaving. If the former outweighs the later, they will maintain their organizational citizenship (Meyer and Allen, 1991). NC indicates that due to the sense of moral obligation, the employees ought to stay with the organization. This may because the employees receive some benefits from the company, such as the socialization.
The limitation of this framework is that it bases on the studies in the United States or other western countries. It is lack of test in cross cultural context. However, the available evidence from Morrow (1993) shows OC can be differentiated between continuance and affective commitment. It can be find the organizational commitment in China is carefully tested by some scholars (e. g. Robertson et al, Douglas K. Peterson, Xing Yuanyuan). The finding in common is that the AC and CC are significant commitment style in China. Furthermore, traditional Chinese culture values “face”, loyalty, “guanxi” and “pao” (means be good to someone who is good to you) are found as factors on employees’ commitment. However, the Gamble and Huang (2008) argued that the loyalty and belief of organizational value are less important to OC, whereas feeling proud from working, good relationship with management and employees, and job security were vital in the foreign-invested company. Obviously, the feeling of proud is an expression of the “face”, and the good relation reflect the “guanxi” culture.
Therefore, from our discussion, we can draw that the reasons for the employees quitting or losing commitment lays in the affective commitment and continuance commitment. This firstly means Chinese are rational when making resignation decision. In the other hand, they still focus on the mental experiences of the work, which indicate that they easily dissatisfy with their job by the antecedents, including leadership and others.
2) Leadership and French style
The leadership is the capacity of an individual to influence, motivate, and support others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success (Mohr, 2010). The styles for leadership are varied. According to Coleman, a leader can be coercive, or commanding, authoritarian, affective, or affiliative, democratic, pacesetter or pedagogic (trainer or coacher) .
Transformational and transactional leadership styles are most applied by the literature (Bernard M. Bass, 1985, Bennis & Nanus 1985). The Transformational leaders generate valuable and positive transform in the followers aim at developing followers into new leaders. By way of this leadership, the managers motivate, inspire his subordinates through a range of mechanisms. These consist of linking the follower’s self-identification towards the mission and the collective identity of networking and demanding followers to be responsibility of their work etc.
The Transactional leadership means that fully autocratic in group and use the reward or punishment to motivate the subordinates. This kind of leaders usually give instructions clearly to followers, in the other hand the subordinates are passive in the team work, unlike the transformational leader ().
Leadership style has few been distinguished between the specific cultural contexts, not until the GLOBE project. To understand the leadership style in the cross culture studies, many scholars perceive that culture is one of the determinants of the individual behaviours. Therefore, with the help of the culture dimensions, it is possible to definite the pattern of leadership style or French.
Hofstede (1994) has developed five cultural dimensions after he do the research in IBM. According to Hofstede (1994), nation cultural is defined as the collective programming of the mind in a nation or region. Hofstede (1994) suggested that cultural has several dimensions which include Individualism and collectivism (IC), uncertainty avoidance (UA), time orientation, power distance (PD) and masculinity and femininity (cited by Miller, 1978)).
Hofstede also comments that the higher PD country, the more likely leadership style is autocratic and/or paternalistic, since the employees’ unwilling to oppose to their bosses. While the lower means to adopt a more consultive leadership style, as a result of the employees are brave to tell their ideas to their bosses.
Power distance has directly correlation to leadership (Adsit, London, Crom, & Jones, 1997). The research from GLOBE has shown that participative leadership varies by PD in different clusters of the World. Cultures, such as Nordic European and Anglo of countries were mostly accustomed to participative leadership. In the other hand, East European and Confucian Asian, such as China tended to be directive leadership.
Individualism and collectivism can affect the style of leadership. In different culture background, the some leaders attribute are detected by GLPBE as a means of IC. In detail, Jung & Avolio (1999) has claimed that Collectivist values appear to fit well with transformational leadership style, such as the leader can be in the central role within the group (Miller,1978). On other hand, Individualists is been proved to motivate the transactional leadership in short-term. Furthermore, collectivism was found to have positive relationship with the degree of charismatic leadership
Finally, the concepts of masculinity and femininity have been identified as inconsistent factor in the domain of study (Riketta, 2002). The Time orientation is only been examine in several countries, which is less valuable to explore cross nations.
Otherwise, other researchers, like Smith et al. (Laschinger, 2001) through analyzing an existing databank tried to find out other factors by other cultural frameworks, Trompenaars’ (1993) , for instance.
3) Discussion and Conclusion
Employee commitment will reflect effect of the leadership. Stum (1999) said that leadership behaviour have an important relationship with the expansion of OC. Earlier research suggests a positive correlation between leadership behaviour and OC.
Lee (2004) started out that transformational leadership correlates significantly with OC after his research of professional development in Singapore. By supporting the Arnold, Barling and Kelloway (2001), Lee (2004) argued that Transformational leadership can benefit in increasing trust, OC and team efficacy. However, the research have further pointed out that no relationship was instituted between transactional leadership and three types of commitment.
Nevertheless, Kent and Chelladurai (2001) indicated that individualised consideration (IC) has positive link to both AC and NC. Besides, reward behaviours that stand for transactional leadership have rationally connected with performance and work value of followers although at a lower level than transformational leadership behaviours (Bass, 1990a; Bass & Avolio, 1990a).
Figure 1 Cultural Dimension for France (Geert Hofstede, 2010)
Look at the figure above, which is from Hofstede(2010). We can find that French culture has high in PDI, UAI and IDV. Drawing from the discussion in previous sections, we can conclude that the French Leadership is mix form several styles, such as participative, autocratic and/or paternalistic leadership and transformational leadership. How this leadership can affect the Chinese employees’ commitment is been coming more complex and hard to analyze, such as the Dicksona et al(2003) claim that it is not easy to identify the leadership style, because the leadership style for individual always consist of several types. However, in this stage, we can still, draw some implications from this paper. First of all, the French leadership style, which is also confirmed by (Dicksona et al. , 2003) tend to be autocratic, which is a specific type of transactional leadership style, is lack of literature support for the relationship between Chinese commitment and French leadership. Secondly, High uncertainty avoidance will result in leadership behaviour that “be more controlling, Less delegating and less approachable”(Dickson et al. , 2003: pp.13).therefore, we can understand that the French leadership has conflict with the Chinese employees’. Chinese employee in mulyinational company are more focusing on respect and proud of work, but the manager’s style will kill the employees’ innovation and then cause bad commitment.
Overall, there are several limitation of this work, due to the method, which mainly focus on the literature and the lack of literature material, as well there are some assumptions are lack literature support.
Word count: 2100 (excluding the tables and reference)
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