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Annual 2006 CESS conference : Political Leadership Style in Kazakhstan: Summary for Q Methodology based Study. Almaz Tolymbek, PhD candidate, Kent State.

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Presentation on theme: "Annual 2006 CESS conference : Political Leadership Style in Kazakhstan: Summary for Q Methodology based Study. Almaz Tolymbek, PhD candidate, Kent State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Annual 2006 CESS conference : Political Leadership Style in Kazakhstan: Summary for Q Methodology based Study. Almaz Tolymbek, PhD candidate, Kent State University

2 The Focus of the Paper The focus of the proposed study is political leadership style in Kazakhstan. The study seeks to clarify an adequate concept of national leadership style to be viewed by Kazakhstan citizens as authentic and present in its leaders. Kazakhstan as an Eurasian post-communist transition nation was characterized as a personalist and neo-patrimonial political system (Ishiyama, 2002), with its current leadership pattern being shaped by both a nomadic-age patriarchic legacy and Russian colonial and then Soviet authoritarianism.

3 Problem Area in Political Leadership Studies However, one of major problems in few existing studies of political leadership patterns in Eurasia is the lack of hands-on field studies, which makes them look speculative. In fact, one of the serious knowledge gaps is in how national political leaders in those nations are actually perceived by their own citizens.

4 Existing Leadership Studies in Eurasia One of earlier field studies in the region sought to bridge this knowledge gap by comparative survey of Kazakh and Uzbek citizens on their perceptions of national political leaders (Lubin, 1995). Other scholars (Volkan & Itzkowitz, 1984; Colton, 1993; Lane,1993; Olcott, 1995, 1997; White, 1997; Glad & Shiraev, 1999; Cummings, 2002) focused on examining individual patterns exhibited by top political leaders in Turkey, late Soviet Union, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

5 Refining the Problem Area The problem is still in uncovering typical patterns demonstrated either by the whole political elite or its constituent groups in a particular nation. This implies distinguishing between leadership patterns as demonstrated by different groups of leaders of a nation. The second problem is in identifying a gap between typical and ideal leadership styles as viewed by the citizenry of a nation.

6 Research Questions: The study sought to answer the following research questions: (1)What are the characteristics of typical political leadership style(s) in Kazakhstan? (2)What are the characteristics of ideal political leadership style(s) for Kazakhstan?

7 Problem Dimensions relevant to the research questions: bases of power, a leader’s image, communication and decision-making styles, ways of getting work done, leader-follower relations, and value-based motivations.

8 Prior Similar Studies GLOBE project (House et al., 2004) sought to reveal cross-cultural affinities and differences in real and desirable leadership traits in 62 countries, including Kazakhstan, in both national and organizational contexts. GLOBE’s Culturally Endorsed Implicit Theory of Leadership focuses on the relationship among culture, leadership, and societal effectiveness.

9 GLOBE: Conceptual Model In GLOBE national leadership traits were measured based on the nine cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 1980), which are as follows: uncertainty avoidance, power distance, institutional collectivism, in-group collectivism, gender egalitarianism, assertiveness, future orientation, performance orientation, and humane orientation.

10 Advantage of Q Methodology GLOBE study seems to draw primarily on pre- set standard surveys as a research instrument, which are limited in their capacity for a more in- depth and rigorous measurement based on the citizens’ own perceptions. Q methodology used in the author’s study, as the “best-developed paradigm for the investigation of human subjectivity” (Brown, 1980) and anchored in self-reference, proved instrumental in examining public perceptions of Kazakhstan current political leaders.

11 Employed Leadership Model This paper sought to explore national leadership styles by employing the conceptual framework on leader-follower relations developed earlier in Australia by Graham Little (1985). The crux of Little’s view of all leader-follower relations is that leaders and followers find one another if their perceptions and expectations coincide. Little’s leader classification—Strong, Group, and Inspiring leader types—has been used for developing a research tool (Q sample), reflecting actual and desirable leader traits, for purposes of exploring perceptions of Kazakhstan citizens concerning the characteristics of typical and ideal leadership styles.

