Foundations of Responsible Leadership: Asian Versus Western Executive Responsibility Orientations Toward Key Stakeholders Michael A. Witt • Gu¨nter K. Stahl Received: 7 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 December 2014 / Published online: 9 January 2015 The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Exploring the construct of social-responsibility orientation across three Asian and two Western societies (Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and the United States), we show evidence that top-level executives in these societies hold fundamentally different beliefs about their responsibilities toward different stakeholders, with concomitant implications for their understanding and enactment of responsible leadership. We further find that these variations are more closely aligned with institutional factors than with cultural variables, suggesting a need to clarify the connection between culture and institutions on the one hand and culture and social-responsibility orientations on the other. Keywords Business systems Culture Institutions Responsible leadership Varieties of capitalism ‘‘Recognizing our responsibilities as industrialists, we will devote ourselves to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people through our business activities.’’ Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. ‘‘We are investing in environmentally-cleaner technology because we believe it will increase our revenue, our value and our profits. … Not because it is trendy or moral.’’ Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric Responsible leadership has emerged as a major theme in management discourse. As the world recovers from major economic crisis and, some argue, a crisis of management ethics (e.g., Ghoshal 2005; Waldman and Galvin 2008), business leaders are under increasing scrutiny. Highly publicized corporate scandals and managerial misconduct have led to a sense that senior misbehavior is greater than previously suspected (Brown and Trevin˜o 2006; Kaptein 2008). As a result, trust in business is at one of the lowest levels on record, both in the U.S. and in Europe (Edelman 2012). Not only Western leaders, but top-level executives in non-Western countries as well have been exposed for dishonesty, greed, and unethical business practices. For instance, managerial malpractice, exacerbated by institutional and cultural factors, have been blamed for corporate scandals in South Korea (Choi and Aguilera 2009) and Japan (Tanimura and Okamoto 2013). Similarly, bribery and corruption scandals in China and India have undermined their economic and political stability. The weak legitimacy of formal institutions and attendant institutional voids in emerging-market environments have also been recognized (Khanna and Palepu 1997; Puffer et al. 2010). The quest for responsible leadership is a response to such issues and subsequent calls for more ethical managerial conduct, and a result of changes and new demands in the global marketplace, such as increased stakeholder activism and scrutiny (e.g., Doh and Guay 2006; Husted et al. 2012). With growing socio-political and environmental challenges around the world, there is pressure from stakeholders— among them governments, local communities, NGOs, and consumers—for corporations to engage in self-regulation and M. A. Witt (&) INSEAD, 1 Ayer Rajah Avenue, Singapore 138676, Singapore e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org G. K. Stahl Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria e-mail: email@example.com 123 J Bus Ethics (2016) 136:623–638 DOI 10.1007/s10551-014-2534-8 take more active roles as global citizens (Maak and Pless 2006; Voegtlin et al. 2012). As the growing membership of companies in the UN Global Compact and booming corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives indicate, more and more business leaders seek to contribute actively to the ‘‘triple bottom line’’ (Elkington 1997; Savitz and Weber 2006), which simultaneously considers social, environmental, and economic sustainability (i.e., ‘‘people, planet, profits’’). However, despite initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and calls for business leaders to ‘‘contribute to the creation of economic and societal progress in a globally responsible and sustainable way’’ (EFMD 2005, p. 3), it is still contested whether corporations and their leaders have social responsibilities beyond wealth-generation (Aguilera et al. 2007; Devinney 2009; Waldman and Siegel 2008). At one extreme, classic economic constructs of the firm hold that business has no responsibility beyond making profit for shareholders (Friedman 1970); a business leader seeking ‘‘maximum long-term owner value in ethical ways’’ thus acts responsibly (Sternberg 1994, p. 58). At the other extreme are ethical frameworks that assume that corporations and their leaders have an obligation to act according to the needs of a wide range of constituents, thereby ‘‘acting in the service of the common good’’ (Crilly et al. 2008, p. 176) or as ‘‘agents of world benefit’’ (Pless and Maak 2009, p. 60). Clearly, as Waldman and Galvin (2008, p. 328) have noted, responsible leadership does not mean the same thing to all. In this paper, we argue that executives in different societies hold fundamentally different beliefs about their responsibilities toward different stakeholders, with concomitant implications for their understanding and enactment of responsible leadership. We support our argument with evidence of business leaders’ views about the meaning of social responsibility, obtained through in-depth interviews with senior executives from three Asian (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea) and two Western (Germany, United States) economies. The differences manifest in our data suggest that the very meaning of ‘‘responsibility’’ may be subject to contextually-contingent differences in interpretation, as illustrated by the two quotes at the beginning of this article. Our results have significant implications in understanding responsible leadership, as they are linked to leaders’ perceptions of the legitimacy of stakeholders, their propensity to engage in activities that contribute to social welfare, and, thus, their CSR application. We conclude by discussing the implications for research on responsible leadership and CSR practice. Leaders’ Responsibility Orientations and Underlying Assumptions About the Purpose of the Firm Waldman and Galvin (2008) maintain that responsible leaders embrace different mindsets, which they classify according to two perspectives: a ‘‘limited economic view’’ emphasizing shareholder primacy, and an ‘‘extended stakeholder view.’’ Proponents of the former assert that executive decision-making should focus exclusively on maximizing shareholder value (e.g., Levitt 1958; McCloskey 1998; Sundaram and Inkpen 2004). The most prominent advocate was the late Milton Friedman, who argued that ‘‘[t]here is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game’’ (1970, p. 6). As for corporate responsibility, this economic view suggests that unless such activities enhance profitability, spending corporate money for social purposes such as philanthropy is a misuse of corporate resources, because ‘‘the profits of a publiclyowned company are not the managers’ to give away’’ (Crook 2005, pp. 17–18). Objectives beyond economic necessity and minimal legal or moral standards should thus be ignored, and to the extent that firms make social contributions such as paying taxes and generating employment, these outcomes are mere byproducts of good business practices. By contrast, the extended-stakeholder perspective acknowledges CSR’s normative drivers, including executives’ expectations about corporate responsibilities and their own moral values, which may go beyond economic interests (Waldman and Siegel 2008). Stakeholder theory (Agle et al. 2008; Freeman 1994; Phillips et al. 2003) asks managers to make decisions cognizant of needs and demands across a broader set of constituencies, including investors, employees, consumer groups, environmentalists, and wider society. Thus, the stakeholder perspective focuses rather on relationships with constituencies, arguing that their needs must be balanced in the actions of people in positions of organizational leadership (Margolis and Walsh 2003; Sully de Luque et al. 2008). While the shareholder-primacy and the stakeholderperspective approaches seem to represent polar opposites, attempts have been made to reconcile them. Freeman et al. (2004, p. 365) argue that ‘‘[d]ividing the world into ‘shareholder concerns’ and ‘stakeholder concerns’ is roughly the logical equivalent of contrasting ‘apples’ with ‘fruit,’ [since] shareholders are stakeholders’’ of the company. They note that in an era when firms rely on committed value-chain partners to deliver outstanding performance, the goal of creating value for stakeholders is decidedly pro-shareholder. In a similar vein, Waldman (in Waldman and Siegel 2008) has observed that shareholders in many firms are increasingly demanding that their firms ‘‘do well by doing good,’’ which involves developing new business models that align social responsibility with profit maximization. The idea that organizations can profit from maximizing the benefits of multiple constituents 624 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 concurrently is in line with the concept of shared value (Porter and Kramer 2011), which holds that companies can use their core competencies to provide solutions to social and environmental problems. While many managers believe there is an inherent trade-off between being profitable and socially responsible, research has supported the idea of shared value creation, indicating that corporate financial performance and social performance can go handin-hand (Margolis et al. 2008). The above three orientations (shareholder primacy, extended stakeholder, and integrative approaches based on the concept of shared value) represent the range of beliefs that may be held regarding businesses’ obligations to society and CSR in particular. Building on prior research on responsible leadership (Burton and Goldsby 2009; Pless et al. 2012; Voegtlin et al. 2012; Waldman and Galvin 2008), we use the term ‘‘responsibility orientation’’ to denote the different mindsets that corporate executives may embrace with respect to all aspects of firm activity, including, but not limited to, corporate responsibility. These mindsets are rooted in different assumptions about the purpose of the firm, which stakeholders are legitimate, and the ways in which firms should respond to stakeholder groups. In particular, we consider two dimensions of a leader’s responsibility orientation: how salient or important various stakeholder groups are in the mind of a leader (e.g., is one stakeholder group given primacy over others); and the leader’s attitudes toward stakeholder groups (i.e., are some groups evaluated more positively than others). We posit that the two dimensions are largely independent of each other. For instance, a senior executive may reject the objective of shareholder-wealth maximization but still consider shareholders a key constituent group. In sum, business leaders embrace different responsibility orientations or mindsets with respect to the activities of their firms, which are rooted in different assumptions about the purpose of the firm, the set of legitimate stakeholders whose needs must be addressed, and the meaning of social responsibility in their roles as business leaders. While some executives see their primary, if not sole, obligations being to shareholders or owners and to complying with laws and regulations, others pursue a broader approach, considering the needs and interests of multiple constituencies. Theoretical perspectives on responsible leadership are largely based on Western concepts, such as Habermas’s theory of discourse ethics and deliberative democracy (Scherer and Palazzo 2007; Voegtlin et al. 2012), the Kantian distinction between ‘‘duties of perfect and of imperfect obligation’’ (i.e., the idea that leaders have the duty to refrain from harming others and the duty to advance the aims of others) (Stahl and Sully de Luque 2014), or the idea rooted in agency theory that good corporate governance requires executives to act as agents of shareholders (Filatotchev and Nakajima 2014; Shleifer and Vishny 1997). It is not clear to what extent these concepts and ideas apply outside North America and Europe, specifically Asia. In this study, we consequently explore how leaders’ responsibility orientations may vary across different Western and Asian societies. A better insight into cross-national variations in leaders’ responsibility orientations is important if we are to better understand factors influencing senior-executive perceptions of the role of business in society and the legitimacy of stakeholder claims; the strategies and approaches available to them for addressing the needs of different stakeholder groups; and how companies and their leaders gain legitimacy and social acceptance in the various institutional environments in which they operate (Aguilera et al. 2007; Chiu and Sharfman 2011; Doh and Guay 2006). Asian and Western Orientations to Responsible Leadership: Institutional and Cultural Influences Senior executives’ orientations to responsible leadership are likely to vary across institutional and cultural contexts. Because corporations and their leaders are embedded in different national systems, they will embrace different societal values related to CSR (Schneider et al. 2014; Waldman et al. 2006) and experience divergent degrees of internal and external pressures to engage in CSR (Aguilera and Jackson 2010; Doh and Guay 2006; Matten and Crane 2005). For instance, Martin et al. (2009), comparing business ethics between managers from Germany and the US, concluded that orientations and approaches to responsible leadership differ. They suggest that the US view has its basis in utilitarianism and emphasizes the moral responsibility of the individual, while German ‘‘Wirtschaftsethik’’—which loosely translates as the ethics of relationships between economics and society—emphasizes social partnerships and companies as social entities. Germany’s focus on consensual ethics can be linked to a social-market philosophy and the stakeholder system of German corporate governance, which is distinguished by cooperation and consensus and is clearly different from the shareholder capitalism common in the US. The small but growing body of literature addressing how aspects of the national context may affect leaders’ responsibility orientations and CSR-related decisions is still very much grounded in European and U.S. contexts. With notable exceptions (e.g., Chapple and Moon 2005; Choi and Aguilera 2009), little research has been done in an Asian context, and few studies have adopted a comparative perspective between Asia and the West (e.g., Witt and Redding 2012). Our study builds on and extends these works by examining how responsibility orientations, Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 