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                   Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative ...
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 ...
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  1. 1. Editorial Manager(tm) for Asia Pacific Journal of Management Manuscript Draft Manuscript Number: Title: Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative Study of Thai and Australian Public Sectors Article Type: Manuscript Keywords: Leadership Styles; Organisational Culture; Public Sector; Australia; Thailand Corresponding Author: Dr. Nattavud Pimpa, Ph.D. Corresponding Author's Institution: RMIT University First Author: Nattavud Pimpa, BA, MBA, Ph.D. Order of Authors: Nattavud Pimpa, BA, MBA, Ph.D.; Timothy Moore, MB.BS, MPH Abstract: This paper compares organisational culture and leadership styles in Thai and Australian public sectors. To investigate differences and similarities in organisational culture, the data was collected from public sector staff in educational and training settings in Australia and Thailand. The results confirm four leadership styles that suites the public sector culture in both countries: communication-oriented style, strategic thinking and planning style, relationship building style, and conflict management style. In the Thai public sector system, leadership that focuses on goal orientation is ranked most highly: Australian public sector organisations focus on leadership that fosters equity among organisational members, creates a supportive environment in the workplace, and facilitates participation. It is evident from this study that significant distinctions between the organisational cultures of Thailand and Australia are matched by marked dissimilarities of preferred leadership styles. Thus, an understanding of local organisational culture is important for effective leadership at all levels.
  2. 2. Title Page w/ ALL Author Contact Info. Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative Study of Thai and Australian Public Sectors Nattavud Pimpa School of Management RMIT University Building 108, Level 16 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000 Email: nattavud.pimpa@rmit.edua.au Timothy Moore The Nossal Institute of Global Health The University of Melbourne Email: tim.moore@unimelb.edu.au
  3. 3. *BLIND Manuscript without contact information Click here to view linked References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative Study of Thai and 11 12 Australian Public Sectors 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 1 63 64 65
  4. 4. 1 2 3 4 Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative Study of Thai and 5 6 Australian Public Sectors 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Abstract: 15 16 17 18 19 20 This paper compares organisational culture and leadership styles in Thai and Australian public 21 22 sectors. To investigate differences and similarities in organisational culture, the data was 23 collected from public sector staff in educational and training settings in Australia and Thailand. 24 25 The results confirm four leadership styles that suites the public sector culture in both countries: 26 27 communication-oriented style, strategic thinking and planning style, relationship building style, 28 29 and conflict management style. In the Thai public sector system, leadership that focuses on goal 30 31 orientation is ranked most highly: Australian public sector organisations focus on leadership 32 33 that fosters equity among organisational members, creates a supportive environment in the 34 workplace, and facilitates participation. It is evident from this study that significant distinctions 35 36 between the organisational cultures of Thailand and Australia are matched by marked 37 38 dissimilarities of preferred leadership styles. Thus, an understanding of local organisational 39 40 culture is important for effective leadership at all levels. 41 42 43 44 45 Keywords: Leadership Styles; Organisational Culture; Public Sector; Australia; Thailand 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 2 63 64 65
