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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Patricia G. Martínez

Despite its persistence as a form of leadership, paternalism has received limited attention within organizational studies. In order to develop a construct definition of…

Abstract

Despite its persistence as a form of leadership, paternalism has received limited attention within organizational studies. In order to develop a construct definition of paternalism in a contemporary organizational context for this study, a literature review of paternalism is synthesized with qualitative field data collected in Mexican organizations and U.S. organizations that are owned and operated by Mexican immigrants. This analysis is conducted within a framework of leadership, and it suggests that paternalism combines paternalists’ benevolent acts with their subtle control over subordinates’ flexibility in meeting employment terms. Leaders express benevolence through their supportiveness and by providing for employees’ welfare both within the organization and their personal needs outside of the organization. Furthermore, both paternalistic leaders and subordinates frame their relationships in terms of social exchange, offering new insights into the dynamics within these exchange relationships.

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Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

María Fernanda Wagstaff, Adrienne Collela, María del Carmen Triana, Alexis Nicole Smith and Marla Baskerville Watkins

Drawing from social dominance theories and conceptualizations of paternalism, the purpose of this paper is to define and develop a measure of subordinates’ perceptions of…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from social dominance theories and conceptualizations of paternalism, the purpose of this paper is to define and develop a measure of subordinates’ perceptions of supervisor paternalism (SPSP).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors assess the validity of the measure using Hinkin’s (1998) scale development steps.

Findings

The authors found evidence of the convergent and discriminant validity of the measure of subordinates’ perceptions of supervisor paternalism drawing from three different samples. Participants in the study were also able to differentiate a low from a high paternalism condition using the measure of paternalism. Finally, as expected, the interaction between a supervisor’s benevolence and control was significantly associated with subordinates’ perceptions of supervisor paternalism.

Research limitations/implications

The authors provide evidence for the validity of a measure of subordinates’ perceptions of supervisor paternalism while controlling for various status signals represented by demographic variables. Results may have been influenced by common method variance. However, there is no theoretical reason to expect any such interactions. Additionally, as the authors limited the data collection to the USA, the authors caution against generalizing beyond that context.

Practical implications

The authors provide validity and reliability evidence for a unidimensional measure that is short and easy to administer in future research to further examine the consequences of perceptions of supervisor paternalism.

Social implications

Defining and measuring subordinates’ perceptions of supervisor paternalism is important to society given the potential adverse consequences of these perceptions. Because paternalistic relationships pervade many supervisor-subordinate interactions, both subordinates and supervisors can become more sensitive to the consequences of such interactions by understanding the conditions under which supervisor paternalism manifests itself.

Originality/value

Conceptually, in this study, the authors build on prior research and define supervisor paternalism from a social dominance perspective. Empirically, the authors contribute a statistically valid and reliable unidimensional measure.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

M. Darío Rodríguez and F. René Ríos

Paternalism in labour relationships is characteristic of Chilean and Latin American firms. Despite its empirical and practical relevance it lacks adequate conceptual…

Abstract

Purpose

Paternalism in labour relationships is characteristic of Chilean and Latin American firms. Despite its empirical and practical relevance it lacks adequate conceptual elaboration so that it remains an opaque real drive that cannot be managed. This paper seeks to propose some conceptual distinctions to help clarify its meaning.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the social systems theory of Niklas Luhmann, paternalism is analysed as semantics which makes three main aspects visible: interests, autonomous decisions and responsibility that are seen as different sources of risk and danger for the workers. Paternalism is allegedly a protective device.

Findings

Paternalism is reinforced and reproduced by distrust in the workers' capacities to make decisions on their own and it becomes a justification to keep wages low, hinder delegation and becomes an ideology that justifies gaps between productivity and compensation.

Research limitations/implications

Paternalism is difficult to operationalize in order to make empirical observations, but through qualitative analysis we were able to characterize it with two examples. This will help empirical research to continue on a more appropriate conceptual basis.

Practical implications

HRM practices should consider that paternalism is present as an expectation and that management should know that it can also pervade administration despite its modernized appearance.

Originality/value

Since paternalism pervades expectations in opaque ways, it sets limits to management's capacities to administer human resources in a modern way. Awareness of this fact allows its comprehension and the ability to properly deal with it.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2020

Kari Poikolainen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what degree scientific evidence supports contemporary paternalistic alcohol policy practices targeting fully competent adults.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what degree scientific evidence supports contemporary paternalistic alcohol policy practices targeting fully competent adults.