12 Conceptual Framework The application of Q methodology to the study of leadership style in Kazakhstan has drawn upon Little’s (1985) psychosocial leader model in conjunction with the best-practices leadership theory of Kouzes and Posner (2001). This combination, shown in the figure below, provided a comprehensive conceptual framework for developing 45 leader traits (statements) that comprised a universe of possible leader types as perceived by a sample of respondents in Kazakhstan.

13 Leader Types: Practices: Strong Leader Group Leader Inspiring Leader 1 Leader’s ImagePower, domination Concern, solidarity Personal example 2 Communication style DirectionsAppealsVision 3 WorkStatus-quoNo formal structure Innovation 4 Leader-follower relations Power distance Serving people Delegation, Sharing, Enabling 5 Motivating followers Transactional, coercive Social approval Encouragement

14 Sampling Issues Implementing a Q study of the national leadership profile in Kazakhstan included “surveying” two groups of respondents (62 persons in total) selected from among the national citizenry. Different citizen groups were differentiated based on the typology of social institutions, which correspond to eight human value categories, as defined by Lasswell (1948).

15 Sampling approach Respondents were selected from the following socio-professional groups (matching Lasswell’s eight human value categories): –Power – local government, elected and appointed, officials –Wealth – businessmen –Respect – members of distinct social classes (wealthy; middle class; and workers/farmers) –Well-being – medical doctors and health workers –Enlightenment – scholars and analysts –Skill – professionals in a few vocational areas –Rectitude – religious leaders/pastors –Affection – families/housewives.

16 Data Analysis and Interpreting The Q “survey” was followed by intensive interviews with selected respondents who revealed distinct patterns in views of typical and ideal leadership. This is how more in-depth understanding of respondents’ views, attitudes, and preferences was reached. The following description of findings draws upon results by PQMethod (Schmolck & Atkinson, 1998), a software performing correlation and factor analysis of the collected responses and allowing for subsequent interpretation of factors emerged within each sample of responses (on typical and ideal leadership styles).

17 Procedures for examining Typical Leadership Styles There have been 31 Q-sorts collected from among the general citizenry in Kazakhstan who presented their own perceptions of a typical public leader in this nation. Follow-up intensive interviews were conducted with respondents comprising each of three factors uncovered by factor-analysis of all collected responses.

18 Typical Leadership Styles Three resultant leader types (factors) were identified based on Little’s (1985) typology and labeled as follows: –Power-Wielder (primarily Strong Leader type – a sort of Machiavellian leader in view of its self-interest and power and domination based authoritarian style) –Elite Leader (a mix of Inspiring and Strong types, displayed by members of the emerged business-elite characterized by entrepreneurial attitude as well as many traits common with the Power-Wielder) –Old Communist Guard (mostly Group Leader type featuring public interest-minded attitude featured by a vanishing lower-level cohort of communist idealists).

19 Most prominent leader traits for Power-Wielder: I. Power-Wielder Z-score Most Likely (+) Leader Traits with respective Z-scores on the left: Values his own personal over organizational interests Centralizes decision-making in his own hands Uses his leadership role as a way to maintain power Is willing to pressure and control others Maintains a distance between himself and followers A person of power and authority, always in control Deals with critics by intimidating or ignoring them Uses others to advance himself Takes an interest in patron-client relations Undervalues other people's ideas and strategies Uses primarily administrative and economic motivators Demanding and self-imposing Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others 0.969

20 Overall, as compared with Little’s theoretical leader types (Strong, Group, and Inspiring), the Power-Wielder can be characterized as primarily a Strong type combined with anti- Group and anti-Inspiring traits. I. Power-Wielder : Z-Scores Most Unlikely Leader Traits (-) for Power-Wielder are as follows: Has a strong sense of public interest Trusts followers, delegates authority, and autonomy Upholds his followers' sense of public interest Displays broad intellect and profound thought Is able to build and lead informal coalitions Praises followers individually for their achievements Cultivates dialog and accepts criticism Thinks critically and is receptive to new ideas Demonstrates flexibility in managing people A person of justice, integrity, and unselfish purpose