  5. 5. 1 2 3 4 Organisational Culture and Leadership Styles: A Comparative Study of Thai and 5 6 Australian Public Sectors 7 8 9 10 11 12 Introduction 13 14 15 16 17 Leadership is dynamic, and is built by means of an ongoing process requiring considerable time 18 19 and organisational resources and culture (Fleishman et al 1991; Wiersma and Bantel, 1992). A 20 21 full gamut of research shows a strong link between good leadership and good governance within 22 23 the organisation. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD] (2001) 24 confirms that leadership is a critical component of „good public governance’. Governance can be 25 26 briefly described as the way in which the underlying values of a nation (usually articulated in some way 27 28 in its Constitution) are „institutionalized’. This has formal aspects such as separated powers, checks and 29 balances, means of transferring power, transparency, and accountability. However, for these values to be 30 31 actualised, they must guide the actions of public officials throughout the system. They must be imbedded 32 33 in culture. In this regard “leadership” is the flesh on the bones of the constitution. It is at the heart of good 34 governance (OECD, 2001). 35 36 37 38 39 40 Previous studies on leadership and organisations affirm leadership‟s significant role in steering 41 organisational culture. Conversely, organisational culture is pivotal in shaping leadership styles 42 43 (Pors, 2008). Studies over the past four decades demonstrate the profound impact of 44 45 organisational culture on the success or failure of an organisation‟s leadership, and that 46 47 organisational culture and leadership are intertwined (Schein, 1992; Denison, 1996; Ogbanna 48 49 and Harris, 2002; Pors, 2008). The key challenge for modern organisations is to understand the 50 51 strong influence of organisational culture on leadership styles and its direct, and indirect, effects 52 on individual members of organisations. 53 54 55 56 57 58 Ogbonna and Harris (2002) proposed that researchers in management science should investigate, 59 60 through comparative studies, the links among culture, organisations and leadership. Previous 61 62 3 63 64 65
  6. 6. 1 2 3 4 studies, which attempted to identify the relationship between organisational culture and 5 6 characteristics of leaders, have used narrow and similar cultural lenses. In addition, a study of 7 8 international management from the perspective of not-for-profit organisations does not 9 10 sufficiently elucidate these links (Rojanapanich and Pimpa, 2009). Literature on cultural studies 11 12 (Hofstede, 1999; Connell, 2007) identifies strong relationships between society, people, values 13 14 and the institutions where they belong. Thus, leadership styles vary from place to place, 15 according to local cultures and societal impacts. The level and degree of influence can be 16 17 different from culture to culture, and rest on various local cultural factors (Hofstede, 1984; 18 19 Hofstede, 2005). 20 21 22 23 24 Leaders in the public sector have a major impact on the formation of organisational culture and 25 26 staff effectiveness. Despite the disparate nature and structure of governmental and for-profit 27 28 organisations (Colley, 2001), it is apparent leaders‟ values and beliefs form the key values of the 29 30 organisation in both sectors. Ogbonna and Harris (2000) proposed that leaders from not-for- 31 32 profit and for-profit organisations alike can embed and transmit organisational culture through 33 34 different mechanisms, for example coaching and role modelling. To what extent can culture 35 influence the nature of leadership in the public sector? In particular, when we view leadership in 36 37 the public sector through different cultural lenses, what will we see as the implications for 38 39 international leadership? 40 41 42 43 44 45 OECD (2001) reported that most governments have been different approaches in the 46 development of leadership in public sector. General trends of leadership development in 47 48 international public sectors include developing comprehensive strategies (i.e. Norway, the UK), 49 50 setting up new institutions for leadership development (i.e. Sweden, the US), and linking the 51 52 existing management training to leadership development (i.e. Finland). Leadership 53 54 developmental strategies in public sectors confirm the important role of leadership in fostering 55 the quality of governance in the public system. 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 4 63 64 65
  7. 7. 1 2 3 4 This paper‟s focus is Thailand and Australia; two countries different in socio-cultural 5 6 background. Australia is described as a western developed society where individualism, social 7 8 equality and progression are seen as the social norm (Dorfman, 1996). In contrast, Thailand is 9 10 perceived as a Buddhist, collectivistic and harmonious society (Edwards et al, 1995; Pimpa, 11 12 2009). Differences in these nations‟ organisational cultures and leadership styles can be 13 14 expected. This study investigates this notion. 