Perceived effect of culture on event leadership style at the Jet Metropolitan Night Club Thailand?
Event managers all over the world fear that they may end up loosing their jobs. Research shows that nearly 25% managers loose their jobs when companies streamline their business processes and rely more on teamwork to do the job. Versteeg (1990) outlined two typical aspects of managerial jobs that lure managers into looking away from adopting business structures which depend on high performing teams from different cultural and social backgrounds: they are accustomed to be in control; and they are inclined to having perks and privileges. Some of the most common perks and privileges include: reserved parking; executive bathrooms; and time cards.
These along with other perks that managers are benefiting from need to be dealt on a regular basis by the event manager with so that high performance teams can be created. Versteeg (1990) points out that creating high performance teams, especially in the event management business, are more difficult in America than probably any where else as managers are reluctant to share their power with others.
Like this, event managers and leaders are an essential existence for the events as well. Many event managers are often emerged with each step of events. Also, most people would not agree that all managers are leaders and all leaders are not managers. People sometimes considered managers and leaders have same roles. Nevertheless, where definitions differ is with regard to the outcome of the attempt to influence or leadership style.
“Leadership is the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals” (DuBrun, 2004, p.12)
Several challenges need to be confronted by event mangers in creating high performance teams for non-outsourced resources. For instance Retkwa, (1992) asserts that dedication from the top level management is the biggest challenge that event management companies face in creating high performance teams. Support and commitment are instrumental in enhancing normal team performances into high performance teams. These notions are also expressed by other scholars as well. For instance, William Band and Marty Syme stated (as cited in Evans, 1991), “I am convinced that unless senior management is committed, positive change won’t happen.” They further state: “Sometimes the CEO is committed but the vice-presidents are just mouthing the words. There is nothing worse than a middle-management group that is trying to make something work when its vice-president does not care.”
In the normal business environment, mostly things are stable. There are prepared systems for dealing with market force changes. Although, staff turnover is high, the main structure of organization features still unchanged. For the domain of events, numerous essentials change at an alarming pace. This involves new venues, policies, operational procedures and, most importantly, new temporary people. When we look at the events, many elements have included such as; ready-made formulas, diverse cultures, unique in concept. Therefore events are requiring flexible leadership. (Wagen, 2007)
Research Question and Significance
What is the perceived effect of culture on event leadership style at the Jet Metropolitan Night Club Thailand?
This particular approach is important and significant as it will help us understand the dynamics of creating and managing high performance teams in an ever-changing setting like a night club and help us understand the overall impact that the cultural aspects of a community have on the overall leadership formula and structure used within Thailand.
Aim of the paper
To analyze the tendency of leadership style at the Jet Metropolitan Night Club as a cultural point-of-view, and to investigate how the specific tendency was has been assimilated, settled and developed.
This paper seeks to explore the perceived effect of culture on event leadership style at the Jet Metropolitan Night Club Thailand and develop ideas that can be applied to a range of event organizations and sectors. Through building up a definition and interviewing investigated the specific leadership tendency, it is expected that the findings may highlight what types of leadership culture can impact on creating an environment where the club leader or event manager can thrive. This will be done in such a way that external appropriate is maintained if findings are to be applied in different event organizations. Examination of what currently exists in the literature around culture and leadership in the event industry, provide a background against which individual club managers were interviewed.
One of the biggest challenges in creating high performance teams within the event industry is the lack of trust amongst team members, as well as, between the administrative divisions and the team members. For instance, Natale, Libertella and Rothschild (1995) write, “Trust is a critical component to the whole concept of teams. First, management must have trust in the employees in order to step back and delegate responsibility. Then the employees must trust in the fact that they will be allowed to have control and make real decisions. This trust develops over a long period of time through a process of trial and error (Natale, Libertella and Rothschild, 1995).” Once again, top management commitment and dedication is required in creating high performance teams. They have got to not only divert resources towards their training, but also take active involvement in supervision activities. Natale, Libertella and Rothschild (1995) assert “This requires the management to function in training and facilitating capacity as well. Each person in any team begins with a different understanding of what constitutes trust, how it can be assessed and when to give oneself over to a process which is bigger than an individual (Natale, Libertella and Rothschild 1995).”
Natale, Libertella and Rothschild (1995) assert high level training is another challenge that event management companies face when attempting to create high performance teams. They divide the challenge of training into two different groups: training teams with functional and operational skills; and training teams with high levels of communication skills, which is extremely important during the process of launching the event and the event itself.
Natale, Libertella and Rothschild (1995) assert that misconception about the character and nature of the teams amongst the top management is also widespread. Many believe that the business teams function very much like sports teams where individual performance and coach participation matters more than the overall team performance. Getting rid of this concept of business teams and replacing it quickly is a big challenge that has got to be dealt with in the event industry (Natale, Libertella and Rothschild, 1995)
Ost (1990) asserts that team performance is also influenced by the standards of promotions, compensation and rewards. He then presents a four dimensional model which encompasses the fundamentals around which all methods of rewards ought to be constructed. His four dimensions are as follows: no less than one team-based performance objective; compensation should be given when this goal is achieved; team members should be made to believe that this compensation is the sole result of their hard work; and this compensation ought to be perceived reasonable, at least.
Parker et al. (1994) outline the fundamental challenges that event management companies face when they embark upon creating new teams. They write: setting new benchmarks that separates normal teams from high performance teams; making high performance teams should be less costly and more productive simultaneously for the event industry; extending team roles and functions to include strategic and tactical thinking and decision making; giving authority to high performance teams to tackle problems in complex situations (parker et al., 1994).
Similarly, Parry et al. (1998) asserts that event managers find it difficult to let go of “one size fit all” training and solution packages. Katzenbach and Smith (1993) assert that creating high level commitments from the top management down to the teams is another challenge in establishing high performance teams. Ramsay (1996) asserts that level of commitment is directly proportional to the level of involvement and Beech and Crane (1999) assert that commitment is connected to the perceived outcome of the task.
Currently, the focus of most event management leaders has been on building team skills for solving complex and difficult situations. Models have been developed by researchers that emphasize on the cultivation of soft process-related skills; whereas other models emphasize on development of hard task-related expertise. Similarly, some learning models focus on development of both hard and soft skills. Cannon-Bowers et al. (1995) have developed a model which includes both soft and hard skills. The soft skill set includes: process and interpersonal skills; communication; and collective orientation. Whereas hard skill set includes: trade/craft skills; procedures needs; equipment needs and location needs. Both skill sets play a very significant role in the event industry.
Similarly many others have proposed models of soft skills with special emphasis on communication. For instance, model of soft skills developed by Steven and Campion (1994) has six dimensions: soft knowledge; conflict resolution; collaborative problem solving; communication; goal setting; planning and task synchronization.
Smith (1997) asserts that models of soft and hard skills need to be integrated with the event management and business environment so that internal differences can be over come and a smooth transition is made from normal performances to high level performances. This, he says, is a big challenge considering the fact that all team members along with the top management come from different cultural backgrounds.
