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«Leadership Styles and Asian Tourism Atcharee Alongkornpradap DePaul University, juzt.meen Morgan Bailey DePaul University, ...»

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Perspectives in Asian Leisure and Tourism

Research articles, essays, practical applications in hospitality, leisure and tourism - with

an emphasis on Southeast Asia

Volume 2 | Issue 1 Article 7

Leadership Styles and Asian Tourism

Atcharee Alongkornpradap

DePaul University, juzt.meen@gmail.com

Morgan Bailey


Brianna Coyle

DePaul University, b.coyle092@gmail.com Juan Mendez DePaul University, JMENDEZ2@depaul.edu Charlene Niu DePaul University, charlene9185@gmail.com See next page for additional authors Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/palat Recommended Citation Alongkornpradap, Atcharee; Bailey, Morgan; Coyle, Brianna; Mendez, Juan; Niu, Charlene; Zhai, Jianwu; and Roberts, Chris Ph.D.

(2014) "Leadership Styles and Asian Tourism," Perspectives in Asian Leisure and Tourism: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 7.

Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/palat/vol2/iss1/7 This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Hospitality & Tourism Management at ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst. It has been accepted for inclusion in Perspectives in Asian Leisure and Tourism by an authorized administrator of ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst. For more information, please contact scholarworks@library.umass.edu.

Leadership Styles and Asian Tourism Cover Page Footnote The authors wish to acknowledge the support and direction of Dr. Chris Roberts in the preparation of this material, including this introductory article and the five related leadership profiles that follow.

Authors Atcharee Alongkornpradap, Morgan Bailey, Brianna Coyle, Juan Mendez, Charlene Niu, Jianwu Zhai, and Chris Roberts Ph.D.

This article is available in Perspectives in Asian Leisure and Tourism: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/palat/vol2/iss1/7 Alongkornpradap et al.: Leadership Styles and Asian Tourism Leadership is the art or process of influencing people to perform assigned tasks willingly, efficiently and effectively. Enabling people to feel they have a say in how they do something results in higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity (The Importance, n.d.). There are three main factors about the definition of leadership that are important to understand. First, leadership is a social influence process. Leadership cannot exist without a leader and one or more followers. Second, leadership elicits voluntary action on the part of followers. The voluntary nature of compliance separates leadership from other types of influence based on formal authority. Finally, leadership results in followers' behavior that is deliberate and oriented in some sort of organized setting. Many, although not all, studies of leadership focus on the nature of leadership in the workplace (Reference, n.d.). There are many factors that will influence leadership styles. Leadership styles are formed by many items, but specifically one’s personal experience, or upbringing, guidance received by mentors or other influential persons,

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Asian leadership styles, as opposed to Western styles, have shown tendency to exhibit more visionary, supportive, participative, command and control, and charismatic-like (transformative) behaviors (Dorfman, Howell, Hibino, Lee, Tate, & Bautista, 1997). Again, these behaviors may be molded from culture (among other things) but are also molded through history, and the social environment. For example, Confucianism in Japan requires respect and obedience to leaders who have historically responded with highly paternalistic attitudes towards their subordinates. Japanese organizations tend to be highly organized and rigid (Hayashi, 1988). This paper will explore the Asian tourism market, cultural differences, successful leaders, their leadership styles, and look into the future of leadership in Asian Hospitality.

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population, Asia has been recognized of being the world’s largest and most populous continent.

Although the Asia continent is subdivided into 48 countries, most of the tourism and vacation destinations are densely placed in the regions of eastern and southeastern Asia. In 2012, the Asia-Pacific region lured more international arrivals to its shores with an estimate of as many as 350 million international arrivals, and visitor numbers are prospectively rising steadily (DeHart, 2013)

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offered the opportunity to many regional economies to accumulate wealth. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Asia now accounts 40% of global tourism spending. With high volume of international arrivals in the region, hospitality plays a vital role in impressing

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implications everywhere, particularly in South-east Asia, where societies are deeply divided culturally and where tourism has taken up culture as a major marketable attraction (Wood, 1980).

Attention to the cultural consequences of international tourism is relatively important. There has been a debate whether the original cultures should be preserved or western culture, ethnocentrism and romanticism, should be taken into consideration in adapting the cultures.

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that already happened in Europe and America, the businesses that learned from what happened in those two markets could have opportunities to prepare themselves for the next decades in this region. There is increased attention to facilities development, asset management, market segmentation and use of new technologies, which the recent economic turmoil in Asia will no

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doubt produce new challenges, as well as opportunities, in the lead up to the next millennium (Hing et al, 1998). Challenges for Asian market businesses have emerged since international businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, have to maintain their brand standards while also understanding and addressing the diverse expectations of customers across the market.

Hence, leaders in any business sector would play crucial roles in leading businesses to actively note differences between Asian and Western customers when it comes to overall service expectations and customer experiences. Important leadership styles and practices in the emerging Asian tourism and hospitality market will be examined later in the paper.