15 16 17 18 19 Literature Review 20 21 22 Leadership in Public Sector 23 24 25 26 Wyse and Vilkinas (2004) propose that public sector executive leadership roles have not been 27 28 explored independently of private sector roles. It is more common for private sector research and 29 30 models to be adopted by the public sector with little or no modification for the public sector 31 32 context, even though differences between public and private sector demands on executives are 33 34 acknowledged (Colley, 2001). This may associate with insufficiency in understanding of 35 leadership roles and effectiveness in public sector. 36 37 38 39 40 41 Different leadership theories and models are used to describe and measure complicated 42 43 leadership behaviour (Politis, 2001). Traditionally popular was the duality model of leadership; 44 45 one dimension concerned with people and interpersonal relations and the other with production 46 47 and task achievement (Sergiovanni, 2006). Recent studies tend to employ a multi-perspective 48 49 approach to investigate and explain the complexities of leadership in public educational 50 51 institutions (Bolman and Deal, 1991; Glickman and Sergiovanni, 2006). Sergiovanni‟s (1984) 52 five-forces model (technical, human, educational, symbolic and cultural) was further developed 53 54 by Bolman and Deal‟s (1991) to become a four dimension model (structural, human, political 55 56 and symbolic leadership). The model confirms that organisations in public sector require certain 57 58 aspects of leadership that may differ from for-profit organisations. 59 60 61 62 5 63 64 65
  8. 8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Of all leadership models, Sergiovanni's (1984) Hierarchy of Leadership Forces is one of the 8 9 most adopted in researching educational and public service leadership. Sergiovanni (1984) 10 11 identified and defined multiple school leadership dimensions as „leadership forces‟ (leader and 12 13 follower behaviours). The technical force describes the management functions espoused by the 14 15 proponents of „classical‟ management theory; for example, planning, organising, staffing, 16 directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting. The human force concerns the supporting of 17 18 people, encouragement of professional growth, and the building of morale. This is similar to the 19 20 management ideology of human relations. The human relations approach to management 21 22 requires a „participatory‟ or „democratic‟ management style by managers who are skilled in 23 24 working with people. Leadership styles that suite the nature of public sector organisation is not 25 26 clearly defined in his work. 27 28 29 30 31 Literature in public sector leadership emphasizes the influence and effectiveness of 32 33 transformational (over transactional) leadership (Schneider and Barsoux, 1997; Ogbonna and 34 35 Harris, 2000; Hooljberg and Choi, 2001; Holden, 2002 Wart, 2003). Hooljberg and Choi (2001) 36 37 also reported that monitoring and facilitating roles of leader in the governmental organisations 38 39 have a stronger impact on perceived leadership effectiveness than the use of forces and power. 40 Trottler et al (2008) also reported that transformational leadership is positively related to leader 41 42 effectiveness and follower satisfaction in the case of public sector organisations. 43 44 45 46 47 48 Wright and Pandey (2010) reported that the structure of public sector organisations may not be 49 50 as bureaucratic as commonly believed in the literature. Some bureaucratic had little, if any, 51 52 adverse affect on the prevalence or practice of transformational leadership behaviours. They also 53 54 confirm in their study that there is no relationship between transformational leadership 55 behaviours and organisational red tape, even though organisational hierarchy and inadequate 56 57 lateral/upward communication were associated with lower transformational leadership. 58 59 60 61 62 6 63 64 65
  9. 9. 1 2 3 4 It seems to be the pattern of research in public sector to investigate the concept of traditional 5 6 leadership (transactional/transformational leadership, traits and behaviour in leadership) in a 7 8 particular setting. The comparative aspect between public sector organisations in different 9 10 cultural backgrounds is lacking. From the research perspective, the comparison of leadership 11 12 styles and approaches will lead to abetter understanding of the effects of local and organisational 13 14 culture on leadership effectiveness in public sector. 