Polley and Ribbens (1998) in their pioneering research assert that team wellness has got to be tackled in order to create high performance teams. The challenges that need to be over come have been thoroughly researched. The most commonly found problems are: lack of commitment and consideration from top management; probability of sharing enhanced productivity; creation and sustenance of trust (Polley and Ribbens, 1998); and skills to deal with conflicts; both within tasks and amongst people (Amason et al., 1995).
Polley and Ribbens (1998) assert that emergence of these problems can be either (1) persistent; and/or (2) immediate and/or intense. Extending the team wellness concept, Beech and Crane (1999) outlined a five dimensional strategy to overcome the problems most event managers might face when creating high performance teams. These five aspects are: monitoring; maintenance; creating productive group procedures; support teams all the way through; work routines that reduce stress (Beech and Crane, 1999).
Katzenbach and Smith (1993) articulate that creating diversity within teams is bound to increase performance. This is because diversity leads to higher levels of personal satisfaction and motivation and both these factors lead to higher levels of team performance. Diversity creates an environment which enables individual team members to contribute significantly; this in turn increases their level of motivation and satisfaction; which leads to higher performance. Non-diverse teams enforce its members to adjust and contribute less, which decreases motivation and team performance (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)
Davison (1994) in his research outlines problems faced by event management companies in creating high performance teams by illustrating real-world examples. He ends his study by providing the following nine suggestions: planning and implementation should be the core skills of all high performance team members; teams along with top management should evaluate costs and find finances from within the organization; the top management should work with the teams to eradicate bureaucratic barriers existing within the organization; involving team leaders in eradicating procedural barriers by requesting team performance reports on a regular basis; giving all team members an insight about the work related variations and give them clear instructions about the goals that need to be achieved; constant training in operational and functional skills; training to overcome problems in a multi-cultural environment; ensure that team leaders have the skills necessary to complete the task and accountability is made for the performances of all team members; clear goals, timelines, strategies and tactics are given to all team members and access to top management is made easy give clear term of reference, time scales and direction and be available if the team needs you.
All these proposals are in line with the problems being faced in creating high performance teams within the event industry. Top management should work towards executing goals with a clear and precise methodology. Furthermore, they ought to develop a strategy, based on aforementioned features, for creating an environment where normal teams can enhance their results and become high performance teams.
Event management/leadership and Outsourcing:
“There are wide selections of Chinese restaurant chains that have expressed interest in Macau, and already entered the market, including the Laurel Group from Guangdong (Galaxy Star World), South Beauty, and Little Sheep.”
Outsourcing is a complex process. Nonetheless, companies tend to consider only the macro aspects of a firm. They do not inspect the company at the micro level, which results in decline in quality and also outcomes in reduced profit margin. Adair and Thomas (2004) assert that top management is not aware of changes in team characteristics of the event management firm they have chosen for out-sourced resources, which gravely hinders in creating high performance teams. They elaborate the problems as follows: understanding of team background and history; participation with team members; proper communication; cohesiveness; constructive atmosphere; setting up of adequate standards; and understanding of structure and organization.
Understanding of team background and history
Top management in the event industry often overlooks the importance of giving time to the new teams with which it has to work with. They fail to share the strategies they think are necessary for quality control and as a result needs and expectations get mixed up considerably in this newly formed relationship. Clear boundaries are not set and a great deal of freedom is given initially which confuses teams about their working boundaries (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Similarly, a team with a great deal of experience will have its own set of characteristics. Their past experience will influence not only their new relationship but also the quality of the work. Signing outsourcing contracts with companies based on expected costs savings; without understanding previous working experience of the teams within the firm has seriously shown to jeopardize product quality (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Adair and Thomas (2004) assert that companies need to assess the strengths and weaknesses, along with past performances of the companies they wish to outsource their processes. The best way to do that is to understand team dynamics of that firm (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Participation with the team members
Adair and Thomas (2004) point out that lack of participation with team members is another challenge that needs to be overcome in the event industry. Mostly what happens is that the event management company hires temporary staff and burdens them with most of the work which decrease quality and efficiency of performance. He highlights the different ways in which one team interaction is different from another team’s interaction. He asserts: “Teams interact in different ways depending on the situation at the time. Sometimes it may be all one way dialogue coming from the leader or another member; or it may be just a few members joining in the discussion, or it could be a multi-directional discussion with the leader and members talking interactively with each other (Adair and Thomas, 2004; pg 8).” Leaders need to be aware of the different patterns of interaction and participation before they decide to interact with the team. Quite often they end up negatively influencing the team discussions, which reduces motivation amongst all team members (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Business communication is all about setting goals and outlining strategies and tactics. How well do leaders perform these important tasks has a direct impact on the outcome of team performances. This becomes even more critical when a company is outsourcing its resources. Managers have got to be aware of the common terminologies of the teams it is going to be interacting with for accomplishing their business processes. Also, they need to give more time to listening what team members have to say about the new working relationship. All of this can influence perception of team members about the significance of the new working relationship and leadership. Adair and Thomas (2004) point out that a lot more time needs to be given to communication with teams when outsourcing resources. They provide six pointers for effective communication: setting clear goals and outcomes; speaking clearly and leaving out cultural terminologies; giving vivid explanations and leaving the visualization phase to the teams; candidly discuss the goals with the team members; being an active listener; and being short, concise and to the point
Another challenge in creating high performance teams for outsourced resources in the event management industry is finding an environment where all team members feel wanted and are eager to participate in an organized manner. They identity six aspects which have hampered in either the forming and/or finding of a cohesive business environment: failure of top management to work closely with the team members in the initial period; failure to build common bonds when confronted with similar problems; failure to bring together individuals with same age, values and attitudes in a particular team; failure in overcoming clash of personalities; failure in removing formalities; and building large teams instead of small ones.
Finding a company which produces a positive social atmosphere is the most critical outsourcing decision that an event management company can make. Adair and Thomas (2004) outline a set of characteristics of a constructive social atmosphere and also outline a set of characteristics of an unconstructive social atmosphere. The characteristics of a constructive social and culturally acceptable atmosphere are: warm; friendly; relaxed; informal; and confident. The characteristics of an unconstructive and culturally unacceptable social atmosphere are: cold; hostile; tense; formal; restrained; anxious; and pressured.
Teams work best when the social atmosphere is the former (constructive). While companies look for firms which work under a constructive social environment to outsource their resources they also have to draw a line between persuading their new-found team members (once they have found them) to achieve their goals and rebuking them. They have got to ensure that they do not cross that line under any circumstances (Adair and Thomas 2004).
Setting up of adequate standards
Adair and Thomas (2004; pg 15) highlight some of the problems in setting up adequate standards for teams that companies face when outsourcing resources in the event industry. They write, “Although teams have to adhere to an organizations rules and standards of behavior, they also build their own codes of conduct to be followed. These rules are built over time usually with the longer-serving members having most influence in generating them. New team members are encouraged by existing members to abide by these unwritten rules, or else leave the team.”
Adair and Thomas (2004) go on to reveal some of the areas where clear and precise standards have got to be applied in order to get the optimum for all team members. These areas are the following: timeline of task completion; quality of outcome; methods used to accomplish the task; attitude of the entire team towards the task; defining topics of discussion and topics that cannot be discussed (Adair and Thomas 2004).
