A cross-cultural investigation of the relations among organizational justice, paternalism, delegation and leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Management Science

First Committee Member

Terri A. Scandura - Committee Chair


Globalization increasingly challenges managers to become more cross-culturally adept, however the majority of leadership research has been conducted in North America (Dickson, DenHartog, & Mitchelson, 2003). This study examines the relations among Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), delegation, organizational justice, and paternalism in two diverse cultural settings; Turkey ( N=222) and the United States (N=215).Societal culture is a superordinate determinant of a person's values and expectations (Shweder & Levine, 1984). Therefore it is important to examine whether societal culture acts as a moderator in the way employees respond to management practices; including fair treatment and participative decision making. These two practices are cited as essential elements of effective management (Colquitt, 2001; Yukl, 2001), however the way they influence outcomes may differ across cultures. This study found delegation to be significantly and positively related to job satisfaction in the U.S., however the relationship was not statistically significant in Turkey. Also, informational justice was significantly and positively related to job satisfaction in the U.S., but the association was not statistically significant in Turkey.Further, this study examines paternalism, a cultural dimension that has recently been added to the international management literature (Aycan, 2005). Paternalism is a prevalent managerial characteristic in Middle-Eastern cultures, however it is perceived negatively in the Western context. This study found paternalism to be positively and significantly related to organizational commitment in both contexts. Thus, negative perceptions of paternalism in the West may have so far blinded us to the potential it may hold in increasing employee commitment.Results suggest that leaders in high-quality exchange relationships may delegate authority regardless of the cultural context. However, employees' preference for delegation was found to differ across cultures. Specifically, employees from paternalistic societies may be indifferent to delegation which suggests that it may be a mistake to apply delegation without taking the cultural context into consideration. In brief, the results from this study help identify boundary conditions for effective leadership practices based on cultural preferences for different management styles. In addition, the results provide important messages for global leaders in their business ventures to paternalistic environments.


Business Administration, Management; Psychology, Industrial

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