Leadership challenges and ways into the labour market in Romania

by Alina Mihaela Dima (Author) Alecxandrina Deaconu (Author) Simona Agoston (Author)

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2011 79 Pages

Leadership and Human Resource Management - Management Styles


Table of Contents


Leadership definition
Leadership versus management
Traits and characteristics of leaders

Literature review on leadership tendencies
Academic vs business leadership
Research methodology
Structural equation model of academic leadership

Culture and leadership
Leadership and gender differences
Barriers to women leadership
Women in companies’ top positions and board rooms
Women in politics and public sector/civil service

Leadership and transition
Businesswoman profile in Romanian society
Examples of women leadership in Romania

The Specificity of the Romanian Labor Market
The “Brain drain” phenomenon in Europe and in Romania
Research on the “Brain drain” phenomenon in Romania


This book is a collection of academic studies regarding key aspects of human resources management. It opens with an overview of leadership theories, and of the contrasts between leaders and managers. A provocative problem, which has nourished dozens of recent papers, is reframed into the context of transition economies, needing equilibrium between capable leadership and sound management

Then, following the link between leadership and education, it surveys academic leadership, as the other side of the coin, in relationship with business leadership. The main claim is that models are not reciprocal, and particular attention should be given to academic leadership, mainly in a context in which business practices are infused in the academia

Finally, the last chapter takes a more technical perspective, that of brain drain risks on the Romanian labour market, considering the investments in education and, also, the lost potential of early leavers from the employment pool

The macro- and micro-level are intertwined, as both markets and organizations are investigated, in terms of trends, dynamics, and reaction to change

The methodological tools combine broad literature analyses and illustrative case studies, with more quantitative, still nuanced approaches, as structural equation modelling. The focus is on the Romanian academic and business environment, building on the authors’ experience in the field. Although samples researched are mainly convenience samples, given the need to induce a willingness to answer to items whose subjectivity is undeniable, the joint pieces of research give a meaningful picture of the way in which classical models function on the Romanian market, and an orientation regarding the actions to be taken in each of the fields approached

The readership of the book consists of human resources management specialists and students, with a particular interest in the topics covered, among which facets of leadership, trends of the labour market in transition economies, changes and reforms in the academia.

The Authors


Alina Mihaela Dima

Leadership definition

Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future .

Edwin H. Friedman

Researchers have developed many definitions of leadership, but their definitions usually reflect their individual perspectives and the aspects of the phenomenon of most interest to them. After a comprehensive review of the leadership literature, Stogdhill (1974) concluded that „there are almost as many definitions of leaderships there are persons who have attempted to define the concept”. And since his observations new definitions of leadership continued to appear.

Over the years, leadership has been defined in terms of traits, behaviors, influence, interaction patterns, role relationships and occupation of an administrative position. Some researchers define leadership as an integrated part of the group process (Krech,1960; Cartwright, 1965; Katz and Kahn, 1966), others see it the initiation of structure and the instrument of good achievement (Homans, 1950) and several even consider leaders to be servants of their followers (Greenleaf, 1998). But despite all these differences, the various definitions of leadership contain three common elements:

- Leadership is a group phenomenon – there can be no leaders without followers, thus leadership involves interpersonal influence or persuasion
- Leadership is goal directed and plays an active role in groups and organizations – leaders guide others toward achievement of goals
- The presence of leaders assumes some form of hierarchy within a group – a formal or informal one

Combining the three elements, the leader can be defined as „any person who influences individuals and groups within an organization, helps them in the establishment of goals and guides them toward achievement of those goals, thereby allowing them to be effective” (Afsaneh Nahavandi, 2006).

Although such a large number of definitions may seem confusing, it is important to understand that there is no single correct definition and that their diversity can help us to appreciate the multitude factors that affect leadership, as well as the different perspectives from which it is viewed. Thus, below are some definitions of leadership from different perspectives:

- Leadership is “the behavior of an individual…directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal” – Hemphill and Coons, 1957
- Leadership is the process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner – Bennis, 1959
- Leadership means directing and coordinating the work of group members – Fiedler, 1967
- Leadership is an interpersonal relation in which others comply because they want to, not because they have to – Merton 1969
- “Leadership is realized in the process whereby one or more individuals succeed in attempting to frame and define the reality of others” – Smircich and Morgan, 1982
- Leadership is “the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement” – Rauch and Behling, 1984
- “Leadership is about articulating visions, embodying values and creating the environment within which things can be accomplished” – Richards and Engle, 1986
- Leadership is a set of actions that focus resources to create desirable opportunities – Campbell, 1991
- “Leadership is the process of making sense of what people are doing together so that people will understand and be committed” – Drath and Palus, 1994
- Leadership is “ the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization” – House, 1999
- Military leadership teaches that it is: "the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization."
- Dictionaries define leading as “guiding and directing on a course” and as ”serving as a channel”, the leader being someone with commanding authority and influence: a leader is one that leads or guides; one who is in charge or in command of others; one who has influence or power; a person who rules, guides, or inspires others (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/leader).