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usage of the internet, the leadership practices in Asian countries and Western countries have become more closely aligned over time. However, due to the importance of social environment, there is a tendency in Asian countries that leaders choose appropriate behavior according to the situation (Liden, 2011). High collectivism reveals a cultural proclivity toward focusing on what is best for the large group or collective rather than for individuals. Therefore, the interactions between leaders and followers are heavily associated with the surrounding environment.

Moreover, leaders in the Asian countries have a tendency to maintain social distance between themselves and their subordinates. Indeed, there is an emotional distance between them and their subordinates because of status and power inherent in their positions. Part of this adherence to maintaining distance from employees involves the use authoritarian control to ensure the compliance of followers, which is consistent with the paternalistic leader approach (Liden, 2011). Interestingly, during the time that distance is maintained and authoritarian control is applied, leaders in Asian countries also illustrate paternalistic benevolence in their treatment of employees. The reason leaders have a paternalistic leadership style is because in some Asian

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countries, especially China, Japan, South Korea and India, the leadership style is tied to the central role that family plays their culture. For instance, Chinese companies often attempt to act as the “work family,” and since China is a patriarchal society, the leader prototypes of Chinese firms tend to be males—essentially father taking care of their family. Therefore, leaders often act as a “father” role in their organizations (Pellegrini & Scandura 2008).

Influenced by the Confucian characteristics of hierarchy, morality, family obligation, control and respect, many Chinese hoteliers have revealed a paternalistic leadership style (Chow, 2004; Redding 2002). Most of them treat their staffs as their children, and want their employees to be the best they can be (Westwood, 1992). Another aspect illustrated by Chinese hoteliers who have a paternalistic leadership style is the absence of structured career planning and pathways available to employees. Caused by the ‘moderation’ of Confucian value, leaders want their staffs to make contributions to their careers, they try not to select one employee over another. That is, leaders sometimes attempt to minimize recognition and not encourage different personalities of staffs to maintain ‘moderation’ among employees.

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leader in India that has paternalistic trait. The relationship between his subordinates and him mirrors the father-children relationship. In order to enrich his executives’ hospitality knowledge and practice their working capability, Oberoi send them for training in United States and Europe.

During 1965, he established his own management school, which provides a two-year study program. The school not only provides study opportunities for Oberio’s employees, it also accepts applications from Asia, Africa, and Middle East. Oberio’s benevolences show the soft side of the leader who reveals personal concerns for employees and cares about subordinates’

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Transactional leadership can be defined as understanding employee needs, providing for those needs to reward employee contributions and hard work, and committing to giving those rewards after employees complete assigned work duties. Both employees and leaders recognize performance and effort, given an agreement with the leadership outlining obligations. This transaction requires trust. Transactional leadership categorizes trust into cognitive trust and affective trust. Cognitive trust is the trust produced through an objective evaluation of losses and benefits based on personality traits, reliability, and the strength of the relevant abilities of other

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Typically, employees under a transactional leader are more concerned about fairness in results, which indirectly affects their level of trust in their leader because their relationship with their leader is based on the results of their own efforts (Chen, 1995). Redding has pointed out that managerial leadership among overseas Chinese is primarily transactional, not charismatic (1990). Subordinates are expected to exhibit loyalty, diligence, conformity and behaviors that enhance the superiors’ face. The loyalty and devotion of subordinates derives from cultural history, not from an inspirational charismatic leader. However, leaders at the very top of an organization may create a vision that inspires followers (Redding, 1990). An example of a transactional leader is Belinda Yeung. She exemplified other leadership traits, but specifically, she was transactional in the beginning of her career at Royal Hotels.

Belinda Yeung Bik Yiu is currently the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Regal Hotels and her career started in 1987. Her responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer include overseeing operations of all Regal Hotels in Hong Kong as well as China’s Mainland.

When she became the Chief Operating Officer, the company had seven Hotels – since 2007, she has grown the company to have over twenty Hotels. She has also been Head of Human

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Resources Department of the Century City International Holdings Group since 1992. 

She attended the University of Houston for her education. Belinda Yeung is a member of the Election Committee for HKSAR Chief Executive Election, Deputy Chairman of Executive Committee of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the School of Hotel & Tourism Management of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and President from 2010 – 2011 of Rotary Club of Hong Kong Harbor (Management, n.d.). Belinda Yeung had a couple of different leadership styles. During the expansion stage of Regal Hotels, she needed to be situational and implement a transactional leadership style to manage the changes successfully. In order to motivate her team, she needed to use

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of the change. Transactional leaders are practical, direct, and manage details. Belinda needed to use this skillset to be able to manage the expansion from seven to twenty Hotels. She had also expanded the management team from ten employees to thirty. Belinda also most likely needed to use a command and control style, especially since she was in China and was in an uncertain time. This type of leadership style is best used in top-down interactions where the leader is the sole decision maker. Not every interaction needs to be collaborative.

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large change to their organization that people can’t help but be amazed. By definition, transformational leaders are those who “stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and in the process develop their own leadership capacity” (Bass, 2006).

This style of leadership does not focus solely on getting the job done, but is instead focused on bringing about a large change that will radically alter the status quo. Other leadership styles

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concentrate on the completion of a task. Transformational Leadership however, goes beyond that goal to a place where people are changed because of their interaction and integration into

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