Lack of understanding of structure and organization
Adair and Thomas (2004) assert that before outsourcing business processes, event management companies need to thoroughly inspect the structure of the firm they are venturing into. They have got to study, both formal and informal structures. Formal structures are those which have been created by the top management and informal structures are those which the team members themselves create. Furthermore, changes in these structures are bound to take place all through the operation of the task. Adair and Thomas (2004) assert, “Changes will affect the group dynamics in respect of morale, efficiency, cohesion, levels and types of participation and structure. Groups can go through identifiable stages of development but these stages may come in leaps and bounds or in a more cyclic or spiral form.” Awareness of the changing dynamics will help in the creation of an atmosphere where teams will find it easy to perform highly.
Event Management and Leadership Styles in Thailand
This essay is divided into 2 sections. In the first section we discuss the causes and effects of personal and formal relationships in a business setting. This is done in the light of Hofstede’s cultural theory. In the second section, we demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the management styles that encourage delegation of operating independence and strategic freedom to foreign subsidiaries. We also discuss organizational patterns that is a flexible federation of sovereign nationwide subsidiaries each concentrating and catering to the needs and demands of its local market.
Section 1: Personal and formal relationships in a business setting
In this section we discuss the causes and effects of personal and formal relationships in an event management business setting in Thailand. This is done in the light of Hofstede’s cultural theory. Culture is defined by Hofstede (1983, 1994a, 2001, 2004) as an encoding which is placed in human mind depending on how the past was and is used to differentiate one group, race, or nation from another group, race, or nation. Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (1998), on the other hand, oppose Hofstede’s definition and instead assert that culture is a process which helps people in the resolution of each other’s problem. Schneider and Barsoux (1997) have presented an interpretive viewpoint regarding culture. This viewpoint identifies several stages of culture inclusive of art objects, actions and so forth. It can be said that culture is a complex term which holds different meanings for different people.
Redding (1992) in his study found that Hofstede thesis can provide a better meaning to what the various researches have concluded (Redding, 1992). Similarly, many researchers have appreciated Hofstede’s studies and their outcomes. Sondergaard (1994) asserted that Hofstede’s work has provided extremely significant and well-accepted elements related to culture (Sondergaard, 1994). Hofstede (1983, 1994a, 2001, 2004) in his studies has come up with five significant elements in order to clarify the concept of culture. These five elements are individualism/collectivism, power distance, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term/short-term orientation.
Hofstede (2004) reveals that the main concept of Power/Distance (PD) revolves around the belief of the members of the organizations, who genuinely have a lowered percentage of authority on the organization’s issues, anticipate and recognize that the power will be divided unequally and they will get a lower percentage of it. This level of inequality is mainly generated from the lower steps of the ladder of an organization as opposed to the upper steps, however, it is generally believed that power distribution will not be equal at all levels of the organization. This concept threads from the generalized belief that all organizations are unequal due to various aspects yet some organizations are unequal at a more progressive and obvious rate then others around them (Hofstede, 2004).
Considering what has been described above it is safe to say that this concept can be calculated in two ways: high PD score and low PD score. To put it simply high PD scores exists in an organization that clearly understands the uneven distribution of power and every element of the organization understands its own individual responsibility and contribution within the social dynamic. Low PD scores, on the other hand, clearly denote that the overall percentage of power distribution is more evened out amongst the elements of the organization and all the elements genuinely believe that they are equal in all respects and deserve the even distribution of power (Hofstede, 2001).
Some of the characteristics that help determine the high PD scores can be categorized into 3 main components. The first of these components is the continuation of centralized businesses where the authority and management rests in the hands of a chosen few authorities. These authorities then lead the changes and control the flow of revenue generated. The second component is the existence of strong and inflexible hierarchies. These hierarchies are very much pre-dominant in companies that get a high PD score and this allows the control to rest within a few selected groups at the higher end giving them more power then the ones at the lower ends. The third component that exists in companies with high PD scores is the obvious and outsized spaces in the returns, power and value given to the different groups. This of course is the basis that forms a high PD score allowing certain groups to have a heightened level of power which is followed by the higher levels of returns and worth given to them by those components of the organization who don’t share the same status (Hofstede, 2001).
The characteristics of companies that get a lower PD score are an aftermath of simply one trait: teamwork. The concept of teamwork is imminent in all walks of event management and corporate life. All the elements of the firm consider themselves equal and believe that balance amid both collectivism, as well as, individualism is the key to success. Research shows that organizations with low PD scores have found more success than organizations with high PD scores (Hofstede, 2001).
According to Hofstede (2004), the concept of individualism (IDV), as the name suggests, is based purely on personal goals and the attainment of those goals. It is the opposite of collectivism that one sees in the organizations with a low PD score. The concept of collectivism or individualism is not a political one, it mainly revolves around the individuals or groups present within an organization. As the names suggest, individualism is based completely on personal input and personal gain with no involvement of the familial relations over a long period of time; while collectivism is based purely on and around the familial relations where the individual is closely knitted into those familial relations and these relations stay loyal to the individual throughout their personal endeavors and careers expecting the same loyalty in return (Hofstede, 2004).
Calculating the individualism present within organizations is also an important element as it helps us understand the dynamics of the organizations a lot more thoroughly. In calculating IDV, scholars have divided them into two categories: high IDV and low IDV. For organizations that scored a high level of IDV, commonality was found in the fact that the interpersonal communication amongst people is absent except with close families and friends. For organizations scoring low levels of IDV, commonality was found in the fact that here always is a strong feeling of unity and grouping amongst the people and there are enhanced levels of commitment and loyalty existing within these groups (Hofstede, 2001).
The characteristics of organizations that scored high IDV scores include the heightened respect for the effort, time spent, and necessities for independence of the people; the higher value for their personal inclinations and goals; support of discussion and freedom of personal expressions; as well as the anticipation of contests and the expectation of deserving returns. The characteristics of organizations who achieved low IDV scores include high levels on concentration for the development of abilities and specialization; the desire and demand for the fundamental and deserving returns after work has been completed; maintaining a consistent level of concord being given more importance then increasing the level of openness within working scenarios i.e. small white lies and omissions are encouraged for the maintenance of unity and harmony (Hofstede, 2001).
Hofstede (2004) proposes that Masculinity (MAS) as the name suggests is to do with the status of the males in an organization and is the opposite of feminism which is to do with the status of females in an organization. This concept mainly deals with the difference of opportunities available to the males and females in an organization regarding their occupations and relevant departments. Numerous studies like the one conducted by ICM has shown two ranges of values within every organization that tell us how they deal with the opportunities and characteristic of the males and females: a) Masculine and b) Feminine. The organization that shows a masculine outlook amongst men and women denotes that within these organizations both men and women are very advanced and competitive and are given equal opportunities more often then not. The organizations that show a feminine position amid men and women denotes that both men and women are more inclined towards being kind, humble and self-effacing then competitive and have dissimilar opportunities (Hofstede, 2004).
