The Impact of Paternalistic Leadership

Organizational behavior depends on a number of factors, many of which are intangible. Nevertheless they mainly include effective and results-oriented leadership and the encouraged teamwork. At the same time, it should be stressed that the mentioned concepts are interrelated and interdependent. It frequently happens that the leaders shape the organizations and provide them with some personal traits, especially in the cases of the companies such as Apple Inc., H&P, Starbucks and others. The founders of these ventures incorporated their professional visions of the world and dreams into their creations. Usually, they are capable of encouraging and motivating the team members by the shared values and ideas. Moreover, the teamwork might serve as the factor enhancing the leadership and providing it with the basis needed for the implementation of organizational changes. Such a factor is even more important in case of merging and acquisition or an organizational crisis as the leader can immediately focus on the solution to the organizational problems avoiding the ones related to the human resources. In addition, strong teamwork contributes to the creation of a healthy organizational climate, another factor of organizational behavior which prevents the employees from leaving the company. The presented paper aims to investigate the relationship between organizational factors and leadership through summarizing and discussing the key points of the article dedicated to these issues.

Summary of the Article

The article under consideration is named The Impact of Paternalistic Leadership on Organization Commitment and Organization Citizenship Behaviour, written by Maryam Rehman and Bilal Afsar. The article was published in the Journal of Business Management and Applied Economics in 2012. The authors investigated the impact of paternalistic leadership on organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviors. They asserted that paternalistic leadership created favorable conditions for humanization and moralization of the workplace. Such leaders were proven to have a significant impact on the organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. They also positively affected the employee's performance and commitment due to the engagement of the latter in the citizenship activities related to their field of expertise.

The authors developed questionnaires to examine the relation between paternalistic leadership, organizational citizenship behavior and organizational commitment (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). Overall, the research was based on the responses of 350 individuals employed at various small and medium enterprises (SME) in Pakistan (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). The findings of the research demonstrate a positive correlation between paternalistic leadership and organizational commitment as well as organizational citizenship behavior.

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The Relationship between Paternalistic Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Paternalistic leadership has a significant impact on organizational behavior in terms of creation of a strong team united by the shared feelings and experiences. Contrary to other types of leadership focusing on improving the organizational or technical characteristics, serving others or manipulating the subordinates to reach the organizational aims, paternalistic leadership focuses on the development of human features of the employees. Obviously, such leaders might not be employed on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless, they should definitely be involved in the activities of the board of directors since they make the inhuman business processes more people-oriented. Apart from that, they create a specific organizational value, a feeling of being proud of one's actions, words and behaviors as well as a feeling of belonging to the creation of something bigger.

The findings of the discussed article demonstrate that paternalistic leadership has a moderate influence on the affective commitment and a powerful impact on the continuance commitment. The authors also presume that such an impact follows the individualized approach of the leaders toward the employees and the evolving feeling of emotional attachment to the organization and its life (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). Moreover, paternalistic leaders create a strong feeling of identification and association of one with the organizational culture. As a result, the turnover rates might drop as the employees consider the emotional costs associated with leaving the organization. Therefore, paternalistic leadership is extremely important during crisis periods when the company does not possess enough resources to encourage the employees to stay with the company. These leaders can grow a feeling of attachment and connection with the organization and its goals as well as the persuasion that one should necessarily participate in rescuing the company. All the things considered, strength of the paternalistic leadership style refers to its ability to create a strong emotional appeal that motivates the employees and encourages them to stay with the company regardless of the crisis or other complications.

The Impact of Paternalistic Leadership on Other Organizational Factors

Apart from the creation of a strong emotional appeal and the following feeling of affiliation, paternalistic leadership is also a contribution in terms of human resources management. In particular, the leader's charisma and influence might serve as another factor motivating the employees. Moreover, the authors assert that such leaders are valued more than the career promotion and economic benefits (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). Moreover, the employees who consider leaving the organization are worried about not having such a leader in another company.