Several distinctive leadership models have emerged during the years, including charismatic, transactional, transformational, servant, and situational. First, charismatic leaders exemplify extraordinarily powerful leadership characteristics that inspire and direct followers by building their commitment to a shared vision (Hoogh et al., 2004; Mannarelli, 2006). Second, transactional leaders engage in a process of social exchanges involving a number of reward-based transactions with followers (Avolio & Bass, 1999; Bass, 1990). Third, transformational leaders inspire followers to share a vision and empower them to attain the vision by providing the necessary resources to develop their full personal potential (Bass, 1990, 1999; Bass & Avolio, 1993). Fourth, servant leaders place their follower’s interest before their own, emphasize their follower’s personal development, and empower their followers (Banutu-Gomez, 2004; Covey, 2006; Rowe, 2003; M. Wheatley, 2004). Fifth and last, situational leaders use the most appropriate approach to match their particular situation and/or environment that can encompass one or more of the above mentioned leadership styles (Baum & Locke, 2004; Leahy, 1997; Weick, 2002).

Leadership versus management

Some leaders cannot manage— some managers cannot lead.


The terms “leadership” and “management” are seen very differently by diverse people. Some individuals see these terms as synonyms and frequently use them interchangeably throughout phrases and sentences. Others approach them as extreme opposites; so extreme, in fact, that they would argue that you can­not be a good manager and a good leader at the same time. Still other people reside somewhere in the middle and realize that while there is a difference between leadership and management, with the right knowledge an individual can successfully navigate both from the same position.

Today’s groups, organizations, and teams need both effective leaders and effective managers to run a successful operation. While some obvious similarities can be found between leadership and management, there are also some striking differenc­es (for example management is often more task-oriented and leadership is often consid­ered more inspirational and visionary).

Leadership and management share many similarities. Both leadership and management involve influence, working with people, and working with effective goal management. However, the fields of leadership and management can also be considered very different. According to John Kotter, leadership can be considered an age-old concept that has been around for centuries, while management is a concept developed in the last 100 years, in part from the rise of the industrial revolution. In his opinion "leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment...strong leadership with weak management is no better, and is sometimes actually worse, than the reverse. The real challenge is to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other.” Many other scholars share Kotter’s viewpoint in differentiating between man­agement and leadership:

- Bennis and Nanus define management as accomplishing activities and mastering routines; to lead means to influence others and create visions for change.
- Rost asserts that leadership is a multidirectional influence relation­ship and management is a unidirectional authority relationship.
- Zaleznik argues that management and leadership require different types of people.

One key distinction between management and leadership is that managers manage things (physical assets, processes, and systems) and leaders lead people (customers, external partners, and people throughout the team or organization). Warren Bennis has been extensively studying and writing about leadership for many decades and he explains why leaders are so much more successful than managers, in harnessing people power: "Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done. Managers push. Leaders pull. Managers command. Leaders communicate." Some of the distinction that Bennis makes between leaders and managers are the following:

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Thus, leadership is innovative, creative and, above all else, proactive; effective leaders anticipate problems and opportunities, motivate and develop strategic responses and actively involve themselves in the implementation of action-oriented plans. In contrast, management is a reactive tool to whatever situations happen to crop up. When problems develop, these executives respond. When they pursue action, it's on familiar terrain or through time-tested strategies. The table below is better showing the differences which exist between the two concepts:

A Comparison of Management and Leadership

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Source: Ricketts, K – Leadership vs. management

Both management and leadership are essential for organizational success. For example, Northouse (2007) notes, if an organization has strong management without leadership, the outcome can be stifling and bureaucratic. Conversely, if an organization has strong leadership without management, the outcome can be meaningless or misdirected change for change's sake. To be effective, organizations need to nourish both competent management and skilled leadership. Thus, organizational effectiveness is dependent upon both capable leadership and sound management.