Again we can calculate the level of MAS in an organization in two ways: high MAS and low MAS. Organizations where a high MAS score has been calculated mainly show strong inclinations giving men and women unequal opportunities and expecting men to have a more competitive and tougher outlook then women. The opposite stands true for organizations that show low MAS scores i.e. both men and women are judged on their ability, not genders, and have equal and mixed opportunities of occupation. In these organizations men are given respect due to their kind, humble and compassionate outlook whilst sustaining a secure occupational stats percentage. The women in these organizations are given respect due to their overall competitive, driven and determined outlook to succeed. This is perhaps one of the most obvious differences between organizations that maximize productivity and those that show low productivity levels (Hofstede, 2001).
Hofstede (2004) asserts that the concept of uncertainty/avoidance (UA) mainly deals with the kind of attitude that the organization has towards the level of doubt or indistinctness present around them i.e. The ability of the organization to deal with planned and unplanned events. The organizations that are open to letting unplanned events occur are mostly more open to changing and diverse opinions (social, philosophical and religious) and are not known to be driven by their emotions. On the other end, the organizations that discourage the happening of unplanned events instill strict laws to make sure that nothing unplanned occurs and are usually known to let their emotions out whenever the need be. Also, when talking about these organizations, we have to note that on the philosophical and religious sides, they undyingly support the search for the truth more then anything else and do not encourage the thoughts that are in any way disruptive or distinct from what is assumed to be a universal truth (Hofstede, 2004).
There are again two results that can be achieved when calculating the UAI levels in an organization: high UAI and low UAI. Organizations that show high UAI scores are usually the organizations that apply strict laws to avoid unplanned events while the organizations that show low UAI scores are usually where differences of opinions and distinct or unplanned events are encouraged, even appreciated. Some of the common characteristics of high UAI scoring organizations include: official and legitimate commercial setup; the necessity, demand and anticipation of a configuration design; evading dissimilarities; along with emotive expressions and cognitive behaviors. Some of the common characteristics of low UAI scoring organizations include: an unofficial and decentralized commercial setup; concentration given to long-term planning; and openness and flexibility towards alterations and possibilities. Hofstede (2001) found that organizations with low UAI have shown to be more productive and performance oriented (Hofstede, 2001).
Long-Term Orientation (LTO):
In line with Hofstede (2004), Long-term orientation (LTO) or long-term inclination (LTI), as the name suggests, deals with the ways and trends that are most convenient to take in the long run. This is the opposite of the short-term orientation (STO) formula where the focus is on the now instead of the future. The commonalities that are expected to be present in the LTO phenomenon include economic saving and determination whereas the commonalities that are expected to be present in the STO include the execution of cultural values, maintaining and protecting ones’ reputation in the organization and adhering to the social responsibilities and principles (Hofstede, 2004).
The phenomenon of LTO can also be measured in two distinct ways: high LTO along with low LTO. The organizations that show high LTO scores are usually the ones where the maintenance and protection of ones’ reputation in the organization as well as adherence to the social responsibilities and principles are the first priorities. The opposite stands true for organizations with low LTO scores. Some of the common characteristics of high LTO scoring organizations include: personal and/or familial relations form the foundation of all social interactions; the males in the organization are more dominant as opposed to the youngsters and women; the occupational morals are strong and consistent with higher attention paid to the education as well as training techniques and benchmarks. Some of the common characteristics of low LTO scoring organizations include: equality is heavily advertised and encouraged; the concept of IDV and originality are highly promoted; authentication is encouraged along with fair behavior amongst the different elements of organization. Hofstede (2001) asserts that studies have shown mixed results as firms with both low and high LTO’s have shown to maximize productivity (Hofstede, 2001).
Section 2: The advantages and disadvantages of management styles
The second section, we demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the management styles that encourage delegation of operating independence and strategic freedom to foreign subsidiaries in the event industry. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an organizational pattern that is a loose federation of independent national subsidiaries each focusing on its local market a flexible federation of sovereign nationwide subsidiaries each concentrating and catering to the needs and demands of its local market
The advantages of management styles that encourage delegation of operating independence and strategic freedom to foreign subsidiaries can maximize productivity under the following conditions. Similarly, disadvantages of such a management style can be seen if these conditions are not met.
Having sound experience:
It is a highly important factor that the event management workforce operating in those foreign subsidiaries has sound knowledge and experience about the firm they are working in, their cultural background as well as the products manufactured by that firm. Also, the workforce should have the capability of making rapid and quick decisions without going into too much depth and paper work. The experienced and leading corporate workforce ought to take keen part in all aspects of their firm and should continue to be proactive till the time they leave that firm (Forster, 2005).
Employing experience and Knowledge during diversification:
Preference ought to be given to both horizontal and vertical diversification in order to keep competitive edge instead of just remaining with a specific product line. They ought to use their experience and knowledge gained during their initial experience and quit often use that in other endeavors. This should observe their environment and learn from the experience before they apply their knowledge to another environment, culture, social structure or product line. They should recognize dissimilarities and similarities between different business environments to produce workable decision making and strategic planning models (Forster, 2005).
Qualitative and Quantitative market data:
The top leadership in these foreign subsidiaries should not employ just one approach towards working; instead they ought to assess not only precision and accuracy, but also adequacy along with depth and breadth of alternatives available to them before they make a decision. Furthermore, instead of taking assistance from only published scholarly sources, the top management should also depend on the knowledge and opinions provided by their associates, colleagues or other trustworthy acquaintances in the different event management business structures and settings (Forster, 2005).
Emphasizing the Importance of Giving Out Information:
Some workforce may seek long and methodical procedures when it comes to dealing with some usual or logical difficulty while taking a decision, but unfortunately, sometimes these procedures turn out to be ineffectual. Here top level management should be competent enough to take steps instantly to solve any kind of difficulty and emphasize more on the explanations and outcomes of the problems instead of just looking at a problem and getting involved in paperwork (Forster, 2005).
Taking Decisions with the Help of Corporate Action:
Quickness should play an important role when it comes to taking a decision. It is noteworthy that in foreign markets, the workforce should be expected to make quick and responsible decisions. Furthermore, the top management is one group that should not only be reliable but also holds maximum power and control. Therefore with these two characteristics, the event management workforce can make sure that the work is being performed as planned (Forster, 2005).
Under the aforementioned conditions, delegation of operating independence and strategic freedom to foreign subsidiaries can yield maximum productivity. The opposite will not likely be true if such conditions are not met (Forster, 2005).
The advantages and disadvantages of an organizational pattern that is a flexible federation of sovereign nationwide subsidiaries each concentrating and catering to the needs and demands of its local market depends entirely on the quality of information flowing horizontally and vertically inside the event management organization. For instance, Hayek (1945) attempted to explain the nature of economics and said that all economic problems are knowledge problems that arise from uncertainty. Weber (1964) and Mises (1949) later added on to the statement to explain how uncertainty is brought about. They held that the actions of the individuals are always focused on other people, the effect of which is developed into the future. It is the actions and the steps taken by other individuals that lead to uncertainty and ambiguity, giving way to the creation of economic problems.
Coordination in event management firms is carried out through human agents who act as a driving force in daily life by utilizing the store of information that they have which assists them in understanding and interpreting their previous experiences. Also, the hoard of knowledge facilitates them in forecasting and knowing about the forthcoming things which makes these firms highly organized and ready to handle them. However, as Langlois (1986) pointed out that the environment in which the event management firms operate is unstable and ever-changing, the coordinative actions and capabilities of the agents might be hampered.