15 16 17 18 19 Leadership Thai-Australian Styles 20 21 22 23 24 A previous study on Thai style leadership (Hallinger and Kantamara, 2000) indicates central- 25 26 system leadership has remained powerful in the Thai public sector. Thailand is one of the 27 28 countries in Asian of which Buddhism has deep roots in society. Harmony and peace are among 29 30 key aspects in Thai life. An early cultural study by Hofstede (1990) identifies four dimensions 31 for which national cultures differ: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism- 32 33 Collectivism, and Masculinity-Femininity. According to Hofstede‟s cultural map, Thailand ranks 34 35 highly for all four dimensions. Hallinger and Kantamara (2000) asserted that Thais are 36 37 collectivist and leadership that moves toward the direction of group rather than the individual is 38 39 effective in Thailand. In terms of goal orientation and leadership, Thailand is classified as a 40 short-term goal society. Thais may prefer to look at planning as a short-term organisational 41 42 strategy. 43 44 45 46 Mulder (1994) summarises that the primary Thai values are wealth, power, respect and honour, 47 48 seniority, rank and being the boss. He also added that Thailand is a society of rather conservative 49 50 people who appreciate the predictability and quietness and the security of social life. Leaders 51 need to be placated by polite and pleasant behaviour. This nature of the Thai society affects the 52 53 style that leaders can adopt in the Thai organisations. Followers may see themselves as someone 54 55 who remains quiet in order to show respect to the boss. Leadership style that encourages equity 56 57 may not be seen as appropriate style in the Thai context. This point is also confirmed by Komin 58 59 60 61 62 7 63 64 65
  10. 10. 1 2 3 4 (1990) that most Thai organisation has tendency towards directive leadership that focuses on 5 6 autocratic style. Thai leaders, thus, tend to favour conformity and orderliness. 7 8 9 10 11 12 Australian literature on leadership has tended to focus on leadership characteristics and styles. 13 14 Sarros (1992), a prominent scholar in this area, identified the relationship between the Australian 15 concept of friend or „mateship‟ as a major cultural factor determining Australian leadership style. 16 17 Modern concepts of strategic leadership, vision or implementation began to affect Australian 18 19 leadership at a later stage. According to Parry and Sarros (1996), Australians perceived 20 21 individualised consideration as an important factor of charismatic personality for leaders. 22 23 24 25 In their analysis of Australian culture and leadership, AMeng, Ashkanasy and Hartel (2003) 26 found that Australian culture and leadership was enigmatic, full of contradiction and change. 27 28 Their study revealed four uniquely Australian dimensions of leadership: (1) mateship; (2) one of 29 30 us; (3) underdog; and (4) tall poppy syndrome. Some of these concepts were tested subsequently 31 32 by Australian scholars. In light of their findings, Meng, Ashkanasy and Hartel (2003) concluded 33 34 that successful leadership in Australia was not easily achieved. Australian leaders are expected to 35 inspire high levels of performance, but must do so without being too charismatic and standing 36 37 out from the rest. 38 39 40 41 Roberts et al (2003) reported in their study that Australian leaders are expected to be more 42 43 socially-orientated and affiliate, and to place less emphasis on the work and/or outcome of the 44 45 work. An interesting summary by Roberts et al (2003) is: 46 47 48 “Australia has been shown to have a very low Power Distance, stemming from the 49 50 historical origins of Australia as a penal settlement. We therefore also expected to find 51 52 in our analysis that the GLOBE data would reveal an emic leadership dimension 53 interpretable as Australian egalitarianism.” 54 55 56 57 Literature in public sector services in Australia illustrates that Australian public sectors appear to 58 59 pay more attention to work in dynamic partnership with private and NGOs (Shergold, 2005). At 60 61 62 8 63 64 65
  11. 11. 1 2 3 4 the same time, Australian public sectors supposed to be responsive to community demands and 5 6 have been placed under strict accountability regimes that demand almost excessive process 7 8 requirements (Shergold 2004). This aspect of work certainly requires a new dimension of 9 10 leadership. 11 12 13 14 15 Having established that the new aspect of leadership is required little is known, however, about 16 17 leadership style and culture within Australian public sector organisations, despite the 18 19 bombardment of literature regarding the for-profit sector in the 1990s and 2000s. Furthermore, 20 21 literature in comparative leadership from the Australian perspective is lacking in modern 22 23 management science. 24 25 26 27 28 Research Questions 29 30 31 1) What are the differences between Thai and Australian public sector officers regarding the 32 33 perceptions of organisational culture? 34 35 2) What are the differences in the perceived leadership styles between Thai and Australian 36 37 public sector officers? 38 3) What are the leadership styles that fit public sector culture in Australia and Thailand? 39 40 41 42 43 44 Methodology 45 46 47 48 The key issue that this study investigates is the effects of organisational culture on leadership 49 styles in the Thai and Australian public sectors. A quantitative method is adopted to investigate 50 51 the differences of organisational culture and leadership styles, and patterns thereof, for Thai and 52 53 Australian public sectors. 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 9 63 64 65