Design/methodology/approach

Paternalism may be acceptable if it is effective, fair and protects the safety of the citizen or a third party from the harms caused by the citizen’s autonomic actions. To be justifiable, paternalistic actions should bring about clearly more benefits than harms. Otherwise, autonomy should prevail. The evidence related to alcohol control policies is assessed against these principles.

Findings

In peaceful civilized societies, alcohol control policies (high prices, restrictions on supply and marketing) have no or only insignificant effectiveness. Some policies are unfair and may bring about more harms than benefits. There is strong evidence showing that brief interventions aiming to reduce alcohol intake are inefficient. Wide-scale screening for such interventions is likely to waste health service resources. There is sufficient evidence to refute the claim that the previously mentioned policies are effective measures to reduce alcohol-related harms. Heavy alcohol use during pregnancy and driving motor vehicles while intoxicated may bring about harm to others than the user. Behavioural interventions to reduce heavy use in pregnancy have been shown to be inefficient. Light alcohol use may have no harmful effect on the developing embryo, whereas heavy use is likely to cause harm. There is moderate evidence for enforcing legal blood alcohol concentration limits to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities.

Originality/value

This is the first review on the acceptability of paternalism in currently recommended alcohol policies. It shows that in only a few cases, paternalism is effective and compatible with freedom and fairness.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Zeynep Hale Öner

The purpose of this study is to test an adaptation of the servant leadership survey to Turkey for the first time and to explore the relationship between perceptions of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to test an adaptation of the servant leadership survey to Turkey for the first time and to explore the relationship between perceptions of servant leadership and paternalistic leadership styles in the Turkish business context to contribute to the complex process of contextual dynamics of leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 305 self‐administered surveys completed by white‐collar mid‐level managers in Istanbul, Turkey. These white collar employees conveyed their perceptions about the leadership styles of their immediate supervisors.

Findings

The results revealed that Turkish employees perceived a high correlation between paternalistic and servant leadership styles, demonstrating that leadership practices held by employees are strongly culture‐specific. In particular, all dimensions of servant leadership construct – i.e. altruism, relationship, empowerment and participation – showed a significant positive correlation with the paternalistic leadership construct. Servant leadership attributes as perceived by Turkish employees reflect a higher degree of “people orientation”.

Research limitations/implications

Although this is a cross‐sectional study, its findings have implications for contemporary leadership research and practice, particularly with regard to understanding of leadership in the cultural context.

Practical implications

The study findings may assist human resources practitioners in multinational corporations and in Eastern and Western countries to unravel the confusion and misunderstandings created when different cultures perceive leadership in disparate ways.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to establish empirically a possible link between servant leadership and paternalistic leadership perception as shown in the understanding of the Turkish employees. Turkish mid‐level managers did not consider servant leadership and paternalistic leadership styles as inconsistent, while the Western populace thinks of them as mutually exclusive. This study is a step in the complex process of theorizing about the contextual dynamics of leadership.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Mario Hayek, Milorad M. Novicevic, John H. Humphreys and Nicole Jones

The purpose of this paper is to further fill the void of American slavery within management history and leadership studies by presenting the unique case of Joseph E…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to further fill the void of American slavery within management history and leadership studies by presenting the unique case of Joseph E. Davis's paternalistic leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

This case was selected because of Davis's attempt to transplant Robert Owen's utopian practices of social harmony in an industrial, textile‐mill setting to the backdrop of his slavery plantation. The method used is the historical method of analyzing both primary and secondary sources of data about Joseph E. Davis, a Mississippi planter, during the time periods of antebellum and reconstruction.

Findings

This analysis indicates that Joseph E. Davis exhibited benevolence, authoritarianism, and, to a degree, moral paternalistic leadership with his slaves. Yet, due to his ideology and the context, he still defended slavery and Southern rights.

Research limitations/implications

Historical knowledge about paternalistic leadership during the antebellum slavery and reconstruction time period will help to end the denial of slavery in management studies, as well as contribute to the understanding of paternalism in many contemporary cultures.