625 123 conceptualized in terms of the salience of specific stakeholder groups and leaders’ attitudes toward these groups, may differ between and within Asia and the West, comparing three Asian [Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea (hereafter: Korea)] and two Western (Germany, United States) economies. Our specific premise is that aspects of the institutional context within which companies and their leaders operate (e.g., corporate governance) are closely related to the salience of specific stakeholder groups, whereas cultural values are more closely related to leaders’ attitudes toward these groups, as discussed below. Institutional contexts have been categorized along many dimensions (Aguilera and Jackson 2003; Brammer et al. 2012; Hall and Soskice 2001; Matten and Moon 2008; Whitley 1999; Witt and Redding 2013). Table 1 gives an overview of those dimensions that seem most relevant to leaders’ perceptions of the salience of specific stakeholder groups (e.g., employees, unions, owners/shareholders) across the economies in our sample. Hall and Soskice’s (2001) work on Varieties of Capitalism suggests that nations can be divided into two types based on their institutional make-up: liberal market economies (LMEs) and coordinated market economies (CMEs). According to their typology, three of the economies in our study can be classified as CMEs (Germany, Japan, and, with some qualifications, Korea) and two as LMEs (Hong Kong and the United States). LMEs feature relatively free-market arrangements, with supply-anddemand forces having a large impact on organizational outcomes and processes. In terms of financial systems, LMEs such as Britain, Canada, and the US tend to embrace ‘‘shareholder value,’’ with company performance measured by market value, returns evaluated on a shortterm basis and the state rarely intervening in the economy. Employment relations are characterized primarily by open labor-market relationships, firms having the freedom to hire and fire employees almost at will and collective bargaining being uncoordinated and taking place at firm level (Aguilera and Dencker 2004). In contrast, CMEs such as Germany, Japan, and Scandinavian countries are characterized by relatively strong non-market relationships. In these ‘‘stakeholder capitalism’’ national models, employees, suppliers, customers and financial institutions are part of the context within which business leaders make decisions and firm performance is evaluated. Firms are expected to protect employee rights, collective bargaining tends to be coordinated, and corporate returns tend to be assessed on a long-term basis (Aguilera and Dencker 2004; Aguilera and Jackson 2010; Witt and Redding 2013). In such an environment, senior executives are more likely to adopt a long-term approach to CSR and focus on a broader group of constituents in their decisions and actions. The above suggests that the CMEs of Germany, Japan, and Korea on the one hand and LMEs of Hong Kong and the United States on the other differ on a number of key dimensions. Leaders in CMEs are likely to adopt a more comprehensive approach to responsible leadership, taking into account the claims and interests of a wider range of stakeholders, both internal and external to the firm. Thus, the breadth of constituent-group focus and degree of accountability toward stakeholders other than shareholders (e.g., employees, unions, suppliers) is likely to be higher in CMEs, and executives are more likely to pursue an approach of longer-term value creation, involving aligning the firm’s interests with those of key stakeholders (Pless et al. 2012; Waldman and Galvin 2008). In contrast, leaders in LMEs will be inclined to a ‘‘limited economic’’ view, focusing on shareholder-value maximization and embracing instrumental ethics (Scherer and Palazzo 2007; Waldman and Siegel 2008). The needs and claims of stakeholders other than shareholders are accorded lower priority and considered only as far as they affect shareholder interests. Hence our first hypothesis: Hypothesis 1 The responsibility orientation of senior executives in CMEs will differ from those in LMEs with respect to the salience of stakeholder groups. Executives in LMEs are more likely to give primacy to owners/shareholders, whereas executives in CMEs are more likely to consider the needs of a wider range of stakeholders, including employees, customers, and wider society. Besides aspects of the institutional context, cultural factors are likely to play an important role in determining executives’ responsibility orientations. North American, European, and Asian cultural systems have generated very different assumptions about society, business and government (Aguilera and Jackson 2010; Matten and Crane 2005; Redding et al. 2014; Redding and Witt forthcoming). Martin et al. (2009) demonstrate that differences in cultural values and beliefs create expectations of acceptable and unacceptable leader behavior, which places constraints on the types of leader behavior and characteristics endorsed in a society. On this basis, we contend that senior executives’ expectations about corporate responsibilities to society and their attitudes toward specific stakeholder groups will be shaped by the dominant cultural values in the countries where they reside. In this paper we draw on the findings of the GLOBE project (House et al. 2004; Javidan et al. 2006), a largescale study of cross-cultural leadership involving 62 societies around the world, to explore implications for responsible leadership. GLOBE developed nine dimensions for comparing the different societal cultures of the world, of which three have consistently been found to be related to responsible leadership and CSR (Husted and Allen 2008; 626 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 Table 1 Institutional and cultural factors Hong Kong Japan Korea Germany USA Institutional factors Varieties of Capitalism (Hall and Soskice 2001) LME CME CME (with some qualifications) CME LME Types of business systems (Whitley 1999) Fragmented Highly coordinated State-organized Collaborative Compartmentalized Skills formation Private On-the-job On-the-job and private On-the-job and public Private Employment relations Weak unions outside public sector, few strikes Strong unions in large firms, few strikes Strong unions in large firms, much strike activity Structurally strong unions (Mitbestimmung), relatively few strikes Weak unions except select industries (e.g., cars), relatively high strike activity Inter-firm relations Business groups Business groups (keiretsu), extensive networking with competitors, suppliers, distributors Business groups Extensive networking with suppliers and firms in related and unrelated industries Limited alliances because of strong anti-trust Internal structure Top-down, little delegation Participatory, some delegation Top-down, little delegation Participatory, some delegation Top-down, some delegation Ownership, CG Family Public with long-term shareholders Widely held but family-controlled Widely held or family Widely held State Regulatory state Residual developmental, growing welfare state Developmental state Welfare state Regulatory state Predicted constituency focus Narrow: family, shareholders Very broad: all stakeholders to whom the company is aligned, and society as a whole Broad but conflictual: shareholders, esp. founding families, versus employees and society as a whole Broad: shareholders and employees and their representatives given equal weight Narrow: shareholders; other stakeholders only considered if contributing to shareholder value Cultural factors GLOBE societal cluster (House et al. 2004) Confucian Asia Confucian Asia Confucian Asia Germanic Europe Anglo Institutional collectivism 4.13 5.19 5.20 3.79 4.20 Power distance 4.96 5.11 5.61 5.25 4.88 Humane orientation 3.90 4.30 3.81 3.18 4.17 Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 627 123 Waldman et al. 2006; Williams and Aguilera 2008): institutional collectivism, power distance, and humane orientation. For instance, in a study of 561 firms based in 15 countries on five continents, Waldman et al. (2006) examined the relationship between CSR orientations of top management and two country-level cultural dimensions, institutional collectivism and power distance. They found that managers in countries with high institutional collectivism and low power distance were more likely to manifest behaviors associated with three responsibility orientations: concern for shareholders, concern for stakeholders, and concern for community/state welfare. Importantly, their findings suggest that cultures valuing institutional collectivism promote thinking about how managerial actions pertain to the concerns of a wider range of stakeholders and wider society, whereas cultures with strong power distance values may reduce managers’ concern for such stakeholders as employees, environmentalists, and customers. Other studies have found that humane orientation explains a predisposition to engage in responsible leader behavior. Humane orientation is the degree to which a society encourages and rewards individuals for being fair, altruistic, generous, caring, and kind to others (House et al. 2004; Javidan et al. 2006). Countries with stronger humane orientation consider the interests of others, affirm belonging and affiliation, and embrace norms and responsibilities for protecting the well-being of others. Martin and his colleagues (e.g., Martin et al. 2007; Bame-Aldred et al. 2013) found that managers in countries low in humane orientation are more likely to show behaviors considered socially harmful. Humane orientation is thus likely to be positively associated with leaders’ propensity to consider the needs of a broad set of stakeholders and society as a whole. The foregoing discussion suggests the following hypothesis: Hypothesis 2 The responsibility orientation of senior executives, particularly their attitudes toward different stakeholder groups, will vary across different cultural contexts. Executives from cultures characterized by strong institutional collectivism and humane orientation and weak power distance are more likely to show concern for a wider range of stakeholders and society at large than executives from cultures characterized by weak institutional collectivism and humane orientation and strong power distance. A critical distinction in the GLOBE project is the one between cultural values and practices. On each dimension a society is positioned in terms of both its practices (‘‘Culture As Is’’-scores) and its values (‘‘Culture As Should Be’’- scores). Cultural practices data tell us something about the current perceptions, attitudes and practices of each culture, cultural values tap the respondents’ feelings about their cultural aspirations and the direction the respondents want their culture to develop in the future (Javidan et al. 2006). Most studies that draw on the findings of the GLOBE project to investigate the culture-CSR link use the cultural values scores; however, since we are interested in how cultural orientations might influence senior leaders’ perceptions of the role of business in society, the legitimacy of stakeholders, and the approaches available to them for addressing the needs of different stakeholder groups—and, thus ‘‘Culture As Is’’—we use the GLOBE cultural practices scores to test our assumptions. Based on the GLOBE study, all three Asian economies in this study fall into the Confucian Asia (East Asian) cluster, characterized by high institutional collectivism, moderate to high power distance, and moderate humane orientation (Javidan et al. 2006). The cultural profiles of Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea are thus distinct from both the Anglo and Germanic cultural cluster. However, as shown in Table 1, subtle differences exist among the countries of the Confucian Asia cluster. For instance, Korea has significantly higher scores on the power-distance scale than both Hong Kong and Japan; Hong Kong has the lowest scores on institutional collectivism among the three; and Japan scores significantly higher on humane orientation than Hong Kong and Korea, while also scoring high on institutional collectivism. This pattern supports the prediction that among business leaders from these Asian economies, Japanese executives will show greater concern for stakeholders other than shareholders, and society at large and its welfare, than South Korean or Hong Kong leaders. Germany and the United States differ in many respects from these Asian economies and also from each other in terms of cultural orientations. However, it is noteworthy that the United States and Hong Kong, both LMEs, have very similar scores on the GLOBE institutional collectivism, power distance, and humane orientation scales, which leads us to predict that senior executives in these two economies will exhibit similar responsibility orientations. Based on the above, several broad generalizations can be made regarding expectations of leaders’ responsibility orientations in the five economies studied here. In terms of institutional factors, we have shown that the CMEs of Germany, Japan, and Korea differ from the LMEs of Hong Kong and the United States on a number of key dimensions, including ownership, employee relations, skills formation, corporate governance, and the role of the state. These differences likely have important implications for leaders’ responsibility orientations, particularly the perceived salience of stakeholder groups. For example, it might be predicted that German and Japanese business leaders will pursue an approach to responsible leadership that is longer-term and takes a wider range of stakeholders 628 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 into account, whereas business leaders in the United States and Hong Kong will tend toward a narrower constituent focus, prioritizing shareholder interests. In addition to institutional factors, our analysis suggests that cultural values may matter as well. For instance, the specific cultural profiles of Germany (e.g., low collectivism and humane orientation) and Japan (e.g., high collectivism and humane orientation) suggest that despite some similarities of institutional context, Japanese business leaders will, more than German leaders, tend to emphasize the interests of stakeholders with whom the firm is closely aligned (such as suppliers and distributors), as well as society at large. Below, we explore these issues empirically, comparing and contrasting the responsibility orientations of business leaders from the selected economies. Data and Methods Of our five economies, Germany and the United States were included as reference points of Western ways of doing business (also known as ‘‘business systems’’), namely, as exemplars of its Anglo-Saxon and continental European varieties (Hall and Soskice 2001; Whitley 1999). The Asian economies feature the three major Asian types of business system (private Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) previously identified (Whitley 1992, 1999). Private Chinese business