Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Supervisors' Paternalistic Leadership Influences College English Teachers' Teaching Efficacy in China

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Supervisors' Paternalistic Leadership Influences College English Teachers' Teaching Efficacy in China

Article excerpt

As economic globalization increases and advanced education in China becomes internationalized, the demand for talent based on a global vision and worldwide competitiveness has become increasingly urgent and has placed a greater demand on Chinese college students' English competency (Zhang, 2015). As an important public education course, college-level English has once again been pushed to the forefront, and educators are calling for reform (Cai, 2012). Increasing the caliber of teachers of English in colleges is the key to improving the quality of teaching, and to building and developing college-level English courses (Higher Education Department of the Ministry of Education, 2007). Therefore, how to enhance English language courses effectively is a major concern for college English teachers and researchers.

Teaching efficacy is closely related to students' motivation and performance, and to teachers' knowledge, attitudes toward reform, teaching in the classroom, effects on students, and evaluations of other teachers (Yan, Sun, & Jiao, 2013). However, within the context of college English teaching reform, there has been little empirical research on the teaching efficacy of college English teachers (see, e.g., Zhang, 2015). Improving leadership behavior is seen an important way of promoting college English teachers' teaching efficacy (see, e.g., Zhang, 2015). The model of leadership behavior in Chinese organizations has clear characteristics (see e.g., Cheng, Chou, & Farh, 2000) that are distinct from those that typically appear in Western organizations (see e.g., Zhang, 2015). In recent years, teachers' cognition in relation to paternalistic leadership behavior has drawn an increasing amount of attention from Chinese scholars and practitioners (see e.g., Qiu & Yang, 2015). Thus, my main research question was as follows:

Research Question 1: Does paternalistic leadership affect college English teachers' teaching efficacy?

In social exchange theory (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959), it is posited that both tangible (such as products and services) and intangible (such as attitudes and emotions) exchanges occur between leaders and employees. Tangible and intangible exchanges interact with each other in various dynamic ways during the social exchange process (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). Social exchange theory and norms of reciprocity have been used to develop a framework to explain the relationship between direct supervisors' paternalistic leadership behavior and college English teachers' teaching efficacy (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). On the basis of the social constructivist theory of emotion (Harre, 1986), people and events influence individual feelings. In this theory, the comparison of present and past emotional experiences is emphasized, along with the correlation between feelings and situations (such as leadership behavior) and the social functions of sentiments for the sake of spreading information (such as character recognition; Averill, 2009). Against this background, I examined the effect of supervisors' paternalistic leadership on college English teachers' teaching efficacy, based on social exchange theory and the social constructivist theory of emotion, and also investigated how college English teachers' emotional creativity and professional identity affect this relationship. My aims were to enrich the literature on paternalistic leadership, provide guidance for reforming college English teaching, and help teachers learn to handle their feelings in innovative ways, so that managers can enhance teaching efficacy in China.

Development of the Hypotheses and Study Model

Paternalistic Leadership and Teaching Efficacy

Since China underwent reforms and opened up to the wider world, resulting in rapid economic development, Chinese culture has become an important part of the global culture (Yan et al., 2013). Researchers have begun to focus on the Chinese leadership theory and paternalistic leadership theory has emerged. …

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