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The effect of leadership styles, rank, and seniority on affective organizational commitment: A comparative study of U.S. and Korean employees

Gahye Hong ( Korea University Seoul Korea, Republic of )
Youngsam Cho ( Korea University Seoul Korea, Republic of )
Fabian Jintae Froese ( Georg-August-University of Goettingen Goettingen Germany )
Mannsoo Shin ( Korea University Seoul Korea, Republic of )

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 12 March 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and empirically test a conceptual model based on the culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory to comprehend differences in the relationships between consideration, and initiating structure leadership styles and affective organizational commitment for U.S. and Korean employees. Further, we investigate how rank and seniority moderate the relationships between the two leadership styles and affective organizational commitment in both countries.

Design/methodology/approach

We developed and conducted a cross-sectional survey in the U.S. and Korea. To test our hypotheses we performed a series of hierarchical regression analyses.

Findings

Survey results from 452 U.S. and Korean employees show that the positive relationship between consideration leadership (i.e. people-oriented leadership) and affective organizational commitment was stronger among U.S. employees than Korean employees. Initiating structure leadership (i.e. task-oriented leadership) was negatively related to affective organizational commitment in the U.S., whereas this relationship was positive in South Korea (henceforth Korea). Further, these relationships were moderated by rank and seniority in Korea, but not in the U.S. Specifically, the positive relationship between consideration leadership and affective organizational commitment was stronger when Korean employee’s rank was higher and seniority was shorter.

Originality/value

The comparative nature of our study enables us to identify differences in the effects of leadership styles on affective organizational commitment across countries and thus helps us to better understand employees from different cultures. Furthermore, we demonstrate the differential effects of demographic variables such as rank and seniority in the relationships of leadership styles and affective organizational commitment. The findings provide important managerial recommendations for how managers can better lead U.S. and Korean employees.

Citation

Hong, G., Cho, Y., Froese, F.J. and Shin, M. (2016), "The effect of leadership styles, rank, and seniority on affective organizational commitment: A comparative study of U.S. and Korean employees", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 23 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-03-2014-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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