is distinct among these in that it is not territorially-bound, but extends across much of East Asia. The choice of Hong Kong as representative of this system was conditioned by prior findings that, first, there exists a common mindset among ethnic Chinese businesses in Asia (Redding 1990), and second, that the mainland Chinese mindset has at least partially converged with it, largely as a result of Hong Kong business activities in the People’s Republic (Ralston et al. 2006; Redding and Witt 2007). Jointly, our sample encompasses five distinct institutional contexts—three Asian and two Western—and three cultural realms: Confucian Asian, Germanic European, and Anglo (see Table 1). The combination of institutional variation and cultural commonalities should be helpful for parceling out sources of variation in responsibility orientations. Data collection involved interviews with 73 top-level executives, serving or recently retired, of major local firms. In line with variations in corporate governance structures, the precise definition of ‘‘top-level’’ varied by local context. For Hong Kong, Korea, and the US, we focused on top management teams; in Germany, on members of management and supervisory boards; and in Japan, management boards. These all have in common responsibility at the highest level for creating and executing company strategy. Most of the interviewees were chairmen, CEOs, or presidents, and thus involved in general management. ‘‘Major firms’’ in our definition were those belonging to the economically dominant organizational type in the respective economy: in Germany, firms large enough to be listed, or eligible for listing, among its largest 100 firms; in Hong Kong, major listed firms; in Japan, members of the six major business groups (keiretsu); in Korea, conglomerates of various sizes, with a focus on chaebol; and in the United States, Fortune 500 firms. Seventeen executives were interviewed in Germany, 10 in Hong Kong, 17 in Japan, 15 in Korea, and 14 in the United States. We drew on existing connections and third-party introductions to reach our interviewees. We reduced the risk of sampling bias inherent in this type of research by obtaining introductions from mutually independent contacts. Our analysis did not reveal significant within-country effects driven by known differences at the individual level, such as industries or whether the interviewee had a significant ownership stake in the company. Given the exploratory nature of this research, we used semi-structured, in-depth interviews (Redding 1990). We conducted all interviews face-to-face, with the exception of four phone interviews with US executives. The average interview took 45 min in the United States and about 1 h elsewhere. Interviews in Germany were in German, those in Japan in Japanese except for one case, in which the interviewee chose English. All other interviews were in English. We recorded all interviews on the understanding that the data provided were not for attribution. We used exploratory content analysis to identify the core elements of leaders’ responsibility orientations. We transcribed all interviews verbatim in the respective language, then assigned to all statements relevant to the research question a category (e.g., employees, shareholders) and a value between -3 and ?3 denoting attitude, as described in Table 2. Given the study’s exploratory nature, we let the categories emerge from the interview data (Altheide 1987; Krippendorff 2004; Redding 1990), i.e., we did not impose a pre-defined list of categories, but added new ones as necessary. We used a standard refereeing process to verify coding reliability and validity. Research assistants with no prior involvement in the project but the requisite language skills received a 1-h introduction to the process and a list of coding categories. They then coded randomly-selected, contiguous segments amounting to five percent of the total length of the transcripts of each geography. Statistics for intercoder agreement are summarized in Table 3. All values of Cohen’s kappa are above the most demanding levels of 0.75–0.80 postulated in the methodological literature (Banerjee et al. 1999; Popping 1988). In this paper, we focus on how executives linked their firm’s rationale to various stakeholder categories, such as employees or shareholders. Since executives sometimes Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 629 123 referred to ‘‘stakeholders’’ without specifying who they had in mind, we also include this category in our report. As summary statistics, for each stakeholder category in each economy, we calculated overall salience and overall attitude. Overall salience is the percentage of interviewees referring to the given stakeholder category. Overall attitude is the mean of the attitude values (-3 to ?3) assigned to all statements about the given stakeholder category in the respective economy. Results Table 4 presents an overview of our findings. For each economy, we report all stakeholder categories discussed by executives in descending order of salience. Average attitude values are coded using shades of gray, as marked in the table. A caveat in the interpretation of Table 4 is that the lower the salience, the more vulnerable attitude values become to outlier opinions. This shows most clearly in the low value for creditors in the United States, based on a single negative statement by a single executive. The same concern applies to all categories with single-digit salience values, as well as the ‘‘stakeholders’’ category for Hong Kong. These findings are reported for the sake of completeness. While considerable heterogeneity is suggested in terms of categories and their saliences and attitude scores, a number of patterns are visible. First, the three most salient stakeholders across all five economies are identical (though with variation in the specific order): employees, shareholders, and society form a trinity of major stakeholder categories regardless of cultural and institutional context. Second, in four of the five—Korea being the exception—customers occupy a relatively salient position in the minds of executives. However, given the gap in salience compared with the trinity categories, they seem to be secondary. Third, the five economies seem to fall into two general groups: a shareholder-primacy group including Hong Kong and the US, which ranks owners/shareholders highest in terms of salience and holds a relatively positive attitude toward this constituent group; and an employee and society-focused group including Germany and Japan, whose attitude values suggest relatively greater affinity to employees and society than to shareholders (although owners/shareholders are seen as important constituent group). Intriguingly, these two economies are also the only ones to mention suppliers as stakeholders, which is consistent with findings on long-term reciprocal supply chain relations in these economies (cf. Witt 2006). Korea lies in between, though its relative emphasis on employees and further analysis of the interviews (see below) suggest that it may lean somewhat toward an ‘‘employee and society’’ focus. This dichotomous finding is noteworthy in that it mirrors the general categorization of these economies in the varieties of capitalism and business systems literatures (cf. Witt and Redding 2013), which supports Hypothesis 1. At the same time, it is inconsistent with Hypothesis 2, which suggested clustering along cultural lines and thus a clear divide between Asian and Western economies, especially in terms of senior executives’ attitudes toward stakeholder groups. We now offer a more detailed exposition of the findings for each economy. Given the caveat about outlier opinions already mentioned, we will focus on categories on which at least half the executives (or, for odd-numbered samples, (N-1)/2 executives) touched. Germany Shareholders represented the most salient stakeholder. However, the attitude score was much lower than for any Table 2 Coding scheme for attitude Value Meaning Example ?3 Affirmation through action We follow the Jack Welch recipe book for maximizing shareholder value ?2 Affirmation Shareholder value is a key component of why firms exist ?1 Tentative affirmation I think shareholder value is an important factor 0 Neither affirmation nor rejection Shareholder value is neither here nor there as far as I am concerned -1 Tentative rejection Shareholder value does not seem like something we should consider -2 Rejection Shareholder value is not something firms should do -3 Rejection through action We used to emphasize shareholder value, I put an end to this Table 3 Intercoder reliabilities Geography Cohen’s kappa (threshold 0.75–0.80) Germany 0.91 Hong Kong 0.87 Japan 0.85 Korea 0.85 USA 0.88 630 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 other category. In particular, virtually no executive favored pursuing shareholder value. The majority never mentioned shareholder value, and when the topic was discussed, interviewees typically expressed a diffident or negative view: ‘‘I consider an exclusive focus on shareholder value, however one defines it, highly questionable.‘‘ At the same time, most executives recognized shareholders’ right to decent earnings, though in some cases reluctantly: ‘‘I do not necessarily need shareholders. After all, there are other forms of obtaining finance. … Yet we are a corporation, and so the shareholders are decisive for us.’’ In the minds of German executives, shareholders are thus a stakeholder group whose interests are not primary, but coexist and at times compete with those of other stakeholders. Employees were the second most salient stakeholder category. Key concern was the provision of employment for the benefit of both, employees and society: ‘‘To provide work and bread for a large number of people is an extraordinarily important task. If that were not done, an entire people would be, so to speak, bread-less.’’ Some executives further suggested a role for their firms in letting employees develop themselves and find personal fulfillment. The third most salient stakeholder was society. The dominant mode of serving society described in interviews was through the provision of required goods and services, with some intersection with catering to customers’ needs. Strikinginthe context ofthe 2008 financial crisis, for instance, is the following statement by a banker: ‘‘A bank is anyway, next to the fact that it makes a profit, an affair that is relevant to society to the highest degree, as it offers loans, and loans are the lifeblood of an economy.’’ Other executives, especially from other industries, tended to point to the value of their products in facilitating social life as we know it and driving social progress through innovation: ‘‘If you are a manufacturing firm, you should… equally bring innovation to society. And that society is provided for with products is self-evident.’’ Firm activities and survival are thus not at the discretion of managers and owners, but a social obligation. All these various claims of stakeholders presented themselves in a complex web of interdependencies: ‘‘People are not the abstract capital of the dividend. They are supposed to serve their firm so that the people in the firm flourish, and in order for them to flourish, capital has to increase to the maximum extent and has to be served properly, just as I cannot kill my suppliers.’’ The implication is that the firm’s well-being was seen as contingent on its ability to confer benefit to all stakeholder groups. Among executives citing several stakeholders, there was no consensus about an order of importance. Most did not state a rank order, and some even argued that even the attempt at ranking would lead to an ‘‘intellectual dead-end.’’ To the extent rank orders were offered, they varied by interviewee, and sometimes even changed in the course of an interview. This may indicate a complex balancing act within a rationale that founds action in the maintenance of stability. Hong Kong The vast majority of Hong Kong executives regarded serving shareholders as a firm’s primary objective. A key objective in this context was to provide wealth to the owning family: Table 4 Stakeholders by economy in descending order of salience Germany Hong Kong Japan Korea US Shareholders 88% Shareholders 60% Society 88% Employees 80% Shareholders 93% Employees 82% Society 50% Employees 82% Shareholders 73% Society 71% Society 71% Employees 50% Shareholders 76% Society 67% Employees 71% Customers 41% Customers 30% Customers 59% Stakeholders 7% 57% Stakeholders 29% Stakeholders 47% Customers 7% Stakeholders 21% Suppliers 24% Suppliers 18% Creditors 7% Creditors 6% Distributors 6% ≥2.00 1.75- 1.99 1.25- 1.74 1.00- 1.24 <1.00 Customers Stakeholders 10% Shades of gray denote attitude (cf. bottom of table). Where two or more categories share the same salience value, they are shown in descending order of attitude. Where two or more categories have both identical salience and attitude values, they are shown in alphabetical order Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 631 123 ‘‘[For] most business enterprises in the society, creating wealth for themselves…[for] their family members would probably be the initial driving force.’’ Sixty percent directly expressed the view that Hong Kong firms exist to enrich their primary shareholders. The attitude score was highly positive in general, a fact obscured in the average attitude rating because of one interviewee’s critical views. A further 30 % made the same point more diplomatically by stressing the importance of shareholders and shareholder value. While formally consistent with the shareholder emphasis in much of recent international management discourse, there was a clear sense that not all shareholders are equal: ‘‘Hong Kong families, many of them, they don’t treat minority shareholders that well… They do business with their own family companies.’’ This practice of self-dealing among firms with the same owners has been implicated in ‘‘tunneling’’ profits away from minority shareholders toward firms in which ultimate owners hold the highest cash-flow rights (Cheung et al. 2006). Wealth enables contributing to society through charity, with society being mentioned very positively by half the executives. In general, charity was portrayed as something to indulge in after becoming wealthy: ‘‘After I make a lot of money [through the firm], then I think social work is one of the ways I spend my money.’’ The picture thus drawn by our Hong Kong interviewees is consistent with a fairly narrow focus on the self-interest of controlling shareholders. Recognition of the firm’s role in society was not entirely absent, though weakly developed and seemingly subject to getting rich first: ‘‘Once [owners] reach a certain stage, probably they will be begin to think beyond creating wealth or to the stage that wealth is sufficient enough that they don’t have to worry about, then they will cross to the next level of… contributing back to society.’’ Also weak was a sense of responsibility toward employees. There was no strong integration in the worldview of executives other than a recognition of employees as a necessary but ultimately dispensable production factor. A striking example of this was the assertion that the reason Hong Kong firms preferred labor-intensive to capitalintensive activities was that ‘‘you can lay off half your staff, but you cannot lay off half the equipment and not bear the burden of the initial capital cost.’’ Japan Japanese executives regarded serving society as a primary objective of their firm. Exemplary was the following view: ‘‘For a manager, the most important thing is not to improve business results during one’s time. Rather, I think what is extremely important is when one passes [things] on to the next manager, to what extent the firm is one whose shape is accepted by society, and one can ensure the permanence of the firm.’’ Serving the firm’s key stakeholders emerged as the main avenue of becoming ‘‘accepted by society.’’ Slightly less than half of the interviewees made this approach explicit, often by contrasting their approach with the perceived single-minded US focus on shareholders: ‘‘Not like that American-style ‘shareholder-only,’ not that way of doing things, but managers have after all a responsibility toward all stakeholders.’’ Yet not all stakeholders are equal. Most important for Japanese executives were their employees: ‘‘I think [the most important stakeholder] is the employees. Pay the shareholder a dividend within tolerable bounds.’’ Implicit in this and similar statements is a ranking that places employees first and sees shareholders as a constraint. As such, these statements effectively represent a reverse of the US shareholder-value approach, which places the shareholder first and pays non-executive employees an income ‘‘within tolerable bounds.’’ The most commonly discussed avenue of taking care of employees was through sharing economic surplus created in the firm, which in turn was taken to improve living standards and stability in private life. Several executives also considered it important for firms to contribute to the personal development and self-fulfillment of employees. Shareholders as a stakeholder group were similarly salient in the minds of executives, but with considerably lower attitude value. In particular, there was universal rejection of US-style thinking: ‘‘This shareholder value discussed these days is all short-term. Not like that, we look at the long term.’’ The notion that shareholders as owners of the company should have a right to determine its fate was explicitly rejected. Even when shareholders received recognition as a legitimate stakeholder, they were mostly seen as a constraint, as already noted: ‘‘after all, this is the era of the shareholders.’’ The fourth salient stakeholder was customers. In the words of one interviewee, companies strive to ‘‘do work 632 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 that is useful for the customer by making perfect products.’’ Serving the customer was seen not only as an objective in its own right, but also another avenue for serving society. Korea Korean executives portrayed an environment requiring careful balancing of stakeholders locked in fundamental conflict. Employees emerged as the most salient stakeholders. The majority of interviewees saw employees as an end in themselves: ‘‘[The rationale] is to make employees happy.’’ A minority took a more instrumental view, linking employees’ hard work to more profit and thus an ability to pay higher dividends and more taxes. About three-quarters of executives identified shareholders as important stakeholders, though with the lowest attitude value of all elements in Korea. Some executives had drawn the conclusion from the 1997/98 financial crisis that they should focus on shareholder value: ‘‘But after IMF crisis people realized the purpose of the company is to maximize all the shareholders’ value, which is quite different.’’ A majority, however, rejected the prioritization of shareholders. Shareholders were generally seen as only one, and not necessarily the primary, stakeholder, even if companies officially espoused shareholder value: ‘‘Internally, I think the employees are more important. Then the shareholders… But officially, the shareholders, of course.’’ A number of factors underlie this perceived need for balance. One expressed was a lack of confidence that shareholder value as a strategy was sustainable. A second driver, not explicitly discussed initially but emerging later in the interviews, was the conflictual nature of employment relations in Korea, with high levels of often violent strikes. Accordingly, a number of interviewees pointed to the need for the firm to run in the ‘‘spirit of a family’’ and with ‘‘more feel to it so that employees feel like they are in a very friendly organization.’’ The third major stakeholder mentioned was society at large. Concern with society ranged from the generic need to be a ‘‘good citizen for society’’ to specific notions of needing to engage in corporate charity, a topic in twothirds of the interviews: ‘‘We have to return the profit, some of the profit back to society.’’ Coexisting with charity as a means of serving society was a desire to contribute to economic development, identified as still important by about half the executives. Executives espousing this view pointed to a need to support the nation by aiding further development: ‘‘Still we have low levels of income…, so we are still eager to focus on the economic growth, development.’’ While both approaches to serving society, charity and development, coexisted, the relatively higher age of executives espousing the latter suggests that this may disappear over time, leaving charity as the main avenue. Unspoken was the driver underlying both approaches, namely, a need to placate a Korean public increasingly hostile to the power and wealth of large conglomerates (cf. Witt 2014). United States A large majority of our interviewees identified the pursuit of shareholder value as a firm’s rationale. US interviewees frequently began with this point and tended to use similar language to the following: ‘‘[The reason,] it’s shareholder return.’’ The one executive not to mention shareholder value did so in the context of a discussion of the US mindset in general, which took this interview to a higher conceptual level than others. Other stakeholders cited were customers, employees, and society, the last often in terms of local communities. These were, however, clearly subordinate to shareholder interests: ‘‘The primary objective being a shareholder objective, leads some secondary objectives which are all about, you know, satisfying products, happy customers, a community that uses them as a reasonable participant in the community.’’ As a result, providing benefits to these other stakeholder groups tended to be seen primarily as means toward the larger end of shareholder value. As regards employees, for instance, ensuring that ‘‘employees are appropriately paid’’ was important to obtaining their cooperation. One executive elaborated: ‘‘You can’t just do anything in order to increase shareholder value… Because ultimately if you are hurting your employees, … you are not going to create a lot of shareholder value.’’ Likewise, serving society was not a goal in itself, but society was a stakeholder ‘‘to be very conscious of—as long as there is some benefit to the bottom line:’’ Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 633 123 ‘‘You want to be a good citizen in the community, but not because good citizenship is good, but because if you are not a good citizen, you will be punished and you will not be able to make a profit for your shareholders.’’ Main avenues of service to society identified were the creation of employment and the provision of ‘‘an essential product or service that is either needed or desired by the population.’’ Proponents of the latter, productionist, view tended to be older, suggesting that their views may be consistent with how executives viewed the world before the arrival of shareholder-value dominance (cf. Fligstein 2001). Similarly, US executives tended to view customers as secondary to shareholders: ‘‘I don’t believe you want to satisfy your customers in and of itself, you want to satisfy your customers because that is what you have to do to make a profit from your customers.’’ Accordingly, profits were seen as more important than customers, lest ‘‘new owners will come in and they will say, we will give less to the customers, because you are giving stuff to the customers that isn’t getting paid for.’’ Discussion Based on interviews with 73 senior executives from three Asian (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea) and two Western (Germany, United States) economies, we have shown that executives’ responsibility orientations—the way they make sense of what they are doing and how they see their responsibility to the firm’s stakeholders and wider society—vary considerably both between and within Asian societies and the West. The overall picture is broadly consistent with the varieties of capitalism literature dichotomously distinguishing LMEs (Hong Kong, US) and CMEs (Germany, Japan, and arguably Korea). Of course, there is variance within these broad categories, and further forms beyond these two are possible and even likely if more economies are sampled. These differences have important implications for managerial decision-making and the enactment of responsible leadership, as they affect leaders’ understanding of the meaning of social responsibility in their roles as business leaders, perceptions of the legitimacy of stakeholder groups, and their propensity to engage in activities that contribute to the welfare of their various stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and wider society (Burton and Goldsby 2009; Pless et al. 2012; Waldman and Galvin 2008). In light of the fundamental differences in views and opinions expressed by interviewees, it is tempting to conclude that the cross-societal variations in leaders’ responsibility orientations found in this study are not so much about actors playing the same game by different rules, but about business leaders in different societies playing entirely different games or having fundamentally different assumptions about the deeper purposes behind the game. Although a large majority of executives in each economy agreed on the importance of taking stakeholders into account when making decisions, those in different economies had very different ideas about how and why firms contribute to society and the meaning of responsibility in their roles of business leaders. Also, our interview findings suggest significant cross-societal variation along several key dimensions of responsible leadership, including the extent to which executives embrace a ‘‘limited economic’’ versus ‘‘extended stakeholder’’ view (Sully de Luque et al. 2008; Waldman and Galvin 2008); have a narrow versus broad constituent-group focus (Pless et al. 2012); and take a more instrumental versus values-driven approach to corporate responsibility (Palazzo and Scherer 2006; Voegtlin et al. 2012). In addition to the key dimensions of responsible leadership advanced in the literature, we found it useful to consider the attitudes that senior executives expressed toward different stakeholders. While all average attitude values reported are positive in value, we found a wide range in the degree of positiveness. For example, we found that executives in all five societies regarded shareholders as a key stakeholder, with most interviewees referring to them; however, attitudes varied significantly. At one extreme, we saw a tendency among Japanese and German executives to reject shareholder primacy, and indeed the right of shareholders to become involved in the running of the company. As a result of these negative qualifications of executives’ general agreement that shareholders mattered, average attitudes toward shareholders in these economies were at 1 or below. At the other extreme, the vast majority of US executives expressed a positive view of shareholder primacy and identified the pursuit of shareholder value as the firm’s principal rationale. Similarly, executives in all five economies identified employees as an important stakeholder group, but with considerable variation in attitude. Hong Kong, followed by US, executives were least positive, even viewing employees as an expense or problem. By contrast, executives in Japan, Korea and Germany identified employees’ well-being as a firm’s key objective and tended toward positive attitudes regarding this stakeholder group. These findings illustrate significant cross-societal variations in leaders’ responsibility orientations—i.e., their attitudes toward legitimate stakeholders and in what ways 634 M. A. Witt, G. K. Stahl 123 firms should respond to each stakeholder group. However, these differences do not align neatly with existing cultural clusters like those identified in the GLOBE project (House et al. 2004; Javidan et al. 2006). For example, the above discussion suggests that in terms of stakeholder orientation and corporate responsibility, Germany and Japan seem to have more in common than Japan and other East Asian societies. This is consistent with a recent study (Witt and Redding 2013) that found that Germany and Japan, despite significant differences in national culture, are closer in terms of institutional practices than countries sharing a common cultural heritage, such as Germany and the United States, or Japan and Korea. The presence and absence of alignment with institutional and cultural factors, respectively, poses important questions about the relationship between culture and institutions. Thus far we have treated institutional characteristics and cultural factors as if separate antecedents of leaders’ responsibility orientations. However, aspects of the institutional environment and cultural traits are probably interdependent and mutually reinforcing (Redding and Witt 2007; Redding 2008). As Aguilera and Jackson (2010, p. 504) put it, ‘‘[c]ulture and institutions are historically intertwined in ways where it makes little sense to draw causal arrows between artificially divided cultural and institutional variables.’’ This implies that no single cultural dimension or institutional characteristic (or limited set of cultural and institutional factors) is likely to predict or explain differences in leaders’ responsibility orientations across countries. In interpreting our findings, it is further important to consider that the cultural and institutional contexts of firms (and managerial decision-making) are not static, but subject to dynamic and emergent processes. Furthermore, the relationship between national context and leaders’ approaches to CSR is mutual and reciprocal, with leaders able to foster structural change, for instance, by facilitating collective action. As Witt and Redding (2012, p. 110) have pointed out, ‘‘senior executives are in powerful positions to subvert and shape the institutional structures in which firms are embedded, including those related to CSR.’’ The way Korean executives responded to social pressure toward corporate responsibility in the wake of the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis is instructive in this regard. Choi and Aguilera (2009) showed how the crisis, which impacted Korean conglomerates severely, introduced CSR concepts to Korean society. It prompted local actors to rethink the role and responsibilities of corporations in society, leading to improved corporate governance and more responsible leader behavior. Korean managers were thus ‘forced’ to develop a stronger responsibility orientation and to consider the claims of a larger group of stakeholders for instrumental reasons, including restoring their damaged reliability and reputation. Limitations and Implications for Research This study provides important insights into the international variety of responsibility orientations among top executives of major firms. Like all studies, it has limitations, while opening up several avenues for future investigation. First, the data presented here are based on five relatively small, non-random samples, which implies a risk of sampling bias. We mitigated this risk partially through independent introductions to interviewees. Still, to better understand the limits of generalizability in the findings, this study should be replicated using a larger sample of individuals and organizations, and comparing leaders’ responsibility orientations across a diverse range of cultural and institutional contexts. Second, since our level of analysis was the entire economy, this study cannot provide much insight in variations in responsibility orientations as they may exist at the level of the industry or the firm. Factors such as levels of competition, turbulence, or capital and labor intensities may affect responsibility orientations. Studying these variations would require a much larger sample than our, especially if the goal is to make comparisons across countries at the industry level. This study was not designed to do this, and given the extreme difficulty of getting access to interviewees of the caliber studied in our paper, we are not sure it is feasible. Third, while the present results are suggestive in terms of a possible link between the type of business system present in a given economy and responsibility orientation, they are not conclusive. Future research should explore social-responsibility orientations in economies with similar business systems, such as that of the Regional Ethnic Chinese of Southeast Asia or that of Germany and the northern Continental European economies. High levels of similarity within these areas would underline the importance of institutional influences. Fourth, further research may shed light on the linkage between cultural practices and values, such as those identified by the GLOBE project (House et al. 2004; Javidan et al. 2006), and leaders’ orientations and approaches to CSR. Much evidence indicates that culture matters in responsible leadership and ethical behavior, but how, when, and why are less clear. For instance, past research has found significant cultural differences in managers’ willingness to accept bribery as the price of business, and willingness to engage in other forms of unethical conduct (e.g., Jing and Graham 2008; Martin et al. 2007). However, as culture is often correlated with other socio-economic influences such as GDP and institutions, it is difficult to determine which country-level factors are driving corrupt behavior. The evidence thus fails to show whether some Responsible Leadership in Asia and the West 635 123 cultures are more or less ethical or responsible than others (O’Fallon and Butterfield 2005). Finally, future research should focus on the linkage between espoused values about responsibility orientations held by interviewees and their decisions and actions. Ghoshal (2005) implied that the extent to which executives embrace a ‘‘limited economic’’ versus an ‘‘extended stakeholder’’ view will affect the enactment of responsible leadership and the long-term viability of their companies, but little research has been conducted on how managers’ responsibility orientation relates to actual behavior. Burton and Goldsby (2009) found that business owners translated CSR-related attitudes and orientations into behavior fairly directly. Those who embraced a ‘‘limited economic’’ view tended to concentrate on shareholders’ interests and profitrelated goals; those placing more emphasis on non-economic domains concentrated on the interests of a larger group of stakeholders and community-related goals. This suggests that leaders’ responsibility orientation might be a proxy for the behavior side of responsible leadership and corporate social performance. More research is needed to examine how leaders’ values and orientations affect their propensity to engage in activities that contribute to the welfare of their various stakeholders, and how these processes vary across different cultural and institutional contexts. Implications for Practice The growing literature on international CSR has identified three prototypical approaches to corporate responsibility and sustainability in global corporations that affect a firm’s CSR performance. Based on the tensions and possible trade-offs between globally integrated and locally adapted strategies, companies may adopt a ‘‘global CSR approach’’, a ‘‘local CSR approach,’’ or a ‘‘transnational CSR approach’’ (Arthaud-Day 2005; Husted and Allen 2006; Stahl et al. 2013). The viability of the globally standardized approach rests on the assumption of a universal standard of responsible behavior that transcends the norms and values of particular societies. Our findings challenge the existence of such universal standards. Thus, a global CSR approach may lead to cultural arrogance and ethical imperialism, directing executives to impose their values on others and act everywhere in the way things are done at headquarters (Donaldson 1996). However, locally-oriented CSR is also problematic, as it makes it difficult to apply any universally accepted code of conduct or even to determine what is responsible or acceptable (Stahl et al. 2013). In light of the significant cross-national differences found in this study, and the simultaneous need for companies to ensure consistency with respect to their CSR activities across the organization, it seems that the transnational approach is best able to help companies coordinate their world-wide CSR activities and promote responsible leadership in the organization. Acknowledgments We thank Deborah Poff and the anonymous reviewers for their editorial guidance and feedback. We are grateful to Gordon Redding for initiating the project underlying the data used in this paper, and to Emilio Manso-Salinas for conducting some of the interviews. We further thank the interviewees for their precious time and insights and the Lee Foundation of Singapore for funding the field research for this paper. 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All Rights Reserved.International Journal of Business Communication 2014, Vol. 51(1) 72–92 © 2014 by the Association for Business Communication Reprints and permissions: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/2329488413516211 jbc.sagepub.com Article Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups: Americans and East Asians Working Together Jolanta Aritz1 and Robyn C. Walker1 Abstract The global economy has created new realities for businesses, and the need for understanding differing communication practices and cultural values is greater than ever, particularly with regard to the surging economies in the East. Working in multicultural work groups is a new workplace reality that has created a greater need to understand how to lead these groups to maximize the quality and effectiveness of multicultural group work. Cultural differences exist regarding the importance and value of leadership. Still, much remains to be understood as to the way in which culture influences leadership and organizational processes. To what extent do cultural forces influence the expectations that individuals have for leaders and their behavior, for instance? What principles of leadership and organizational processes transcend cultures? This article is primarily directed to an American audience and uses a discursive leadership approach to provide a better understanding of how different leadership styles affect group member interaction in multicultural groups involving participants from American and East Asian cultures. Our results demonstrate that differing discursive leadership styles can affect the participation and contribution of members and may affect their feelings of inclusion and satisfaction within the group. Our results also provide evidence that particular styles of and approaches to leadership may not be as successful with all cultural groups. Keywords turn-taking, leadership communication, intercultural business communication, multicultural groups 1Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California,CA Corresponding Author: Jolanta Aritz, Center for Management Communication, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, 3660 Trousdale Parkway, ACC 215D, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0444. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 516211JBCXXX10.1177/2329488413516211Journal of Bioactive and Compatible PolymersAritz and Walker research-article2014 Aritz and Walker 73 Introduction and Literature Review Today’s global economy has increased the occurrence of multicultural work groups, and consequently, the focus on maximizing the quality of multicultural group work has increased as well. Studies have shown that moderately heterogeneous groups experience significant communication problems and do not reach their performance potential (Earley & Gibson, 2002; Earley & Mosakoski, 2000; Franklin, 2007; Jehn, Northcraft, & Neale, 1999; Ravlin, Thomas, & Ilsev, 2000). Previous research on culturally diverse groups found that different interaction patterns exist across group members with different cultural backgrounds. Previous studies have shown that cultural preferences for length of turns, pauses between turns, simultaneous talk, or discrete turns specifically affect group performance and lead to communicative difficulties (Clyne, 1994; Du-Babcock, 1999, 2005, 2006; FitzGerald, 2003; Graham, 1985; Scollon & Scollon, 1995; West & Graham, 2004; Yamada, 1992). While multicultural groups and different communication patterns have received significant attention in previous studies, there has been little research to understand cultural influences on leadership practices, particularly regarding Asian leadership practices and expectations. Hui and Tan (1996) reported results of a small body of research on Chinese leadership, which rather randomly mixed supervisory and leadership processes. They found that Chinese employees want their leaders to be considerate and benevolent, adhere to the Confucian parental role, and exercise sound moral judgment, such as being self-restrained, honest toward fellow colleagues and subordinates, trustworthy, and impartial. Sarros and Santora (2001) surveyed 181 executives of Australia, Japan, China, and Russia to explore the linkage between their value orientations and leadership behaviors. They found that Chinese executives emphasized values such as benevolence, harmony with others, and self-restraint. They also noted that compared with executives from the other three countries, Chinese executives did not identify independent thinking as a key value dimension. It is not surprising that business communication research on leadership across cultures is in its infancy since the study of leadership has traditionally been undertaken by management studies, whose upsurge has been attributed to the political, technological, and economic superiority of the United States in the postwar years (Collard, 2007; Foster, 1962; Hofstede, 1980). As a result, it is laden with theories, practices, and modes of operation that reflect U.S. cultural assumptions characterized by consumerism, individualism and self-sufficiency, competitiveness, toughness, and rationality, while being exemplified in some non-Western countries as new, modern, scientific, and results-oriented (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swindler, & Tipton, 1985; Lam, Lau, Chiu, Hong, & Peng, 1999; Pilkington & Johnson, 2003). Therefore, intercultural leadership studies often take an etic approach, when a theory or a measure developed within one social group is validated in another. Moreover, when validating their theories on other groups or in other countries, their interest has not been to understand how the theories worked but only in seeing that they worked. Leadership researchers rarely have done cross-cultural studies to learn the limitations of their theories (Ayman & Korabik, 2010). 74 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) The emerging communication scholarship on intercultural dialogue has adopted a working definition of the term as promoting “an open and respectful exchange or interaction between individuals, groups, and organizations” (Ganesh & Holmes, 2011, p. 81). The goal of such exchange is to develop a deeper understanding of diverse practices and to increase participation in making choices and decisions. BargielaChiappini (2004) identifies contrasting cultural discourses and the “cultural other” as the future research agenda in the field of organizational discourse. The goal of such inquiry is to recognize the existing differences and find ways to effectively manage them, and at the same time, facilitate the process of intercultural dialogue. Oftentimes, the “Other” is defined in negative terms and is viewed as inferior, especially in cases where the Western paradigm is pervasive, such as in the socialization process of managers modeled after U.S.