  12. 12. 1 2 3 4 Sample 5 6 7 8 The participants in this study were 134 Thai and 110 Australian civil servants, working in 9 10 various public educational and training organisations. In Thailand, the data were collected from 11 12 civil servants and teachers from district educational offices and public primary schools in Central 13 14 and Eastern Thailand; 117 females and 17 males. The majority (88.1%) had been in the public 15 sector system for more than 10 years. Permission to collect data in Thailand was granted by the 16 17 Thai Office of the Civil Service Commission and the Ministry of Education. 18 19 In Australia, the data were collected from teachers and governmental staff in public primary 20 21 schools in the Western and Eastern suburbs of Victoria. The participants consisted of 73 females 22 23 and 37 males, the majority of whom (73%) had been in the public sector system for five to seven 24 25 years. Permission to collect this data was granted by the Victorian Department of Education and 26 Early Childhood Development. 27 28 29 30 Instrument for Data Collection 31 32 33 34 The instrument was a questionnaire composed of three parts: the first part related to 35 organisational culture in the public sector (25 items); the second part tapped into different 9 36 37 leadership styles (32 items); while the third part related to participants‟ demographic information 38 39 (5 items). The organisational culture scale (part I) was developed from Hofstede‟s cultural 40 41 dimensions (1984) model. Previous studies on culture and leadership (i.e. Swierczek, 1991; 42 43 Hallinger, 2003) support the application of Hofstede‟s cultural dimensions on leadership and 44 45 organisation. 46 47 48 Leadership style scale (part II) was developed from various leadership literatures in leadership, 49 50 management and organisational studies [i.e. Sergiovanni (1984), Hallinger and Kantamara 51 52 (2000), Robers et al (2003) and Rojanapanich and Pimpa (2009)]. Samples of the instrument are 53 54 presented in Exhibit 1. 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 10 63 64 65
  13. 13. 1 2 3 4 Part I: Organisational Culture 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 If a group is slowing me down, it is better to leave t and work alone 8 9 To be a superior, a person must stand alone 10 11 I am encouraged to strive for continuously improved performance 12 13 Part II: Leadership Styles: 14 My boss… 15 Generates debates about the future of organisation 16 17 Presents staff with scenarios of the future of organisation 18 19 Stimulates staff-wide questioning of all aspects of the organisational operations 20 21 Exhibit 1: Sample Questions 22 23 24 25 To verify the inter-item reliability of the instrument, Cronbach‟s alpha was conducted. In this 26 case alpha coefficients higher than 0.7, demonstrated the high reliability of the instrument. One 27 28 of the ways in which to ensure acceptable content validity is to put it through a process of 29 30 judgemental validation by experts in this area. This was done and, in this case, the experts were 31 32 two academics in leadership and management, as well as two civil servants, one each from 33 34 Thailand and Australia. They provided feedback that helped the researcher to reiteratively edit 35 36 the questionnaire. 37 38 39 Data Analysis 40 41 42 43 Descriptive statistics are used to identify general characteristics of the participants, degrees of 44 45 organisational culture and leadership styles. Furthermore, a t-test was conducted to compare 46 47 differences between Thai and Australian civil servants in regard to leadership styles and 48 organisational culture. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to analyse groups of correlate 49 50 variables representing leadership styles in Australian and Thai public sector. 51 52 53 54 Findings 55 56 57 58 The analysis of organisational culture of both the Thai and Australian public sectors indicates 59 that all five dimensions of organisational culture for Thailand are stronger than for Australia. 60 61 62 11 63 64 65