The discomfort and edginess which follow uncertainty are eased out by the actions of human agents who are keen to bring stability (Mises, 1949). The uncertainty and improbability can be reduced through a firm that has the same kind of knowledge and that aligns the same significance to their actions (Yu, 1999). Lachmann (1970) maintains that to bring coordination in actions, firms can play an important role by providing means of orientation to the actors who would then work for a shared objective. Foss and Langlois (1999) went on further and said that the firms should primarily facilitate coordination by assisting the concerned people to bring together their knowledge and aspirations.
Organizational efficiency is achieved through the coordination function of the firms which is facilitated when the people concerned have the same type of information. This is because when any transaction is being made, or a business network is being developed by people who possess the same stock of knowledge, common expectations and shared goals are likely to emerge as a result. The benefits of having a similar hoard of knowledge sometimes lead event management business owners to the conclusion that an organizational pattern that is a flexible federation of sovereign nationwide subsidiaries each concentrating and catering to the needs and demands of its local market under the aforementioned conditions will be more beneficial and advantageous. However, if the flow of information is disrupted or if there is information disparity, than the advantages can be reversed (Forster, 2005).
Leadership and Culture
It is as common knowledge that culture is an influential and strong force. Cultural forces lead the relationship of an individual with the organization and vice verse. Researchers assert that culture operates as a cerebral and emotional standard, which has the power to impede and oppose other cultural values, which are in direct conflict with their cultural values. Furthermore, Baker asserts that cultural standards/values can single out certain individuals from the rest of the group. This can include but is not limited to colleagues, family members, religious associates and other members of the society. In the same way, culture also has the power to unite people and make them a cohesive force. Trust is considered to be the key in the later; i.e. trust can allow mutual understanding amongst people and unites them on a single platform (Nakamura, 1992).
Leaders look for ways to interact with people and they do that by seeking common values amongst people. On the face of it, this may seem to be a very intimidating task. However, majority of the people tend to share certain common principals, such as honesty and truth. These common values rise above one’s culture, ethnicity, nationality and religion. In fact, these principals form the basis of common bond across culture, ethnicity, nationality and religion (Nakamura, 1992).
People tend to have a preconceived notion of good and bad; right and wrong; beautiful and ugly. These preconceived notions motivate our actions and thoughts about the overall standards and suitability of things around us. Societal values are those truths that are believed to be shared by majority of the people in that community. People seek those truths because they believe it will deliver them good results, not only spiritually and morally but also materialistically and intellectually. Mutual trust is enhanced amongst group of people who tend to share common values. This group of people can be as small as a household/family and as large as a country. These common values shape culture and culture transforms leadership. This theory, asserts Fairholm, was popular until recently. Of late, however, many scholars have come to an agreement that learning from leadership influences cultural values; that leadership influences culture. For instance, Schein (1992) wrote, “Culture is the result of a complex group learning process that is only partially influenced by leader behavior. It is in this sense that leadership and culture are conceptually intertwined” (Schein, 1992, p.5). In this section of the paper we will analyze the role and influence of cultural development on leadership styles in Thailand so as to uncover the link between culture and leadership.
Culture, due to its wide expanse, has been described in time from numerous different angles. For Herskovits (1955) culture is that segment of the atmosphere that can be built from scratch or altered when the need arises (Herskovits, 1955). Hofstede (1980) believed that culture is a pre-defined structural and situational response of an individual (Hofstede, 1980). According to Kluckhohn (1954) culture is a structure or an outline of the way a society will act, interpret, reflect or experience and represent those sentiments through the use of effective communication, lucid emblematic and/or metaphoric demonstration (Kluckhohn, 1954). Triandis (1972), in order to define the intricacies of the phenomenon of culture, aimed to concentrate on the opinionated segment of the surroundings in a society and believed that it was this opinionating that made culture a direct prelude to the communal approach towards laws or principles or responsibilities or standards or traditions (Triandis, 1972). The definition which is most popularly accepted and will be used in this paper was brought forth by Erez and Earley (1993). According to them culture is the theory behind the mutual or communal experiences, familiarities, information, techniques, and/or definitions of various practices (Erez and Earley, 1993).
Erez and Earley also pointed out that the definitive cultural practices or setups were mutual or communal in nature because the generalized belief was that these setups were being experienced by a group of people who shared daily life experiences or chores, language and/or executed analogous tasks (Erez & Earley, 1993). All these setups determined the analysis of a present situation, practical approach towards the situation, future expectations or potentials, etc. All these cultural setups are founded on the generalized morals, viewpoints, standards, traditions, take on responsibilities, and principles (Triandis, 1972). Furthermore, all these setups are believed to be a direct circumstance of a suggestive interaction with a situation or an entity, which brings about the formation of personalized theories or models (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). This suggestive nature also creates various influential reactions and/or inspirational aims of an individual towards the situation or entity (Strauss & Quinn, 1997).
Many researchers believe that the whole cultural structure is not solely affected by the activities and choices made by a leader; even though, this particular aspect, i.e. influence of a leader, is one of the leading artifacts to shape cultural preferences. These researchers believe that there are numerous socio-cultural incidents that can have an influence on the overall design of the social structure. These socio-cultural incidents defining a cultural setup, too, have a wide expanse and can range from the simple interpersonal or one on one communication, activities, or exchanges (Smith & Peterson, 1988; Smith, Peterson, & Wang, 1996) and can extend to the communal and/or governmental procedures, traditions and executions (Schneider, 1987).
Numerous researchers believe that both the influence of the leader and the socio-cultural incidents is vented through the same variables. This seems logical as interpersonal communication is part of the socio-cultural influence and the affect of the leader’s activities can be categorized as an interpersonal exchange. Researchers have believed that the activities of a leader can strongly influence, strengthen or identify the cultural choices made in a community (Schneider, 1987) which defies the prior belief that the association of the cultural aspects and leadership is uni-managed (e.g. Shaw, 1990).
The difference between the socio-cultural and leadership presence in the influence of cultural steps is that the authority or activities of the leader are irregular and are not always bound to strike a customary cultural outline or practice. This is because the interaction between a leader and a follower is limited and controlled with the situation i.e. In a school or a company which is why there are lesser instances of influence for a clear and definitive design of association and there are fewer prospects for the influence to be as habitual as the significant designs of the socio-cultural incidents.
“The club scene in Asia has developed to varying degrees over the past thirty years. Each area has undergone a similar cycle of evolution from bars to discos, then to lounges and more contemporary integrated spaces offering a combination of experiences.”
The main and the strongest restriction of the influence of leadership are the communal or governmental practices and regulations. This basically means that the traditions of the cultural setups or definitions are clearly recognized and these traditions more or less classify or stimulate certain relations within a leadership. A good example of this cold be the study conducted by Gerstner and Day (1994) in which they evaluated the leadership examples existing amongst the U.S. based students, both American and international. They considered international students from France, Germany, Honduras, India, Taiwan, China, and Japan and recognized various inconsistencies amongst their leadership qualities. They also established that, based on the cultural elements presented by Hofstede (1980), these inconsistencies were related to the countries these students came from. A similar study was conducted by O’Connell, Lord and O’Connell (1990) where they compared the leadership qualities of Japanese student studying in Japan and those studying in the U.S. And concluded that the difference amongst the design and the overall existence of the leader qualities in sectors of commerce, economics, etc. was huge.