-centered MBA programs (Westwood, 2001). In order for Western leaders to interact successfully and effectively on a global scale, it is imperative to learn more about cultural “Others” and to include this knowledge in their intercultural interactions in order to move toward to more equal and collaborative partnerships. An increasing body of research is studying leadership by looking at language and approaching the phenomenon as an act of social constructionism (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000; Fairhurst, 2007, 2009). From this perspective, leadership is viewed in the context of what leaders do and is thus discursive in nature. According to Robinson (2001), “Leadership is exercised when ideas expressed in talk or actions are recognized by others as capable of progressing tasks or problems which are important to them” (p. 93). According to Fairhurst (2008), this definition enables us to understand leadership as a process of influence and meaning management that advances a talk or goal, an attribution made by followers or observers, and a process, in which influence may shift and distribute itself among several organizational members. More and more researchers are treating language as a methodological question and a window into cultural meanings. A linguistic focus is also enabling scholars to rethink traditional approaches to international business issues and, in doing so, to reveal more nuanced details about how issues such as leadership are “brought off” in intercultural settings (Fairhurst, 1993, 2007). Our study uses linguistic approaches to identify three styles of leadership communication and to assess their effectiveness in managing intercultural decision-making in groups, specifically among participants from the United States and East Asia. This study uses some foundational assumptions of interaction analysis (IA), thought broadly, to look at how leadership emerges in groups. From an interactional perspective, relational patterns are always codefined. This is because individuals in leadership relations do not relate and then communicate; instead, they relate through communication (McDermott & Roth, 1978). IA is the study of interaction process. McDermott and Roth (1978) defined IA as when “a person’s behavior is best described in terms of the behavior of those immediately about the person, those with whom the person is doing interactional work in the construction of recognizable social scenes or events” (p. 321). Aritz and Walker 75 This study is an attempt to more fully understand leadership if it is understood as primarily discursive in nature and co-constructed by those involved in interactions in which influence emerges. More specifically, it provides three cases that illustrate three common processes by which leadership emerges in groups. In addition, this article argues that understanding of the construct of leadership in multicultural groups is central in accomplishing the goal of fostering mutual respect, advancing dialogue, and including different perspectives. More specifically, we analyze how particular leadership communication styles may either exacerbate or resolve some of the problems associated with working in intercultural groups in diverse organizational settings (Earley & Gibson, 2002; Earley & Mosakoski, 2000; Jehn et al., 1999; Ravlin et al., 2000). Participants and Data Collection Two types of data were collected in this study. The first set consisted of survey data. We asked participants to also complete a survey instrument in which they were asked to identify the leader of their group after the simulation was completed and to identify the characteristics they observed to make that determination. We used this information to identify the leader in each of the transcripts used in this study. In addition to identifying the leader of their group, the participants were asked to respond to a 12-question survey (see Appendix A) intended to measure their attitudes about the group experience in two areas: their satisfaction with the group decision-making process (an outward measure—orientation toward other group members) and their perceived sense of inclusion and value in the process (an inward measure—orientation toward “self”). Participants were used to rate their experiences in these areas, using a 7-point Likerttype scale, ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree.” The attitude survey was administered to a total of 146 participants that included five additional multicultural groups that participated in the same activity but were not included in the transcription analysis to ensure a higher number of respondents for purposes of statistical analysis. Of 146 participants, 59 participants were from East Asian cultures, predominantly from China, Japan, and Korea, and 87 participants were from the United States, all native English speakers. All participants were business professionals enrolled in an MBA program at a private university in Southern California with at least 2 years of work experience in their home country. In addition, we developed a communication style-oriented measure of leadership attribute preference using six global leader behaviors identified by the GLOBE Research Program: Charismatic/Value-based leadership, Team-Oriented leadership, Participative leadership, Autonomous leadership, Humane-Oriented leadership, and Self-Protective leadership (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004). Based on the definition of these six global leader behaviors (Dorfman, Hanges, & Brodbeck, 2004), we derived five communication styles that we used to measure leadership. We collapsed two separate GLOBE categories, Team Oriented and Participative leadership, into one category, “Involved other in decision-making process,” based on the communicative moves that the leadership style would exhibit. 76 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) The five communication styles then included (a) decisive and task oriented; (b) involved others in decision-making process; (c) modest, compassionate, and supportive; (d) independent and self-reliant; and (e) status-conscious and procedural. Twenty-six participants from five different countries, the United States, Korean, China, Japan, and Taiwan, completed this measure after participating in a simulated decision-making activity. The results of these surveys led us to analyze our third set of data, which consisted of a total of 25 groups of business professionals (N = 120) involved in decisionmaking meetings. All 25 meetings were transcribed and analyzed. Of 25 groups, 20 multicultural groups consisted of members from East Asian and American cultures while 5 were homogenous groups consisting of American participants only. We chose to include an additional set of five homogenous groups because it generated a third leadership style that was not replicated in any of the multicultural teams we observed. We felt that it is important to address all three styles observed to provide a more accurate picture of the available linguistic repertoire that was used to construct leadership communication by participants from the West. Based on this set of data, three representative transcripts were chosen as the focus of this study based on their exemplary nature in representing styles of leadership that were observed. We followed Schiffrin (1994) and used her transcription conventions (Schiffrin, 1987) based on an earlier version of transcript notations by Jefferson (1979) to transcribe our data. Since we did not focus on gaze or vocal qualities in our analysis, we felt that Schiffrin’s conventions better served our needs. The simulation used in the study, Subarctic Survival, asked each group to take the role of airplane crash survivors. Groups were then asked to discuss and ultimately agree on the ranking of items salvaged from the aircraft in terms of their critical function for survival. The meetings were 20 minutes in length and were held and videotaped in an experiential learning laboratory equipped with professional facilities and technicians. The meetings were held in English, and the videotapes were then transcribed. Methodology for Transcript Analysis Two methods of analysis were used to interpret the transcript data, turn-taking patterns and interaction analysis. Both methods focus on a turn as the main unit of analysis to observe how contribution changes when multicultural groups involved in decision making are subject to different leadership styles. Turn-taking is defined as the ordering of moves that involves the interchange of talking by speakers (Johnstone, 2002). Numerous studies demonstrate that turn-taking styles are culture-specific and the potential source of many communication problems. Cultural preferences for length of turns, pauses between turns, simultaneous talk, or discrete turns specifically lead to these difficulties (Du-Babcock, 2006; FitzGerald, 2003). The analysis of Southeast Asians’ conversational style revealed that they are not successful in turn maintenance when competing with Europeans (Clyne, 1994). Du-Babcock (1999) found that meetings of multinational groups conducted in English were characterized by linear Aritz and Walker 77 patterns of communication (distinct phases and predetermined sequence of turns) while meetings conducted in Cantonese were characterized by circular patterns (nondistinct phases and random turns). Additionally, a comparison between Japanese and Mandarin Chinese conversational styles revealed some cultural differences among East Asian groups. Japanese speakers used a high-context communication style consistently, while Hong Kong Chinese switched between a high-context and low-context communication style, depending on whether they used Cantonese or English (Du-Babcock & Tanaka, 2013). First, we used turn-taking to analyze conversational interaction and to examine different leadership styles and group dynamics. Our specific method of analysis of turntaking is based on a model developed by Coates (1993) to analyze the management of naturally occurring interactions in which she describes cooperative and competitive conversation styles in gendered talk. Coates’s (1993) method was selected to provide a finer grained analysis of our data and to describe competitive and cooperative styles that emerge in multicultural groups and the effects it has on group dynamics. Coates’s (1993) model of analysis focuses on the following areas: (a) The meaning of questions—are they direct in purpose or used indirectly to facilitate conversation? (b) Links between speaker turns—does the speaker acknowledge the contribution of the previous speaker or talk on the topic without acknowledging that contribution? (c) Topic shifts—are they abrupt or do speakers build on each other’s contributions? (d) Listening—is the speaker using backchannels or latching? (e) Simultaneous speech— do the speakers overlap by elaborating on the previous contribution or does the contribution of the second speaker contradict or disrupt that of the first speaker? These interactional elements are used to analyze how their combination affects the emergence of leadership within groups of business professionals. We did not include nonverbal clues, such as gaze and gestures, in our analysis because our focus was on language and the unit of analysis was limited to a turn as a vehicle to construct leadership in talk. Nonverbal elements may provide interesting insights into our understanding of leadership, but they fell beyond the scope of this study. Second, we used an IA approach, which involves the categorization of discourse units according to a predefined set of codes (Bakeman & Gottman, 1986). It is a quantitative approach to discourse analysis that draws from message functions and language structures to assess the frequency and types of verbal interaction. Particular emphasis is given to the sequences and stages of interaction, their redundancy and predictability, and the links between interactional structures and the organizational context (Putnam & Fairhurst, 2001). IA itself is not a unitary field but also uses different theoretical foundations, units of analysis, observational modes, and study designs. But generally speaking, IA has been used to examine organizational constructs such as leadership, strategies and tactics of negotiation, and faithful or unfaithful appropriations of technology as they evolve from communication systems (Fairhurst & Cooren, 2004). We tracked member contribution by looking at three variables, the number of turns taken, number of words spoken, and the average turn length. We calculated the number of turns taken by looking at how many times a participant spoke in any given meeting. We chose to use number of words spoken rather than the amount of time spoken used 78 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) by other studies, because we believe that it is a better indicator of contribution, since many of our participants were not using their native language. Therefore, they might take longer to formulate sentences, skewing the data gathered. In addition, speaking time may vary across those who are comparably fast talkers and those who speak more slowly, even when using their native language. Turn length was used as another variable to measure member contribution. Previous studies have noted cultural differences in turn length. Clyne (1994) found a strong correlation between turn length and cultural groups. We measured an average turn length by dividing the total number of words spoken by each speaker by the number of turns they took. We selected a quantitative approach as a secondary method so as to better illuminate the findings from our qualitative analysis. Analysis and Findings The findings from our group satisfaction and inclusion survey indicated that U.S.-born native English speakers and East Asians did not produce statistically significant responses to questions designed to measure their overall satisfaction with the group decision-making process (an outward-measure—orientation toward other group members). However, in response to questions designed to measure their perceived sense of inclusion and value in the process (an inward measure—orientation toward “self”), East Asian language speakers reported that they did not feel as included, valued, or supported as their American counterparts. Their responses to the following three questions were significantly lower on a 7-point Likert-type scale, ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree,” than those of U.S.