Originality/value

This is the first article to provide primary evidence of paternalistic leadership in management history studies within this erroneously disregarded period.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Preeti S. Rawat and Shiji Lyndon

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of paternalistic leadership of the boss on the trust of the subordinate.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of paternalistic leadership of the boss on the trust of the subordinate.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study adopted survey method to test the hypotheses. Paternalistic leadership style was measured by a 24-item scale developed by Cheng et al. (2004). Trust was measured by a four-item scale by Schoorman and Ballinger (2006). Data were collected from a sample of 253 respondents.

Findings

The results show that in India, paternalistic leadership style leads to subordinate trust. The result further found that though benevolent and moral leadership leads to trust, authoritarian leadership does not lead to formation of trust.

Practical implications

The study has important implications in areas like managing leader–member relations, leadership training and team efficacy.

Originality/value

Leadership researchers in Indian context have largely adopted etic approach which attempts to generalize Western leadership theory to Indian context. However, uncritical adaptation of techniques developed in Western context may not be effective in the Indian cultural environment. The concept of paternalistic leadership was developed in Chinese context, but as India scores high on paternalism, the present study uses the paternalistic leadership style to study its effect on subordinate’s trust on leader.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Dario Rodriguez and Rene Rios

Labor contracts are built on the basis of different latent premises about expectations of the organizations and the workers. Paternalism is widespread in Latin America…

Abstract

Purpose

Labor contracts are built on the basis of different latent premises about expectations of the organizations and the workers. Paternalism is widespread in Latin America, and its diverse forms should be taken into account in the design of HR policies and management practices. The paper seeks to compare two Chilean banks and show that different forms of paternalism exist. As long as the organization is consistent with the premises it works with, productivity is not hindered by either form.

Design/methodology/approach

By means of a case study two banks's contractual premises are compared. Each one represents a different set of cultural expectations for the labor contracts.

Findings

Paternalistic and non paternalistic premises for labor contracts differ widely, but as long as the organization is coherent with them in its human resources policies and practices, productivity can be achieved indistinctively.

Research limitations/implications

The cases are representative of main types of organization's labor contracts, but not statistically representative. Generalizations are possible insofar as other organizations show similar cultural pre‐contractual premises.

Practical implications

Human resource management policies and practices need to be consistent with the premises underlying the labor contract and the social bond in order to allow for productivity increases.

Originality/value

Paternalism is still present in Latin American organizations, instead of dismissing it as traditional or premodern, acknowledging it will allow for organizations to act more realistically towards its labor force.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2019

R. Arzu Kalemci, Ipek Kalemci-Tuzun and Ela Ozkan-Canbolat

The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge and understanding of organizational and supervisory support in the context of employee deviant workplace behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge and understanding of organizational and supervisory support in the context of employee deviant workplace behavior (DWB) by examining the potential associations of employees’ cultural value orientations. This paper aims to: clarify DWB; review perceived organizational support (POS) and perceived supervisory support (PSS); discuss the meaning of employees’ cultural value orientations (individualism–collectivism, power distance and paternalism); use the fuzzy logic model to analyze relationships between DWB and POS, as well as PSS and employees’ cultural value orientations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

The results show the role of employee perceived organizational and supervisory support and cultural dimension (power distance and paternalism) configurations on employee DWB.

Originality/value

The main originality of this study is to further increase the understanding of organizational and supervisory support in the context of employee DWB by examining the potential associations of employees’ cultural value orientations. This study extends the previous research by providing evidence that organizational and supervisory support influences employees’ DWB.

Details

European Journal of Management and Business Economics, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2444-8494

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Julie Wolfram Cox

As part of a retrospective study of effects of organizational change on interpersonal relations, this paper discusses change talk among Australian employees of an American…

Abstract

As part of a retrospective study of effects of organizational change on interpersonal relations, this paper discusses change talk among Australian employees of an American multinational manufacturing enterprise. Interviewees tended to feel pushed into change, discussing its effects in terms of the difficulties of adolescence and earlier experiences of sudden independence. Over time, what had been a simple and firm us and them division in intergroup relations between management and unions/workers had become more fluid and subtle, and perhaps more mature. Interview data are interpreted and then re‐interpreted in terms of theories of team development, nostalgia, and paternalism. It is argued that each interpretation makes differing, but complementary, assumptions about the nature of time. If developmental, progressive assumptions of organizational change are relaxed, further attention can be given to theorizing and researching subtleties in talk of the past.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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