There have been studies conducted in the past that support the belief that a large part of the cultural setup is influenced by the activities and choices of the leaders. One of these studies was conducted by House’s (1977) where he conceptualized the notion of how captivating and appealing leadership can stimulate and persuade the followers to surpass or work harder than usual. This, House believed, could be fairly symbolized as part of specific behavioral patterns that existed due to the constructive affect on the followers’ sentimental associations with the leader. This sentimental respect and association was formed when the leaders were able to tap into the principles that were highly cherished by the followers; this, in retrospect, was the leading variable in defining leader behavior which proved that the affect in a cultural setting was a two-way road. Bass (1985), in his study concluded that the innovative or inventive leaders mainly used their ability to be good role models or ideals as the influencing variable. This helped them in enhancing the growth, recognition, and stimulation of value-based and standardized activities of the follower.
Researches have shown that the influence of the leader’s activities has a direct influence on the follower’s overall standpoints on experience like occupational approval or managerial dedication (e.g. Avolio & Bass, 1995; Barling, Weber, & Kelloway, 1996). Also, a leader’s values and principles have been proved, in past studies (e.g. In Lord, Brown & Freiberg, 1999; Shamir, House, & Arthur, 1993; Shamir, Zakay, Breinin, & Popper, 1998), to have an influence on the followers’ personal theories and beliefs. The connectionist theory and the conclusions made in numerous studies including the ones aforementioned justify numerous research studies that have been conducted on the psychological and sentimental effects of the leader’s activities on the followers’ cultures.
Numerous researches in the past have concluded that an individual’s personal beliefs strongly affects their relationships, feelings, mannerisms, incentives, expectations, etc. (e.g. Erez & Earley, 1993; Kihlstrom & Klein, 1994; Lord et al., 1999; Markus & Kitayama, 1991). The personalized beliefs and the mannerisms as a direct response to those beliefs have been studied and concluded to have a direct effect on the personalized assessments and inspirations (Catrambone, Beike, & Niedenthal, 1996; Smith, Brown, Lord, & Engle, 1998). Also, personalized beliefs are vital in deciding the level of commitment or enthusiasm in a certain job or venture, perseverance with the responsibility or occupation, the overall approach and response to the accomplishments attained during the execution of a task and the possible and/or evitable detachment from a job or responsibility.
The notion and structure of personalized belief is not very different from other variables but it is definitely very intricate and diverse (Fiske & Taylor, 1991). To understand the structure of the personalized belief variable one has got to understand that it is not a sole structure but it is built up of numerous directly and indirectly related beliefs and their structures all applied and existing in varying situations (Breckler, Pratkanis, & McCann, 1991; Kihlstrom & Cantor, 1984; Kihlstrom & Hoyt, 1988). These directly and indirectly related beliefs include past experiences (Markus & Wurf, 1987) as well as the numerous similar segments of the diverse personalized beliefs that are recurrently available. There are other direct and indirect variables behind the personalized belief of an individual that are distinctive or specific to certain communal standards which is why their ease of understanding is related to a thorough study of the prevalent social environments or situations and the inspirational or sentimental conditions.
The fact of the matter is this, most of the generalized beliefs, direct or indirect, cannot be accessed simultaneously, in fact it is only the variable of personalized belief that brings them together in a chain-like formation (Kihlstrom & Klein, 1994). Markus and Wurf (1987) call the frequently applied personal belief or conduct as the “working self-concept.” A belief or conduct is categorized as the working self-concept partially on the basis of it regularity of use (Fiske & Taylor, 1991). The situational requirements, tentative operations or tasks, along with numerous other interim circumstances can lead people to execute a certain personal belief (Gergen & Gergen, 1988).
When a more thorough analysis is conducted on the specifics of the affects of the personalized belief on the use of knowledge and execution of actions within the context of the social structure in Thailand, we can see that there is more importance given on the outcome of the leadership procedures applied under the direct influence of the culture i.e. collective leadership actions. Perhaps, the two most vital decisive factors for an effective personalized belief structure in different situations are the leadership procedures (Lord et al., 1999) and culture (Erez & Earley, 1993). Of course, the uniqueness of every individual does play a major part in the formation of the personalized belief (Markus, 1977) which can be difficult to calculate or analyze in a large sample. One way this can be made easy is by thoroughly analyzing the collective behaviors and principles of a community instead of going door to door.
Markus and Kitayama (1991), in their study recognized the two variables of personalized belief that were critical to the definitive cultural setups, and these were (1) the independent beliefs and (2) the interdependent beliefs. As the name suggests, the independent beliefs are basically made up of the individual’s distinct and inner traits, sentiments, thoughts, feelings and mannerisms. In contrast, the interdependent belief is when the independent beliefs are applied in a communal or social association or situation i.e. The influence of the social principles and standards of the individual’s personalized belief. It is in the interdependent category that one places the role and affect of the leader.
Following the path that had already been set by prior experimental studies especially that of Triandis (1989), Markus and Kitayama (1991) state that irrespective of whether one is studying the independent or interdependent beliefs of an individual, the past and recurrent experiences play a vial part and cannot be ignored. Also, they have proved in their study that the analysis of interdependent beliefs has far more interesting and vital results than the independent beliefs. Some of the important results are that they can directly influence certain sentiments in specific situation. Furthermore, they can constructively influence the inspirations of the society at large and can be significant in choosing the knowledge or information that is retained or recalled.
The mutual reliance of both leadership and culture on each other is remarkably clearer when one assesses the responsibility that the personalized belief has on the continuing, self-motivated, communal development of the follower and how that eventually shapes the communal behavior at large. A good illustration of this is the study conducted by Shamir et al. (1993) who stick to the fact that it is the appealing, attractive and affable leadership qualities that engages the basic personalized beliefs of the followers in accordance to a particular situation, in correspondence with the leader’s own cultural beliefs as well as the community’s cultural beliefs. Shamir et al. (1998) conducted another study where they focused on nearly 50 field companies in the Israeli military. In this study they established that it was indeed either a particular individual or collective cultural values that influenced the overall structure of the belief in different situations. They established this after analyzing numerous situations such as, how the combined identifications helped the individual gain or strengthen his own personal belief and recognize his task within the group or military division. In certain situations however, there were circumstances where the appealing and magnetic activities of the leader, that, for instance, were linked to the ideal executions, made many junior soldiers base their beliefs in a more collective or communal scenario. This is why Shamir et al. (1998) conclude that there are numerous combined or communal self or beliefs within an organizational setup that can lead to different and numerous principles and focal points.