-born native English speakers: “I was included in the group discussion and decision making” (p = .0001); “I was valued for my contributions to the group discussion and decision making” (p = .0001); and “My group members supported me and my ideas” (p = .0001). The question as to why the participants from East Asian countries felt less included in the group-decision-making process led us to look at the style of leadership that was emerging in our data set. The analysis of the communication-based measure to identify leadership styles using the survey mechanism revealed the following results (see Table 1). Of the five styles, being “decisive and task oriented” and “involving others in decision-making process” were displayed across all cultural groups; however, the differences emerged across cultures in the predominant features of “doing leadership.” Whereas the U.S. team members identified “decisive and task oriented” as the most important characteristic of a leader, the other cultures listed it as second or third in importance. Japanese and Chinese valued status-conscious and procedural style over being decisive and task oriented followed by involving others in decision-making process (listed as second by both groups) and modesty, compassion, and support (in the case of Japanese). Koreans identified “involving others in decision-making process” feature as the most important attribute of a leader. Based on this analysis, although the sample was small, we felt that differences in leadership style preference might affect group satisfaction and feelings of inclusion. Aritz and Walker 79 Table 2. A Summary of the Differences That Were Exhibited in Discourse Styles by the Three Groups in Terms of Leadership Practices. Discourse elements Case Study 1 Case Study 2 Case Study 3 Leadership Style Directive Cooperative Collaborative Meaning of Questions To direct members To solicit participation To frame the interaction and check for agreement Links between Turns Few To acknowledge contribution Some acknowledgment of contribution Topic Shifts Abrupt Smooth Smooth Listening Minimal Active Minimal Simultaneous Speech Interruptions Few overlaps Frequent cooperative overlaps As mentioned, this led to our discourse analysis of transcripts to identify the styles that were exhibited in our data set. Three common styles emerged as shown in the following case analysis. Table 2 provides a summary of the differences that were exhibited in discourse styles by the three groups in terms of leadership practices. The discussion of each leadership style as illustrated by three different case studies follows the table. Directive Style: Case Study 1 Analysis of Questions. Lines 1 to 35 show Speaker 1 (S1) emerging as a group leader in Case Study 1. In line 1, S1 is the first to announce his choice of the most vital item for survival—matches, “I figure you can use fire, otherwise you’re screwed.” In what follows, S1 uses questions in a competitive way to defend his decision. When his choice of the most important item for survival gets questioned in line 3, he interrupts S4 in Table 1. Cross-Cultural Comparison of Communication-Based Leadership Styles. First choice Second choice Third choice United States Decisive and task oriented Involved others in decision-making process Modest, compassionate, and supportive China Status-conscious and procedural Involved others in decision-making process Decisive and task oriented Korea Involved others in decisionmaking process Decisive and task oriented Status-conscious and procedural Japan Status-conscious and procedural Involved others in decision-making process and Modest, compassionate, and supportive (tie) Decisive and task oriented 80 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) line 6 and uses a tag question to challenge an alternative choice, “[well] at least you can start a fire, though, don’t you think?” 1. S1: I figure you can use fire, otherwise you’re screwed. 2. S4: Okay, so let’s 3. S3: z but if you, but if you just have matches what are you going to do with [them?] 5. S4: [Yea] at least with the [xxxx] 6. S1: [well] at least you can start a fire though, don’t you think? 7. . . . I mean it could be one or two, it doesn’t matter. In line 22, S1 uses an indirect question to reassert his point, “You know what I am saying?” In line 31, S1 asserts himself again and has his first choice of matches recorded as the group decision. Speaker 1 does not use questioning as a way to facilitate conversation or solicit information from other group members but instead uses questions to direct them to select his preferred option. Interestingly, the only group members questioning S1’s choice are other native speakers of English. For example, in line 3, S3 makes an attempt to question the choice of matches as the number one item: “but if you, but if you just have matches what are you going to do with them?” When S4 offers an alternative ranking in line 16, “Okay, so, are we doing sleeping bag first and the matches second?” They are not successful at introducing an alternative ranking as S1 takes the group back to his number one choice in line 17 by saying, “um . . . I think that just not having fire is like . . .” Analysis of Links Between Speaker Turns. Speaker 1 does not make a link with the previous speaker’s contribution but rather concentrates on making his own point as demonstrated by his turns in line 9. 8. S4: Okay, so, are we doing sleeping bag first and the matches second? Or the other way around? 9. S1: um . . . XXX I think that just not having fire is like XXXX. The only acknowledgments of others that S1 makes is when the previous speaker supports S1’s point, as illustrated in line 6 above and line 21 below: 19. S3: That’s true because it’s light and 20. [it’s heat] 21. S1: [it’s suicide] z Yea, it’s light and its heat and ‘cuz either way if you start a fire and all of a sudden no matter better than any sleeping bag. You know what I’m saying? Analysis of Topic Shifts. Speaker 1 does not show an attempt to create smooth transitions between topics. In line 16, S4 asks a question that invites a discussion; however, in line 17, S1 shifts the topic back to his agenda and forgoes the possibility to open the Aritz and Walker 81 discussion to consider additional items, “um . . . XXX I think that just not having fire is like . . .” 16. S4: Okay, so, are we doing sleeping bag first and the matches second? Or the other way around? 17. S1: um . . . XXX I think that just not having fire is like . . . There is little elaboration and continuity of the topics introduced into the conversation; instead, Speaker 1 shifts abruptly to his agenda, to record matches as the most important item for the groups’ survival. Analysis of Listening. Speaker 1 does not use minimal responses in the form of yeah and mhm to signal listening. In this case, the gender of the speaker might be an issue, because it has been found that for men, minimal responses signal agreement rather than listening and support as they do for women (Coates, 1993, 1996; Tannen, 1990). Their main conversational strategy—to seize the turn—places little value on listening and thus minimal responses rarely occur in their speech. The only minimal response by S1 is offered in line 33, yeah where in fact it does mean agreement with S4, who endorses S1’s idea of putting matches as the most important item on the survival list. Analysis of Simultaneous Speech. Speaker 1 uses overlaps that interrupt the previous speaker numerous times rather than cooperative overlaps that support the previous speaker’s contribution, as seen in line 6 (above), and lines 21, 23, and 26 (below). This, again, may be an issue of gender, since it has been shown that male speakers value speakership and therefore grab the floor by interrupting and violating the current speaker’s right to complete the turn. In addition, men then tend to respond to interruptions by continuing to speak and keeping the floor, as S1 does in line 21. 17. S1: um . . . XXX I think that just not having fire is like . . . [XXX] 18. S2: [XXX] 19. S3: [That’s ] true because it’s light 20. and [it’s heat] 21. S1: [it’s suicide] Yea, it’s light and its heat and ‘cuz either way if you start a fire and all of a sudden no matter-better than any sleeping bag. You know what I’m saying? 22. S3: Th[at’s true, that’s true.] 23. S1: [you can also xxxxxx] 24. S2: [xxx] 25. S4: [es]pecially if you find shelter and it’s going to rain 26. S1 and if z and you and you’re wet, you know. 82 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) Speaker 2, an Asian male, latches once in line 8 validating S1’s “Okay” and tries to take the floor in line 18 and again in line 24 but is not successful. He and a second Asian male, Speaker 5, are relatively silent compared with native speakers of English. In fact, as Tables 3 and 4 indicate, the directive leadership style exhibited by Speaker 1 resulted in a greater imbalance in member contribution by cultural group. As shown in Table 3, on average, Americans took five times as many turns as East Asian participants (151 compared with 39) and produced 1,170 words compared with 127 in Case Study 1. The difference in average turn length was also significantly longer: 7.7 words for Americans compared with 3.2 words for Asians. The highest number of turns taken by a native speaker of English was 200 compared with the highest number of turns taken by an East Asian participant, which was 40. Similarly, the lowest number of turns taken by an American participant was 70 compared with 8 for an East Asian participant. Table 4 displays the breakdown of the results by each speaker with reference to their cultural group and gender. Cooperative Style: Case Study 2 Analysis of Questions. Lines 1 to 73 show the process of leadership emergence in the second intercultural group. At the beginning of the meeting, it looks as if Speaker 6, an older Asian male, may take the leadership role. In line 2, he opens the discussion by asking, “Okay, which of you chose, the uh, most important one?” S6 is quite active taking three significant turns in the beginning of discussion. It is through the use of her questions that Speaker 1 emerges as a group leader a couple of minutes into the discussion. Instead of using questions to assert her own position or challenge others, S1 asks yes/no and open-ended questions to solicit information Table 3. Contribution to Decision-Making Meetings by Cultural Group, Case Study 1. Cultural group Average number of turns Average number of words Average words per turn Asian speakers 39 127.5 3.2 American speakers 151 1,170 7.7 Table 4. Contribution to Decision-Making Meetings by Speaker, Case Study 1. Speaker Total turns taken Total words spoken Average words per turn S1: Male, English 200 1,962 9.81 S2: Male, Asian 70 217 3.10 S3: Female, English 113 678 6.00 S4: Female, English 140 870 6.21 S5: Male, Asian 8 38 4.75 Aritz and Walker 83 about other group members’ choices, “Did everyone choose the compass?” In line 36, she directs the question to two Asian females who have not yet spoken, giving them a chance to join the group, “What did you guys put as the number one?” In lines 72 and 73, she recaps the group discussion by summarizing and listing the items in order, “I think that, I think that the compass is good and then should we do the canvas as second?” which elicits an affirmative confirmation by other speakers. By then this more inclusive style establishes Speaker 1 as a leader. She takes on a more vocal leadership role in the remaining part of the transcript. Analysis of Links Between Speaker Turns. In contrast to the group leader in Case Study 1 who did not link his comments to those of the previous speaker, Speaker 1 acknowledges the contribution of the previous speaker on several occasions. In line 46, for example, she acknowledges S6’s contribution and elaborates on the topic that he introduced, “oh really? To stay warm.” Similarly, in lines 62 and 65, she continues on a topic that had been previously introduced by latching and overlapping with S5: 61. S5: Have you ever stayed in the middle of snow? You have no idea where you are. 62. S1: you don’t 63. even know w[hat’s] up or down. 64. S5: [with] z pu[re snow, complete snow] you have no 65. S1: [everything looks the same] Analysis of Topic Shifts. Speaker 1 uses elaboration and continuity as opposed to the sudden topic shift demonstrated by S1 in Case Study 1. Even when she changes the topic in line 73, her talk is linked to the previous speaker’s contribution, creating a smooth transition that guides the group in its discussion: 72. S5: I’m I’m I’m just saying that we agree on [the com]pass 73. S1: [yeahhhh] z I think that, I think that the compass is good and then should we do the canvass as second? Analysis of Listening. Although Speaker 1 uses just a few minimal responses (line 72) in this excerpt, her participation is marked by active listening techniques. She actively participates in the conversation by using repetition (line 41) and validating and elaborating on the previous speaker’s turn (line 46): 36. S1: z what did you guys put as the number one? 38. S4: z what’d you get? 39. S3: z I put, I put canvas [not xxxxx] 40. S5: [oh canvas] is uh tent, the tent 41. S1: z oh canvas 43. S4: z oh canvas 44. S6: uh canvas, I put sleeping bag 45. S5: z ye[ah] 46. S1: [oh ]really? To stay warm. 84 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) She also uses frequent latching and speaks without waiting for a pause in a way that validates and supports the previous speaker’s contribution (lines 41 and 46). Analysis of Simultaneous Speech. Speaker 1 overlaps rarely, and when she does, her overlaps are cooperative, as shown in lines 46 and 65. She does not use simultaneous speech to interrupt a previous speaker as was the case with S1 in Case Study 1. On one occasion, she uses backchanneling—yeahhh—to show solidarity with S5. In this particular interaction, the participation rates are comparable between Asian speakers and American speakers working in a mixed group (see Tables 5 and 6). The results in Table 5 show a much more balanced interaction between the two cultural groups in Case Study 2. The leadership style demonstrated by a female American participant that included overt invitations of contribution resulted in a more inclusive leadership style that ensured a more collaborative decision-making process. The invitation to speak was expressed by frequent use of yes/no and open-ended questions to help ensure that all members of the group had a chance to express their opinion before reaching a group decision. Consensus was thus this group’s preferred decisionmaking schema. In this setting, the average contribution by American participants was more similar to the average contribution of Asian participants when compared with the results in Case Study 1. American speakers took 152 turns compared with 105 turns by Asian speakers. The average number of words spoken by American and Asian speakers was similar, 870 and 843, respectively. American speakers’ turn length was longer than Asian speakers—5.7 compared with 4.6—but not nearly as different as in Case Study 1. This finding is consistent with Clyne (1994), who observed cultural differences in turn length, with East Asians producing shorter turns. Overall, member contribution was more balanced and more comparable across cultural groups. Table 6 Table 5. Contribution to Decision-Making Meetings by Cultural Group, Case Study 2. Cultural group Average number of turns Average number of words Average words per turn Asian speakers 105.7 843.7 4.6 American speakers 152.5 870.5 5.7 Table 6. Contribution to Decision-Making Meetings by Cultural Group, Case Study 2. Speaker Total turns taken Total words spoken Average words per turn S1: Female, English 171 1,010 5.91 S2: Female, Asian 61 202 3.31 S3: Female, Asian 100 554 5.54 S4: Male, English 134 731 5.46 S5: Male, Asian 219 954 4.36 S6: Male, Asian 43 225 5.23 Aritz and Walker 85 displays the breakdown of the results by each speaker with reference to their cultural group and gender. Collaborative Style: Case Study 3 Analysis of Questions. In this group, the questions in the very beginning are used to establish the collaborative nature of interaction in the group. The first couple of questions used by several members in the group are used to frame the type of discussion that will follow. It frames the type of discussion as collaborative as all the group members are more actively engaged in co-constructing the rules and the process for discussion. 10. S2: Do we wanna go around and just give like [our top 5?] 