  14. 14. 1 2 3 4 Uncertainty Avoidance has the highest rating for the Thai public sector. In contrast, of the five 5 6 dimension ratings, for the Australian participants Goal Orientation is highest ranked. The results 7 8 confirm the Thai public sector may resist change and accept people because of their position at 9 10 the top of management hierarchy. In terms of collectivism, the results show that members of 11 12 neither Thai nor Australian public sector organisations are highly collectivist. In nature, 13 14 nevertheless, Australian public sector organisations are more individualistic than Thai 15 counterparts. Both Australian and Thai public sector organisations are quite active and strategic 16 17 in their operations. Regarding Goal Orientation, the findings show both Australian and Thai 18 19 public sectors set long-term goals for their organisations. Table 1 demonstrates the comparisons 20 21 between Thai and Australian public sector organisations. 22 23 24 25 Organisational Culture Thailand Australia 26 27 Uncertainty Orientation 3.81 2.92 28 29 Power Orientation 3.42 2.31 30 31 Group Orientation 2.92 2.14 32 33 Gender Orientation 2.35 1.43 34 35 Goal Orientation 3.67 3.53 36 37 Table 1: A Comparison of Organisational Culture Styles between Australia and Thailand 38 39 40 41 When the mean-scores are compared by means of a t-test, it is found that the nature of 42 organisational culture among Thai and Australian public sector differ significantly in Uncertainty 43 44 Orientation (t = 16.42, p = .00), Power Orientation (t= 21.81, p = .00), Group Orientation (t = 45 46 15.06, p = .00), Gender Orientation, (t = 11.97, p = .00), and Goal Orientation (t = 7.73, p =.00). 47 48 The results confirm that local cultures, Thai and Australian, tend to have different effects on the 49 50 national public sector system. 51 52 53 It is apparent leadership styles are valued differently by public sector officers from Thailand and 54 55 Australia. The Thai public sector prefers task-focused leadership, and gives high regard to 56 57 leaders who assist and guide staff to focus on the task at hand. Public sector officers in Australia 58 59 prefer supportive and participative leadership styles. 60 61 62 12 63 64 65
  15. 15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The analyses also confirm a number of differences in terms of leadership styles among Thai and 7 8 Australian public sector organisations. With respect to participative leadership style, the results 9 10 confirm a significant difference between Thai and Australian public sector organisations (t = - 11 12 2.31, p = .02). Further analysis also confirms significant differences in leadership styles between 13 14 Thailand and Australia in conflict resolution (t = 2.10, p = .03), task-oriented style (t = 2.52, p = 15 .01), strategy-oriented style (t = -2.20, p = .03), supportive style (t = -2.32, p = .02), and 16 17 relationship-oriented style (t = 3.89, p = .00). Thailand is much stronger than Australia in 18 19 leadership style that focuses on finding ways for conflict resolution, task-orientation and 20 21 relationship building within an organisation. The Australian public sector, on the other hand, 22 23 focuses on leadership that engenders participation and equity among members, strategic 24 25 thinking, and supports companionship among organisational members (Table 2). 26 27 28 Interestingly, the analyses do not reveal significant differences between Thai and Australian 29 30 public sector organisations in leadership styles that stimulate working closely with customers 31 32 (customer orientation), communication quality among members in the organisation, and creation 33 34 of organisational value. Table 2 illustrated the comparative scores for leadership styles. 35 36 37 Leadership Styles Thailand Australia t 38 39 Participative Style 3.55 3.74 -2.31* 40 41 Conflict Resolution 3.43 3.26 2.10* 42 43 Task Orientation 3.82 3.63 2.52* 44 45 Strategic Thinking 3.59 3.74 -2.20* 46 47 Supportive Style 3.60 3.76 -2.32* 48 49 50 Customer Orientation 3.60 3.72 3.45 51 52 Relationship Orientation 3.50 3.12 3.89* 53 54 Communication 3.54 3.44 1.34 55 56 Organisational Value Creation 3.61 3.34 2.34 57 58 59 Table 2: A Comparison of Leadership Styles between Thailand and Australia 60 61 62 13 63 64 65
