Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Effects of School Principals' Leadership Behaviors: A Comparison between Taiwan and Japan *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Effects of School Principals' Leadership Behaviors: A Comparison between Taiwan and Japan *

Article excerpt

Japanese culture values the team approach to leadership, as a team's honor is greater than an individual's honor (Ishikawa, 2012; Turner, 1991). In the 1980s, team spirit gave birth to "Japan No. 1" (White, 1980). Subject to cultural influences, honor and shame are what Japanese samurai often had in mind when they do things. In order to attenuate shame and maintain honor, Japanese samurai performed Seppuku "stomach- or abdomen-cutting" when they brought shame to themselves (Chang, 2015). The researcher believes that such a culture represents a spirit and power controlled by the society within this group, and makes Japanese nationals value teams and groups. Meanwhile, there are also studies that associate samurai spirit with Japanese sports coaches' leadership (Miller, 2011), meaning that leaders in Japanese organizations value a team's honor and develop the concept of samurai paradigms. These thoughts are similar to opinions in Sentocnik and Rupar's (2009) thesis, Future School Leadership, in many ways. Sentocnik and Rupar believed that, in addition with the evolution of value systems in different periods of time, principals' role would march toward a team approach to leadership, diverse leadership, and symboloriented leadership.

Taiwan is located at the junction of East Asia and Southeast Asia and is an island country like Japan. Both countries share similar geographic characteristics and a culture rooted in Confucianism (Ling & Shih, 1998; Nosco, 1998). However, Taiwan is an island country with diverse cultures as a result of Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese rule in the past (Li, 2009; Rudolph, 2011). In recent years, transnational marriages are becoming popular in Taiwan with an influx of migrants from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and mainland China, which accentuates the phenomenon of cultural diversity in Taiwan. Therefore, more than ever, Taiwan's educational fields in recent years are leaning toward embracing more diverse value systems and complex behaviors (Wu, 2011; Tsai, 2011). Traditional principal-centric leadership behaviors may become unable to handle complex and diverse school environments (Weberg, 2012). Teachers' diverse values and complex behaviors necessitate that a school principal must adopt diverse leadership (multi-frame leadership) (Bolman & Deal, 2008) or compound leadership to cater to different circumstances and conditions (Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, 2007).

As Taiwan was ruled by Japan, considerable similarities exist between Taiwanese and Japanese culture. However, since Taiwan has not been ruled by Japan for 70 years, Taiwanese culture has diverged from Japanese influence.

On the premise that cross-national research of leadership behaviors could enhance the academic value of research results (Boehnke, Bontis, DiStefano, & DiStefano, 2003), this study sets out to explore the similarities and differences of school leadership behaviors in Taiwan and Japan. The benchmark for the comparison of leadership behaviors and the theoretical foundation of leadership behaviors originates from a team approach to instruction leadership, compound leadership (including adaptive leadership and delegative leadership), and diverse leadership (including structureoriented leadership, human resources leadership, politically-oriented leadership, and symbol-oriented leadership), which were emphasized in the thesis, School Leadership in the Future(Sentocnik & Rupar, 2009). This study investigates the aforementioned leadership behaviors and their effects on the basis of two theories: (1) behavioral pattern theory, which argues that leadership behaviors affect subordinate behaviors and organizational performance (Schöner & Kelso, 1988); and (2) behavior theory, which states that leadership behaviors affect subordinate performance (Khan, Nawaz, & Khan, 2016). Premised on these theories, this study examines the differences between these leadership behaviors and developed appropriate indicators for teacher performance and organizational performance. …

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