11. S1: [ What’s the] best, what’s the [least]= 12. S5: [Sure.] Links Between Turns. Because of the collaborative nature of this group, the recognition of previous contributions is minimal but is present and positive. This can be seen in the “Okay” in line 90 and the “Yeah” of agreement by Speaker 4 in lines 87 and 93 in this example: 87. S4: Yeah, and I figure if you can’t drink the streams, you can use the mirror to help. 88. you melt the water and then [you] just drink the snow. 89. S2: [ Or ] 90. S1: Okay. 91. S2: Or I was gonna say, you can, you can melt the snow in the metal can 92. [from the matches = 93. S4: [Yeah, that’s Topic Shifts. Speakers in this group tend to acknowledge and build on the previous speaker’s contribution and topic shifts are not abrupt but rather constructive. For example, in the same excerpt, in line 91 S2 elaborates on S1’s idea and proposes a different variation that is introduced as an option by using a connector “or” that does not sound like an abrupt topic shift but more like a productive exploration of different alternatives. 87. S4: Yeah, and I figure if you can’t drink the streams, you can use the mirror to help. 88. you melt the water and then [you] just drink the snow. 89. S2: [ Or ] 90. S1: Okay. 91. S2: Or I was gonna say, you can, you can melt the snow in the metal can 92. [from the matches = 93. S4: [Yeah, that’s 86 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) Listening. The collaborative nature of the meeting can be seen in multiple backchannels that signal listening and agreement. S3 and S2 use minimal positive acknowledgments of others’ contribution in the form of “Yeah” in lines 110 and 113. S2 and S5 signal their agreement by using minimal responses, “true” in line 118 and then “right” in line 120. Lines 122 and 123 show multiple minimal responses, “right right” and then “okay,” that support the previous speaker and validate that the group is moving in the preferred direction in its decision-making process. 108. S5: Well I put [as] my, my highest, uh the umm, the matches cause like 109. you’re, you’re wet = 110. S3: [Ya]. 111. S5: = [to the] waist, you’re heavily perspiring. You’re going to 112. freeze to death because it’s = 113. S2: [Yeah. ] 114. S5: = it’s almost certainly below freezing at that point and so you need 115. to first, before anything else get warm and dry. 116. S1: I had [that,] I had that originally as matches. Actually I had, uh, 117. matches and Bacardi = 118. S2: [True]. 119. S1: = because you can use Bacardi as fuel. 120. S5: Right. 121. S1: As lighter fluid. 122. S5: Right. Right. 123. S2: Okay. Simultaneous Speech. In this group, there are frequent overlaps, but they are cooperative in the sense that they build on, expand, or productively question the previous speaker’s contribution. For example, S4 and S5 overlap in lines 281 and 282 when they both elaborate on the same point that there must be wood if they choose to keep matches among their top priority items. S1 and S2 overlap immediately following S4 and S5 in lines 283 and 284, reinforcing the need to validate the assumption that there will be branches for them to use, “There’s gotta be . . .” S4 uses an overlap in line 285 to question this assumption but not as an abrupt interruption. Rather, he productively builds on the previous speakers’ contributions and introduces an element of doubt that is put out there for the group to discuss as they move forward with their decision-making, “But will there be?” 277. S1: You need . . . 278. S4: z You need fuel. But, [what ] are we gonna do? Are we 279. gonna burn a tree = 280. S1: [XXX]. 281. S4: down? [Are we gonna hope that there’s branches, right, right . . .] 282. S5: [There’s XXX dead wood on the ground ] [XXX XXX] 283. S1: [We’re gonna XXX but there’s gotta be] 284. S2: [There’s gotta be . . .] 285. S4: [But will there ] be? Aritz and Walker 87 No IA was completed for this third case study since this particular interaction style was observed only in homogeneous American groups, that is, no mixed group composed of participants from both the U.S. or East Asian cultures demonstrated this particular leadership style. We have included it here, however, to exemplify a particular leadership style that may not work well in mixed groups composed of members from East Asian cultures and the West. Discussion These findings of our surveys and IA may be explained if we consider the effects that leadership style has on group members. Case Study 1 with a more directive leadership style that resulted in greater imbalance among group members represented the most commonly exhibited leadership style in mixed groups. As a rule, all leaders demonstrating this particular style were U.S.-born males. Case Study 2, on the other hand, with a more cooperative and inclusive leadership style that resulted in more balanced member contribution was observed only in a couple of instances. The article illustrates two styles of leadership—directive and cooperative—and their effects on other members in the group, particularly in terms of whether they come from individualist or collectivist cultures. As shown, a more cooperative leadership style leads to more balanced contribution and participation of all members in intercultural groups consisting of East Asian and U.S. participants. The most commonly observed directive leadership style representative of mixed groups showed a less balanced contribution and participation rate among all participants and may be to some degree responsible for the lower degree of satisfaction among Asian participants of being included, valued, or supported within their groups. The article also discusses a third leadership style, collaborative, which did not emerge in any mixed groups. Business professionals from the United States may benefit from knowing that they may not encounter the same level of participation and self-selection to speak and contribute in multicultural groups as one may find in allAmerican groups. Such active communicative behavior may be hindered by multiple factors, including language proficiency, communication apprehension, level of comfort, and familiarity. The third cooperative leadership style that showed distributed leadership among group members also requires a more aggressive and direct communication style that may not be appropriate in cultures that value benevolence, harmony with others, and self-restraint. Additionally, it may require time to build relationships and trust before engaging in this particular communicative style. Our study indicates that differing styles of leadership can affect the participation and contribution of members and may affect their feelings of inclusion within the group. It also provides some evidence that particular styles of and approaches to leadership may not be as successful with all cultural groups. For example, the notion of the strong, charismatic leader that emerges from some traditional approaches to leadership, that is, trait, transformational, and neocharismatic theories, may not be as successful in terms of participation and feelings of inclusion by group members of particular cultural backgrounds. Similarly, a postmodern view that moves away from 88 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) heroic notions of the leader to a more distributed leadership model, such as that exemplified by the collaborative style, also may not hold much cachet for some cultural groups. These findings may explain why the cooperative style of leadership generated more balanced participation and contribution among East Asian participants, since it might better reflect the values of being considerate and respectful of others. In contrast, the directive style might be seen as too aggressive, and given the fact that language proficiency may be another obstacle to equal participation in decision making, this style prevents Asian participants from being equal partners in decision making. The collaborative leadership approach similarly requires a more assertive style of communication to self-nominate to take the floor. Power distance may partially explain why Asian participants who come from high-power-distant cultures may not engage in the distributed leadership approach because of an expectation of a designated leader or, possibly, a longer period of type needed to establish relationships. Furthermore, Du-Babcock and Tanaka (2013) list language proficiency as a potential reason for such differences. They found that all Japanese speakers initiated interaction and responded to each other while speaking in Japanese but not when they were speaking English. Interestingly enough, Japanese participated at a higher rate when they were put in a reactive role responding to interactions initiated by Hong Kong Cantonese speakers speaking English. This finding would confirm our results when a more cooperative style in Case Study 2 generated higher participation rates among our East Asian speakers. Identifying particular discourse practices can provide a more concrete way of looking at the enactment of leadership and enabling potential leaders to more consciously approach the task with their audience in mind. For example, the specific discursive strategies as exhibited by Speaker 1 in Case Study 2 may create a more inclusive discussion space that can potentially produce more collaborative solutions and decisions while at the same time better engage participants from collectivist cultures in decisionmaking processes. Similarly, a more directive leadership style may not be the best approach when working with people from collectivist cultures if the goal is to encourage participation in and satisfaction with the group process among East Asian speakers. The key focus for instructors and trainers is to teach potential (or future) global leaders the value of a cooperative leadership style in supporting greater contribution and participation from members of collectivist cultures. The awareness of leadership as a dialogic skill can empower any group not only to deepen trust and understanding of the cultural “Other” (Bargiela-Chiappini, 2004; Witteborn, 2011) but also to enable better joint decision making. Limitations and Implications While the purpose of this study was to isolate the effects of language in the emergence of leadership within a group, it ignored other important variables that would be at play in most organizational settings. These include structural elements, such as designated roles as leader, manager, or supervisor; cultural elements of the Aritz and Walker 89 organization; established relations between actors; historical knowledge regarding other actors’ level of expertise, competence, and skill; and the role of nonverbal communication. In addition, this was a simulation, and as such may not replicate the stakes that might be involved in actual decision-making meetings and thus the interactions involved in them. Furthermore, our study treated Chinese, Japanese, and Korean participants as representative of East Asian cultures. Ideally, one would look at these cultural groups separately and analyze their interactions with Americans by cultural group. However, because of small numbers of participants from each individual country, we had to combine them into a larger category that shares similar cultural values, such as highcontext collectivist cultures, that are quite distinct from the American, low-context individualistic culture. Still, it provides those interested in leadership and how it emerges in interaction a potentially new approach to think about, observe, and practice leadership in intercultural settings. This would include practitioners as well as teachers and scholars of leadership. Appendix A Satisfaction Survey Form Ona scale from 1 (strongly agree) to 7 (strongly disagree), please circle the appropriate answer to the questions below: 1. I was included in the group discussion and decision making. 2. I was valued for my contributions to the group discussion and decision making. 3. My group members supported me and my ideas. 4. I am satisfied with the group discussion. 5. I am satisfied with the group decision. 6. Most of members in my work group get along well with each other. 7. Most of the members in my work group respect each other. 8. Most of the members in my work group trust each other. 9. Most of the members in my work group do their fair share of the work. 10. Most of the members in my work group cooperate to get the job done. 11. Most of the members in my work group are willing to share ideas and information. 12. In my work group, there is strong groupwork. 13. In my work group, there is strong groupwork. Appendix B Transcription Symbols Used From Schiffrin (1987) . Falling intonation followed by noticeable pause (as at end of declarative sentence) ? Rising intonation followed by noticeable pause (as at end of interrogative sentence) 90 International Journal of Business Communication 51(1) , Continuing intonation: may be a slight rise or fall in contour (less than “.” or “?”; may be followed by a pause (shorter than “.” or “?”) ! Animated tone . . . Noticeable pause or break in rhythm without falling intonation – Self-interruption with glottal stop : Lengthened syllable Italics Emphatic stress CAPS Very emphatic stress = Continuous speech [ ] Overlap; starting point of overlap is marked by a left-hand bracket, and the ending point of overlap is marked by a right-hand bracket Z Symbol used when speech from B follows speech from A without perceptible pause Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding This article is in part supported by the USC Marshall School of Business Summer Research Fund. References Alvesson, M., & Kärreman, D. (2000). Varieties of discourse. On the study of organizations through discourse analysis. Human Relations, 53, 1125-1149. Ayman, R., & Korabik, K. (2010). Leadership: Why gender and culture matter. American Psychologist, 65, 157-170. Bakeman, R., & Gottman, J. M. 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Linstead (Eds.), The language of organization (pp. 241-282). London, England: Sage. Witteborn, S. (2011). Discursive grouping in a virtual forum: Dialogue, difference, and the “Intercultural.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 4, 109-126. Yamada, H. (1992). American and Japanese business discourse: A comparison of interactional styles. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Author Biographies Jolanta Aritz is an Associate Professor of Clinical Management Communication at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She teaches business communication courses in the Marshall undergraduate and graduate programs and conducts research on small group communication, cross-cultural issues, leadership and business discourse. Robyn Walker is an Associate Professor of Clinical Management Communication at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is editor and author of several textbooks, co-editor (with Aritz) Discourse Perspectives on Organizational Communication (2012), and co-author (with Aritz) of Leadership Talk: A Discourse Approach to Leader Emergence (2014). Copyright of Journal of Business Communication is the property of Association for Business Communication and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. Copyright of International Journal of Business Communication is the property of Association for Business Communication and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
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