  16. 16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Statistical differences between Thailand and Australia are demonstrated for six of the nine 9 10 leadership styles analysed. These clearly indicate the disparate nature of organisational cultures 11 12 of the two nations, and the need for public sector management and leadership in Thailand and 13 14 Australia to suit the respective local cultures. 15 16 17 Factor Analysis 18 19 20 21 The 32 items of the leadership style scale (part II of the questionnaire) were subjected to 22 23 principal component analysis (PCA). Prior to performing PCA, the suitability of data for factor 24 25 analysis was assessed. Inspection of the correlation matrix revealed the presence of many 26 coefficients of .3 and above. The Kaiser-Myer-Oklin value was .768, exceeding the 27 28 recommended value of .6 (Kaiser, 1970). And Bartlett‟s Test of Sphericity (Bartlett, 1954) 29 30 reached statistical significance (.01), supporting the factorability of the correlation matrix. 31 32 33 34 Principal components analysis revealed the presence of five components with eigenvalues 35 exceeding 1, explaining 44.19%, 17.40%, 4.63%, 4.03% and 3.84% of the variance respectively. 36 37 An inspection of the screeplot revealed a clear break after the fourth component. Using Catell‟s 38 39 (1966) scree test, it was decided to retain four components for further investigation. This was 40 41 supported by the results of Parallel Analysis, which also showed four components with 42 43 eigenvalues exceeding the corresponding criterion values for a randomly generated data matrix 44 45 of the same size. The four-component solution explained a total of 66.28% of the variance. To 46 aid in the interpretation of the components, oblimin rotation was performed. The rotated was 47 48 solution revealed the presence of simple structure, with four components showing a number of 49 50 strong loadings and all variables loading substantially on a particular component. 51 52 53 54 The analyses from the component matrix also reveal that questions 54, 53, 57, 39, 35, 58, 55, 56, 55 56 52, 41, 49, 38, 51, and 50 are loaded on factor one. There are two groups of question loading on 57 this factor: communication, knowledge and information management. Both groups are clearly 58 59 inter-related, hence, this factor can be labelled as communication-oriented style. 60 61 62 14 63 64 65
  17. 17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Questions 33, 32, 34, 27, 36, 26 and 28 are loaded on factor two. All questions in this group are 7 8 related to planning, goal and task setting and process in strategy. This factor can be labelled as 9 10 strategic thinking and planning style. 11 12 The third factor consists of questions 45, 46, 40, 42, 43 and 44. The first two questions are 13 14 related to relationship with other stakeholders. Similarly, questions 42-43 focus on relationship 15 with members in the organisation. This factor can be labelled as relationship-building style. 16 17 18 19 The final factor comprises question 30, 29, 31, 37. All questions in this group focus on building 20 21 rapport within the organisation and finding resolutions for conflict among members in the 22 23 organisation. This leadership style can be labelled as conflict management style. 24 25 26 Discussions and Implications 27 28 29 30 This study investigated two aspects of Thai and Australian public sector management: 31 32 organisational culture and leadership styles. Findings from this study identify differences that are 33 34 meaningful for those interested in international public sector management. 35 36 37 Organisational culture plays an important role in the effectiveness of all organisations (Pimpa, 38 39 2006). This study confirms local cultures in Thailand and Australia play a pivotal role in national 40 41 public sector management. For the Thai public sector system, harmony and conflict avoidance 42 43 are important, and are perceived as critical factors for the national public sector. These findings 44 45 concur with previous studies (i.e. Hallinger and Kantamarda, 2000; Rojanapanich and Pimpa, 46 2009) which examined the culture of Thai public organisations. The managerial implication for 47 48 Thai organisational culture is the desirability of leadership that enhances harmony within the 49 50 public sector system. This point is well-supported by this study‟s findings on leadership styles. 51 52 Thai public sector organisations tend to adopt task-orientated, supportive approaches and 53 54 customer-orientated leadership styles. Leaders who support their followers, focusing on 55 56 achieving the tasks and pleasing the customers, are perceived by Thai staff as effective leaders in 57 the public sector system. 58 59 60 61 62 15 63 64 65