Lord et al. (1999) in his study constructed a personalized belief notion incorporating the aspect of leadership. Through this notion he was able to analyze the various elements of the self that had been instigated by the culture and activities of the leader. It has to be noted here that the self can be of a personal, interpersonal or communal kind (Brewer & Gardner, 1996). Lord et al. (1999) stated that the leader has to be able to understand the follower’s level of understanding and hence act accordingly so that the various and different social changes that the followers undergo due to the various forms of classification do not go unnoticed. Numerous researchers, however, at this point, debate that the follower’s belief or classification can be influenced by both the leader and/or the culture. The influence of leader’s activities however is the more dominant feature when the intensity of self-classification is somewhat permanent i.e. In the short run. However, cultures are very different and each culture has its own approach to the principles or standards that define the personal or collective beliefs (Erez & Earley, 1993; Markus & Kitayama, 1991), which is why one must expect these cultural differences to have distinct and dissimilar effects on the leadership procedures adopted and the affect of the leaders on the followers.
Jung and Avolio (1999) studied this fact and executed it practically. They first stated that they believed Asian students are amongst those who have a sense of combined identity; while Caucasian students are amongst those who are more adept on an individual level. To experiment with this phenomenon they carried out a test where they took two groups of students, one Asian and the other Caucasian, and exposed them to a venture under transactional and transformational leadership. The outcome of their study was as they had predicted. The Caucasians who were believed to be more adept individually worked more productively under the transactional form of leadership while the Asians who were believed to have a combined/group identity worked more productively with the transformational leader.
Numerous researchers have over the years focused on how culture has influenced the leadership models and structures (e.g. Shaw, 1990). One important aspect that is now being considered by numerous other studies is how leadership is different in different cultures and how it can contribute to formation of cultural norms. The downside though is that this form of research is not very explored or experimented. Leadership models and structures mainly are a consequence of the associative norms that exist within the dimensions of leadership as well as culture. It is true that most cultures could rate certain leadership traits as significant but the fact of the matter still remains that the application of the leadership models will still be different depending upon the associative norms of the society (Chong & Thomas, 1997). One good example of this is found in the study conducted by Ichikawa (1993) where he noted that the most significant leaders in the U.S. had a higher probability of being tall as opposed to the leaders in Japan who had a higher probability of being short. So even though height was a common and recognized trait between the two countries, the application of their significance was completely dependent upon the cultural norms of each state. Hence, one has to identify not only the common traits of effective leadership but their application to clearly see how the culture can affect leadership or how leadership models can affect the setup of cultural norms. The affect on the research method when considering the influence of leadership on culture will be that in this kind of research the researcher will have to analyze and read the cultural dissimilarities as well as the differences in the leadership models along with the reasons behind these differences.
Also, there is a very strong likelihood that if the leader is acting in certain ways, using his persuasive skills, to promote a certain cultural habit than the follower is bound to follow his/her lead. However, care has to be taken that the teachers do not rebel too much against the cultural norms that already exist because then the change in the behavioral pattern would not be very consistent, constructive or enduring. Shaw (1990) in his study concluded that it was a lot more difficult for immigrant teachers to adjust or adapt to the varying cultural norms or the dissimilar application of the significant traits of leadership. The practical application of cultural leadership can be difficult because most teachers get accustomed to the significant traits and their application in a particular setting and if they do migrate to a different culture then the adaptive skills are heavily tested because it is not very easy to adjust or alter what they are adept at and customize it according to the different setting or culture. Putting it simply, even if the migrant leader does learn and adapt to different cultural norms efficiently and quickly, it still won’t change the fact that these norms would indicate different meanings and theories for both the migrant and national leader.
Numerous researches and studies (e.g. Murphy & Zajonc, 1993; Zajonc, Crandall, Kail, & Swap, 1974) have also concluded that the assumption towards a fresh principle or norm being introduced by a leader is quickly judged to be either good or bad. So if a leader does get too carried away and stimulates a principle that is completely non-associative to the cultural norm then his actions are going to be alleged to be unconstructive and he will most likely be scrutinized and criticized. So the challenge for leaders in a new culture is not only to make sure they don’t overdo any introductory cultural habits but also provide the locals enough incentive and inspiration in the new standard so that they feel more open towards adopting it. The only thing is that even though locals will eventually open up to newer traditions but the negative opinion will and often is quickly established and changing that might be more of a challenge then anything else (Brown, Marchioro, Tan, & Lord, 1999; Hanges, Braverman, & Rentsch, 1991; Hanges et al., 1997; Sipe & Hanges, 1999).
For Lord et al. (1999) the phenomenon of personalized belief in a way defines the structure and criterion of the leadership premise in different cultures. If the leader can identify what the focal point of the follower’s personalized belief is then he/she can adapt his leadership models accordingly. For example if the leader knows that the focal point of the follower’s personalized belief is more on an individual level then he/she can apply those leadership notions or principles that are directly related to learning (Argyris, 1976), contingent returns (Podsakoff, Todor, & Skov, 1982), self-fulfilling insights (Eden, 1992), observation (Komaki, 1986), distributive fairness (Tyler, 1997), transactional interaction (Hollander, 1964, 1992) and path-goal premise (House, 1971). Similarly if the personalized belief of the follower is driven more towards interpersonal phenomenon then it will be more suitable for the leader to theories like the counseling (Kram, 1985), leader-member interactions (Graen & Scandura, 1987), communicative impartiality (Greenberg, 1990), and self-direction (Higgins, 1998). And lastly if the individual has a personalized belief based on the collective or communal traditions then it will be most constructive for the leader to apply notions that concentrate on the self-management (Neck, Stewart, & Manz, 1996), symbolic leadership (Pfeffer, 1981), cultural dissimilarities (Schein, 1992), combined or collective cognition (Walsh, Henderson, & Deighton, 1988), practical fairness (Tyler, 1997), managerial characteristics (Dutton, Dukerich, & Harquail, 1994), and transformational/compelling leadership skills and models (Bass, 1985; Shamir et al., 1998; House, 1977),.
There have been no studies or researches done that can clearly and efficiently monitor the effect of these three levels of beliefs but we can look at similar buildups in other researches to analyze their appropriate application and potential. One of these researches could be the study conducted by Triandis (1994) where he has drawn patterns of the personalized beliefs and values around the world. Through his study we can see that about 70-75% of the citizens of this world base their personal beliefs on the collective or communal traditions while most people in Europe and North America focus their personalized belief on a more individual level. Hence, the differences in these cultures will need different forms of leadership and leaders. The GLOBE project was another project that upon thorough analysis found that when the followers made their generalized beliefs focus more on their individual needs then the team-oriented leader was the one who would find the most success (House et al., 1999).
One other thing about studying the personalized beliefs to determine leadership models is the fact that the concept of personalized belief is very dynamic and is dependent upon the variable factors of culture. This means that the results and conclusions over a period of time will also be very varied. So, without simplifying the actual fact, we can clearly say that culture could be one of the most significant decisive factors that helps to not only determine the form of leadership model to be used, but also helps analyze or foresee the impact of the model on the followers and its enduring effectiveness or development.
Cropanzano et al. (1993) in their study also find an association between the personalized beliefs and the leadership models; however, there association is very different from those that have already been mentioned. They tackled the phenomenon of personalized belief as a goal oriented framework where the follower had specific choices that were driven by chain of principles, self-classifications, individual interest and ventures as well as particular aims and objectives. According to them this chain from the first link, that is principles, puts a burden or restraint on the following linkages of self-classifications, individual interest and ventures as well as particular aims and objectives. In other words each link is bound by the freedom of the prior link. So this makes only one of the links significant at one point in time. This one link, which in most cases is that of the principles, hence, becomes the determining factor of the self-management model. This particular approach has found considerable support in Markus’s (1977) study as well where self-management is treated as the decisive and varying element for personalized beliefs.