21 Most Prominent Leader Traits for Elite Leader II. Elite Leader type Z-score Most Likely Leader Traits with Highest (+) Z-scores Sees the big picture and envisions broad strategy Expresses himself clearly and inspires others Centralizes decision-making in his own hands Uses his leadership role as a way to maintain power Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others Displays broad intellect and profound thought Maintains a distance between himself and followers Demanding and self-imposing Deals with critics by intimidating or ignoring them Is willing to pressure and control others Sticks to conventional ways of getting things done Uses others to advance himself 0.820

22 Overall, the Elite Leader type can be characterized as a mix of Strong and Inspiring traits combined with anti-Group traits. II. Elite Leader type Z-score Most Unlikely Leader Traits (-) for Elite Leader: Regards power as a tool for serving people Relies primarily on informal groups and grassroots Praises followers for displaying moral virtues Cultivates dialog and accepts criticism Has a strong sense of public interest Regards himself as on par with followers Seeks solutions thru dialog and joint decision-making Strives to serve the public so as to gain approval Is always ready to listen to people's concerns A person of justice, integrity, and unselfish purpose Considers justice and caring as organizing bases Strives to look ordinary, like just one of the people

23 Most Prominent Leader Traits for Old Communist Guard III. Old Communist Guard type Z-score Most Likely Leader Traits with Highest (+) Z-scores Upholds his followers' sense of public interest Regards himself as on par with followers Strives to look ordinary, like just one of the people His power rests mainly on merit, based on success Seeks solutions thru dialog and joint decision-making Appeals to community spirit and solidarity Expresses himself clearly and inspires others Emphasizes a wide range of human values in motivating A person of power and authority, always in control Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others 1.031

24 Overall, the Old Communist Guard type can be characterized as largely a Group leader type coupled with some Inspiring and Strong traits and, on the other hand, displaying anti-Strong and anti-Inspiring traits. III. Old Communist Guard type Z-score Most Unlikely Leader Traits (-) for Old Communist Guard : Strives to serve the public so as to gain approval Is able to build and lead informal coalitions Displays broad intellect and profound thought Undervalues other people's ideas and strategies Uses others to advance himself Takes an interest in patron-client relations Instills a sense of community and care among followers Sticks to conventional ways of getting things done Demonstrates flexibility in managing people Is willing to pressure and control others

25 Comparing Three Leader Types: Leader Traits common for all the three for Typical Leaders: Comparative analysis of the three leader types revealed the following Consensus between respondents who featured different leader types : Note: Numbers on the right are ranks (from most unlikely (-4) to most likely (+4) ) as assigned to each leader type for respective traits: Leader Traits: Leader Types: Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others Demanding and self-imposing A person of power and authority, in control Limits the use of his power for personal gain Cultivates dialog and accepts criticism

26 Comparing Three Leader Types: Leader Traits most distinguishing between all the three Typical Leaders: Comparative analysis of Factor 1, Factor 2, and Factor 3 types reveals the following traits viewed as Disagreement between all three factors: Traits Leader Types Strives to look ordinary, like just one of the people Values his own personal over organizational interests

27 Summary for the Typical Leadership Styles In sum, the revealed common characteristics reflect certain national character traits, which tend to demonstrate the above mentioned patriarchal-autocratic legacy imprint in Kazakhstan. On the other hand, the three leader types differ very significantly with regard to egalitarianism and public v. private interest-orientation preferences.

