Benevolence-dominant, authoritarianism-dominant, and classical paternalistic leadership: Testing their relationships with subordinate performance

An Chih Wang, Chou Yu Tsai, Shelley D. Dionne, Francis J. Yammarino, Seth M. Spain, Hsiao Chi Ling, Min Ping Huang, Li Fang Chou, Bor Shiuan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose a new typology of paternalistic leadership styles based on how leaders demonstrate authoritarianism and benevolence, the two essential components of this type of leadership. Benevolence-dominant paternalistic leadership refers to leaders' sole dependence on the use of benevolence without their strong assertion of authority, whereas authoritarianism-dominant paternalistic leadership is based mainly on authoritarianism itself; classical paternalistic leadership, which best fits early observations of paternalistic leaders, refers to the salient combination of both leadership components. We used two distinct samples and methods to test this typology and the association with subordinate performance. Across the two studies, a field investigation with Taiwanese military supervisor-subordinate dyads and a hypothetical scenario experiment with U.S. working adults, we found a positive relationship between classical paternalistic leadership and subordinate performance as strong as that between benevolence-dominant paternalistic leadership and performance. Our findings echo the phenomenon that paternalistic leaders tend to combine benevolence with authoritarianism to affect subordinate performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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