Chapter 3: Methodology
The segment of methodology will be focused on fulfilling two objectives: 1) it will explain the methodology being for this study and 2) it will present the reasons on which the specified methodology was chosen for the study. The main sub-sections of this segment are; 1) Research philosophy; 2) Research approach; 3) Research type and Time line; 4) Data Collection Methods; 5) Qualitative method; 6) Qualitative Validity; 7) Research design; and 8) Sampling Strategy.
The primary goal behind separating the methodology segment into subsections is to clearly highlight all the problems and aspects of the application and research so that it can be prove to be useful, realistic and functional. Also, this separation allows the researcher to present a sensible and exploratory abstract of the overall goals of the research (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2000).
1. Research Philosophy
Trochim (2001) in his study explains that most of the researches are founded on the belief that the attainment of the goal will help us comprehend the societies a lot more logically while also understanding the different perceptions that might exist within various societies. This belief is driven by two primary philosophical schools of thought which are Positivism (denunciation of metaphysics i.e. all education is based around the explanation of an experience) and Post-Positivism (constructivists, i.e. personal perceptions and point-of-views make us believe that the world is a certain way). Both of these are especially important in the area of traditional social investigation, especially this particular research of the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand.
Science, according to a positivist, would lead to the real truth and logic of the world so that we can direct our actions in it better. A positivist will always look to determine the natural laws through direct management and examination. Most of the positivists asserted that the phenomenon of objectivity was an instilled trait of an individual who used scientific approaches. While the post positivists asserted that no individual could ever truly remain objective and unbiased in their view of an experience and hence of the world, they believe that all personal viewpoints are biased to an extent. They believe that unbiased-ness is a social experience only (Trochim, 2001). The post-positivist viewpoint is best suited to achieve the purpose of this study; therefore this study adapted post-positivism as its underlying philosophy.
2. Research Approach
According to the study done by Trochim (2001), there are two main approaches towards investigative logic: 1) deductive and 2) inductive. Deductive reasoning, also known as the “top-down” tactic, works from the more general goals to the more specific goals. The inductive reasoning, also known as the “bottom-up” tactic, works the other way i.e. starts of from having specific goals in mind and them expanding them into generalized and widespread notions and practices. In order to achieve the purpose of this study; the researcher will use both inductive and deductive approach.
3. Research type and Time line
The timeline of a research is directly related to its format. There are two main formats of a research study: 1) cross-sectional and 2) longitudinal studies. In a cross-sectional study the entire focus of the research is restricted within a single time frame i.e. we only take a segment of the entire spectrum of the subject we are studying or measuring. In a longitudinal study the focus is spread over a wider spectrum of time i.e. A lot more variables are involved and changes that occur over time are also taken into account before making concrete conclusions (Trochim, 2001). For this study, with the time frame available to us, we used the longitudinal format to decipher the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand.
4. Data Collection Methods
There are two main formats or data collection strategies: 1) quantitative which is basically numeric breakdown and representations of all the data and 2) qualitative which include different intangible dimensions and can incorporate photographs, videos, sound recordings. The latter is far more elaborate then the former. In this study we will the latter method to clearly identify the personal reflections of the event managers who are working in the current structure in Thailand (i.e. qualitative data).
5. Qualitative Method
Qualitative studies use one or a combination of the following methodologies in order to collect their data:
1) Survey; which includes both questionnaire and interviews.
2) Structured interview;
3) Semi-structured interview;
4) Unstructured interview;
5) Questionnaire (Trochim, 2001).
In this study we used survey, semi-structured interviews and questionnaire, to fulfill the aims of this study.
6. Qualitative Validity
The validity or authenticity of a research is what lies behind its success or failure. Even the slightest level of illegitimacy can make the entire research a drowned effort. For any form of qualitative data the authenticity lays in the integrity, depth and capacity of the data collected along with the targeted sample and the unbiased approach of the practitioner. In this study we used the survey method (semi-structured interviews and questionnaire) with the same procedure for everyone in the sample which ensured that the dissimilarities present in the responses are genuine and personal; hence the methodology will not be criticized in being subjective or inclined in any way (Trochim, 2001).
7. Research Design
This research included an interview to assess the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand. Yin (1994) concludes that the primary advantage of the interview format is that it allows focused interactions between the interviewer and the respondent and that it allows the researcher to focus chiefly on the categories and topics within the central topic. In addition to that the interview format gives the researcher more sensitivity or intuition on the background of the respondents and hence helps in making more concrete suppositions which cannot be achieved in any other form of research method.
8. Sampling Strategy
Over the years there have been two precise sampling strategies used by numerous researchers. These two strategies are the probability and a non-probability sampling strategies. Cohen Manion and Morrison (2000) in their study explain that the main distinction between these two strategies is that the former is more casual and does not have a specific target or segment of the population in mind; whereas the non-probability sampling procedure is very official and very purposeful in its choice of who the researcher studies and why. In the study, the researcher can use non-probability convenience sampling to hand pick event managers.
For carrying out semi-structured interviews, the researcher used the non-probability sampling procedure as it allowed us to incorporate the different procedures that are built around the personalized and subjective views on the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand. Hence the interview sample studied consisted of 4 people for each pre-post test.
9. Data Analysis
Keeping in view that qualitative data is not gathered with a standardised method, it has got to be divided into categories so as to be analysed significantly and even though there are numerous research customs and diverse strategies and tactics for managing and calculating qualitative data, there is no standardised method (Saunders et al., 2003). In this research the wide-ranging strategy that will be utilized for data analysis is reliant on hypothetical propositions, which basically means that this study will pursue the original propositions on which the (1) aims and objectives and (2) design of the case study were founded upon and had produced the data collection method (Yin, 1994). With the aim of successfully analyzing the gathered data, the survey results will be first classified in almost the identical order that the theories will be described in the literature review. Thereafter, in the discussion chapter (chapter 4) the researcher will attempt to explain the research questions and purposes which transformed the concentration of the research (Saunders et al., 2003).
Chapter 4: Results
According to one of the interviewees the most important part about being involved in the event industry is the fact you have to a social butterfly, a “party animal” and always listen to the work staff’s opinions especially if they have a strong logic behind it. The interviewee also explained how efficient service and lucid communication were key factors for success in the event management industry. Another interviewee explained that the best part of his experience was that the overall popularity of the club he worked in as an event manager had not declined over the many years of its existence. He also mentioned the overall importance of ‘prominence’ of the night club as more and more celebrities partied at the club and the club was in turn recognized due to the frequency of their visits which benefited its overall status as a business.
Chapter 5: Discussion and conclusion
Throughout this study, the focus remained on the original goal of the researcher (which is to evaluate the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand) along with the methodologies that had already been used in a similar body of research work as well as the strategies and results that had already been established on the efficiency of the leadership and cultural patterns and influences in the event industry in Thailand. All the responses gathered from the interviews were categorically aligned with the support of the theories that were explained in the literature review (Saunders et al., 2003).
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