Comparative Value Priorities of Chinese and New Zealand Businesspeople and Their Relationships to Preferred Managerial Leader Behaviour

Littrell, Romie Frederick
Culbertson, Philip
Baxter, Roger
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

The purpose of this thesis project is to carry out research, analysis and interpretation of the nature and effects of cultural influences on individual values and perceptions of preferred explicit managerial leader behaviour of businesspeople in New Zealand and Guangzhou City, China. In the course of the investigation theories of cultural value dimensions and leader behaviour theories are reviewed. Shalom Schwartz’ theory of individual values within national cultures and the Ohio State explicit leader behaviour theories are employed as the tools for the study. Investigations of the validity of the theories are carried out and reported, along with analyses and interpretations of the two field research survey instruments operationalising the theories, the Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) and the Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire XII (LBDQXII). Results of the study indicate that neither of the theories or the survey instruments produces value and leader behaviour dimension structures that are invariant between the two samples of businesspeople. The invariance is not debilitating, and the theories and survey instruments produce useful comparisons of adequate validity and reliability to provide useful descriptions of differences in preferred leader behaviours between New Zealand and Guangzhou businesspeople. Based upon interpretation of these differences, suggestions are made concerning managerial leader behaviour suitable in managing and leading subordinates from each society. An adjunct to the study is investigation and validation of deficiencies in effectiveness of business leader behaviour in New Zealand identified by survey research studies interviewing samples of managers in countries important to New Zealand’s international businesspeople; some consistent attitudinal and behavioural problems are identified related to values and national character. The project is not directed at assessing organisational behaviour. It is directed toward identifying relationships amongst preferred leader behaviour priorities and individual value priorities in culture areas represented by two samples of businesspeople. When businesspeople from the two culture areas engage with one another in leadership, management, and commercial processes and transactions, differences in opinions attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour will be encountered that are attributable to individual values and preferred leader behaviour dimensions. Differences in preferred leader behaviour are identified and these differences are related to individual value priorities between the two samples. These differences are framed in the context of a theory of individual values and a theory of preferred leader behaviour. From the outcomes identified it is reasonable to expect that understanding and explanations of the sources of differences can be attributed to cultural value dimension differences. A discussion of possible behaviour prescriptions to accommodate the differences is provided in the final chapter.

Leadership , Businesspeople , South China , New Zealand , Culture
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