28 Findings for Ideal Leadership Style: Inspiring Statesman 31 Q-sorts collected from among the citizens of Kazakhstan who presented their own perceptions of an ideal public leader in this nation. Based on Lasswell’s typology of social institutions, these respondents were selected from the same socio-professional groups (with respective human value categories) as those who provided responses on Typical Leader profile. There have been follow-up interviews conducted with respondents in one (a major big factor) of the four factors that emerged out of factor-analysis of respective 31 Q-sorts. As a result, the major Ideal Leader type emerged (representing 59 percent of the total explained variance) is featured as follows:

29 Most Prominent Traits for the Ideal Leader: Inspiring Statesman Traits Z-SCORES Most Likely Traits with Highest (+) Z-scores Sees the big picture and envisions broad strategy A person of justice, integrity, and unselfish purpose Expresses himself clearly and inspires others Thinks critically and is receptive to new ideas Demonstrates flexibility in managing people Has a strong sense of public interest Is inwardly strong, seeks balanced values and growth Displays broad intellect and profound thought Regards power as a tool for serving people 0.907

30 Most Undesirable Traits the Ideal Leader: Inspiring Statesman Traits Z-Score Most Unlikely Leader Traits (-) for the desired leader type: Centralizes decision-making in his own hands Takes an interest in patron-client relations Demanding and self-imposing A person of power and authority, always in control Uses his leadership role as a way to maintain power Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others Makes decisions without seeking advice of others Undervalues other people's ideas and strategies Uses others to advance himself Deals with critics by intimidating or ignoring them Values his own personal over organizational interests

31 Resultant Profile of the Ideal Leader Type for Kazakhstan Overall, the major Ideal Leader type is characterized as a mix of Inspiring and Group traits combined with anti-Strong traits, which provided for the ground to label it as Inspiring Statesman.

32 Conclusion 1: Typical Leader Types As comparative analysis of all three leader types shows, there are some overlapping traits that constitute what can be called the cultural archetype. In terms of the underpinning societal culture, these traits may be viewed as basic assumptions that underlie existing public attitudes toward leadership style considered as typical in the particular context of Kazakhstan. As shown above, these common traits are the following: strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others; demanding and self-imposing; a person of power and authority, in control; a tendency not to limit the use of his power for personal gain; and rejecting dialog and criticism.. The largest difference between the three typical leader types lies in the following traits: striving to look ordinary, like just one of the people; and valuing his own personal over organizational interests.

33 Conclusion 2: Ideal Leader Type The interim analysis of ideal leadership styles have discovered an overwhelming preference of the Kazakhstan citizens for a leader type, which would combine Inspiring and Group leader type traits. Particularly, Inspiring Statesman comprises the following Inspiring traits: Sees the big picture and envisions broad strategy; Expresses himself clearly and inspires others; Thinks critically and is receptive to new ideas; Demonstrates flexibility in managing people; Is inwardly strong, seeks balanced values and growth; and Displays broad intellect and profound thought. Group traits: A person of justice, integrity, and unselfish purpose; Has a strong sense of public interest; and Regards power as a tool for serving people.

34 Conclusion 3: Ideal v. Typical Leader Types Among the most rejected traits for the Ideal leadership style, the respondents named the following ones: Values his own personal over organizational interests; Deals with critics by intimidating or ignoring them; Uses others to advance himself; Undervalues other people's ideas and strategies; Makes decisions without seeking advice of others; Strong-willed, imposes his viewpoint on others; Uses his leadership role as a way to maintain power, etc. This testimony of rejection of the above Strong Leader traits present in all the three typical leaders may signify a lack of public genuine support of most political leaders currently in presence in Kazakhstan. Using Freud’s perspective, it may also suggest a currently low standard of public ego-ideal featured by most Kazakhstan leaders as constrasted with the ideal leader type.

35 Conclusion 3: Ideal v. Typical Leader Types Indeed, the Ideal Leader type is characterized as a mix of Inspiring and Group traits and, on the other hand, of anti-Strong traits. It is worthy to note that the typical leader, namely Elite Leader, comprises some Inspiring leader traits whereas Old Communist Guard features many Group leader traits. Thus, these leader types are closer to public expectations than Power Wielder. However, neither Elite Leader nor Old Communist Guard match close enough the Inspiring Statesman profile. In sum, these findings imply further interest in those new national leaders who would exemplify the Inspiring Statesman pattern and thus be seen as representatives of a leader type matching the public ego-ideal for the citizens of Kazakhstan.


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