At the same time, one should also stress that personal attachment that is raised by the personality of the leader might cease to exist in case the latter leaves the organization for certain reasons. Furthermore, the devotion of the employees might also be threatened by unethical or wrongful behavior of the leaders. Such organizational change might result in the decreased job performance and an increase in turnover rates. Simultaneously, it should be stressed that, in case of death of such a leader, the outcomes might be rather adverse. Nevertheless, the overall impact on the organization in such cases is limited. To minimize the risks, such leaders are recommended to prepare their successors that will continue their policies after the former leave the organization.

The authors have also stressed that paternalism is actually a cultural paradigm and a trait inherited by Eastern societies (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). It significantly affects the relation between the responsibility and the duties. The authors note that paternalism can be examined in relation to the parental relations and organizational level relations (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). Paternalism frequently refers to the personal relations developed between the subordinate and the leader. These relations might help to establish mutual trust, certain level of intimacy and overall connection. However, it should be stressed that such an approach is disregarded in the open society where personal relations are not treasured and are considered to be an obstacle to the successful future. In other words, such a concept might not be accepted and recognized in Western countries which tend to make processes and activities as well as the decision making in general more impersonalized. It is believed that such impersonalization contributes to ensuring the equality for all. Therefore, such leadership style and its application should be well considered and examined in the further studies.

The future research might also focus on the issues related to paternalistic leadership. Despite the fact that paternalism is inherent for Eastern societies and that it is often blamed for the unrealized expectations, this approach is still worth attention due to its powerful effects on organizational commitment as well as organizational citizenship. In the view of globalization, when the states are seeking the best practices to be implemented in their companies, paternalistic leadership might be tested in relation to Western communities as well. At the same time, future research should investigate the specific circumstances under which this approach can be employed.

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The Analysis of the Article

The article under consideration has been chosen due to the peculiarity of the issue discussed in it. Paternalistic approach is rarely addressed in the articles on management and leadership as the majority of researchers usually promote Western models and approaches toward handling business affairs. This article, however, investigates the topic that might be useful in the future. Moreover, in the view of globalization, certain practices widespread in Eastern countries should as well be considered by the researchers since some of them might be successful and worth adoption in Western countries.

It should also be stressed that the UAE companies that are going through organizational changes might substantially benefit from paternalistic approach as they might frequently fight for the presence of ingenious trends in various dimensions of the business. Paternalistic leaders might play a key role in enforcing cultural traditions and notions and promotion of Arabic culture. The article under consideration also provides a comprehensive literature review dedicated to the strengths of paternalistic leadership. At the same time, the research carried out by the authors seems to be one-sided as they have only focused on the benefits of the discussed leadership approach (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). Therefore, further research should be conducted in order to examine the issue comprehensively and provide the practical application.

Paternalistic approach to leadership actually positively affects the workplace environment and contributes to the creation of a healthy organizational atmosphere. In its turn, the latter is a contributing factor to the organizational behavior as it helps to drive the changes and organizational dynamics. Moreover, it was stressed by the authors that the personalized care expressed by paternalistic leaders for their employees increases the loyalty level among the latter (Rahman & Afsar, 2012). This approach imposes that the subordinates should be led by care and concern about their personal affairs as it is presumed that the latter significantly affect the productivity and efficiency of the staff.


In conclusion, it should be stressed that teamwork and leadership style are the drivers and the key factors affecting organizational behavior. They might serve as the elements that fuel changes or as the ones that put the company in peril. The presented paper summarizes the key points of the article dedicated to paternalistic leadership and identified that this topic is rarely addressed in the pro-Western works on leadership and management. Moreover, there is a general trend of demonstrating ignorance of the concepts inherent in Eastern societies. Nevertheless, paternalistic leadership discussed in the article has proved to have a significant positive effect on organizational behavior and on commitment levels in particular. It has been stated that this leadership approach can be employed during the times of crisis and organizational changes when the company cannot afford the expensive reward packages for its employees. Paternalistic approach might also be well employed in the companies experiencing dramatic turnover rates. Apart from that, such leadership style might be also used for talent management. All in all, the negative aspects associated with this leadership style have yet to be investigated and only after that one would have sufficient proof to recommend this leadership style for adopting under concrete organizational circumstances.

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