  18. 18. 1 2 3 4 In the Australian context, this study confirms the public sector system is low in power for 5 6 “acceptance” compared to Thailand, but higher with regard to gender equity. In terms of goal 7 8 orientation, members of Australian public system tend to look at long-term strategies and do not 9 10 see change as a challenge to the organisation. The managerial implication for the Australian 11 12 public sector is that strategic, participative and supportive leaders are generally preferred by 13 14 staff. These points are well-supported by the analyses on leadership styles of this study. 15 16 17 In terms of local and organisational culture of Thai and Australian organisations, this findings 18 19 diverge from those of previous studies which had identified Thailand (and organisations) as 20 21 short-term and passive (Hofstede, 1984; Hallinger and Kantamara, 2000). This study, in 22 23 comparison, found that organisations in the Thai public sector system are moving towards long- 24 25 term planning and tend to focus on achieving goals and creating value in the organisation. This 26 may be the consequence of public sector reform strategies implemented in Thailand since 2003 27 28 (OCSC, 2006) aimed at restructuring the governance system in the Thai public sector. 29 30 Leadership is a key factor considered by the Thai Government in adopting reform strategies. 31 32 33 34 Supportive and task-oriented leadership styles are perceived as effective in both the Thai and 35 Australian public sector systems. In fact, a number of studies on international management 36 37 confirm that task-oriented, with strong support from leaders, seem to be the way to go in most of 38 39 the world, not just Australia and Thailand. 40 41 42 43 The analyses of data also identify four major types of leadership styles that heavily influence the 44 45 governmental organisations in Australia and Thailand. Leadership style that focus on 46 communication, knowledge sharing, and dissemination of information among members in the 47 48 organisation is rated highly in this study. One point that is important for followers is leadership 49 50 styles that encourage communications at the multi-level dimension among internal and external 51 52 members of the organisation. This point can be supported by the fact that governmental 53 54 organisations are the composition of complexity. Organisational structure and hierarchy may 55 56 impede the flow of communication among members. Thus, leadership style that stimulates intra- 57 organisational communication is perceived as an effective style. 58 59 60 61 62 16 63 64 65
  19. 19. 1 2 3 4 Leadership that focuses on strategic thinking and planning within the governmental organisations 5 6 is significant. The results from this study confirm that followers in governmental organisations 7 8 appreciate leaders who can craft strategies, identify the goal of the organisation and how to 9 10 achieve them to the members, clarify strengths and weaknesses of the organisations, and identify 11 12 alternative modes to achieve the objectives. Since governmental organisations in Australia and 13 14 Thailand are goal-oriented in nature (see Table I), it is important that modern public-sector 15 leaders in both countries adopt the concept of strategic management to their organisations, to 16 17 stimulate positive atmosphere among various stakeholders. 18 19 20 21 Leadership style that fosters personal and/or business relationship among stakeholders is rated 22 23 highly among the participants in this study. This point is not new since a number of previous 24 25 studies in organisational management confirm that good relationship among group members can 26 influence group members on a number of positive aspects such as completion of the task 27 28 effectively, level of satisfaction among members, and good health of the organisation. 29 30 31 32 The study also confirms the importance of leadership style that supports conflict management in 33 34 public sector organisations in both countries. Leadership under this category is demonstrated by 35 leaders who are open in discussion with staff members, agree to disagree and listen to different 36 37 ideas from all staff members, discuss differences in values openly, and be honest to stakeholders 38 39 and the community. 40 41 42 43 By comparing the results, it indicates a clear similarity between Australian and Thai public 44 45 sector culture. Public sector organisations in both countries value leaders who focus on achieving 46 task, can set common goals for the followers, and craft and implement strategies that support 47 48 public services. 49 50 51 52 Unequivocally, effective leadership is crucial in producing successful outcomes in the public 53 54 sector, including for Thailand and Australia. Whether considering the influence of leadership on 55 56 organisational culture, or vice versa, that constituting an “effective” leader differs considerably 57 between the two nations. It is evident from this study that significant distinctions between the 58 59 organisational cultures of Thailand and Australia are matched by marked dissimilarities of 60 61 62 17 63 64 65
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