Traits and characteristics of leaders

Leaders aren’t born; they’re made – mostly self-made.


Researchers have investigated personal traits and specific behaviors associated with effective leaders. However, the research has not identified with certainty specific traits or behaviors applicable to all leaders or all situations.

The early trait studies attempted to identify physical characteristics, personality traits and abilities of people who were believed to be “natural leaders”. Hundreds of trait studies were conducted, but individual traits failed to correlate in a strong and consistent manner with leadership effectiveness. After researches began to consider better measures and to take into account the situation when searching for leaders traits, more relevant results were found.

Some personality traits found to be relevant for effectiveness are: energy level and stress tolerance, self confidence, internal control orientation, emotional maturity and integrity. To be successful, a leader also needs interpersonal, cognitive and technical skills, but the relative priority of these skills and the optimal mix of specific skills depend on the type of the organization, the level of management and the nature of the challenges that the leader is confronted with. Skills as persuasiveness, analytical ability, communication skills and memory for details are helping a leader to be successful in any situation. Other skills necessary to a leader are the ability to make decisions, to have the knowledge of the organization and its environment, skills in asserting oneself and persistence. A high level of emotional stability, which is related to confidence, and a high level of conscientiousness are beneficial to an effective leadership. Also, a high need for social power and affiliation relates to the motivation to inspire and benefit others, thus having a positive effect in efficient leading. Personal charisma is and will always be a positive characteristic for influencing people in any situation, including leadership.

There were done studies also on other personality characteristics, such as type A and Type B behavior and competitiveness. Both type A and B behaviors may be either helpful or provide an obstacle to effective leadership. For example type A leaders tend to be poor delegators, prefer to work alone and like to maintain control (Miller, Lack and Asroff, 1985) and are inclined to be demanding, setting high standards. Competitiveness may also be a detriment to leadership, because effective leaders are usually called upon to foster cooperation and collaboration.

Locus of control (the extent to which a person believes he/she is the master of what happens to him/her) was also addressed in some studies related to leadership. Individuals with an internal locus of control may be more likely to select innovative but risky strategies (Miller and Droge, 1986) and tend to be more proactive and future oriented (Miller, Kets, de Vries and Toulouse, 1982).

By studying the way in which an individual takes and process information, or the second and third dimension of personality according to Jung (1968), the research shows that the intuitive preference is consistent with the conceptualization and future orientation needed in establishing the vision by the leaders, and that those with a feeling preference in decision making find it easier to build the skills of empathy and persuasion.

Relevant competencies identified more recently include emotional and social intelligence, systematical thinking and the ability to learn and adapt to changes.

Intelligence is one of the abilities that most affects leadership. But it is not sufficient for a leader to be intelligent in order to be efficient. Researchers suggest that the concept of emotional intelligence, which focuses on interpersonal rather than cognitive abilities, may lead to leadership effectiveness. This term, of emotional intelligence, is used to describe an individual’s ability to excel in human interactions and researchers suggested that it can be increased by developing one’s self-knowledge, self-management, self-motivation and empathy (Davies, Stankov and Roberts, 1998).

A recent theory for understanding intelligence divides it into three related components: analytic intelligence, practical intelligence and creative intelligence. Most research shows that leaders possess higher levels of analytical intelligence than the general population, and that more intelligent leaders (smarter ones) seem to be better problem solvers and to profit more from experience. Practical intelligence, or one’s relevant job knowledge or experience, help leaders to solve better the problems when being under stress, while creative intelligence involves developing new and useful products and processes, creativity being extremely important to the success of the business. Creativity includes seven components – synthetic abilities, analytic intelligence, practical intelligence, thinking skills (to modify what already exist or completely start over with new solutions), relevant personality traits (lower prudence, higher openness to experience), intrinsic motivation and several environmental factors (supportive leadership, a lack of time pressure, team stability) – and understanding these components can give leaders ideas how to improve their own and their followers creativity.

Researchers are of the opinion that it is very important that leaders learn/know how to successfully stimulate and manage creativity, even more than being creative themselves. In a study on the leadership of innovation and creativity, Tierney, Farmer and Graen (1999) examined creativity among research and development employees at a large chemical firm. Leader behavior and leader-member exchange relationships were measured and found to be significantly correlated (in the range around 0.30) to the supervisor’s ratings of creativity, the number of invention disclosures submitted and intrinsic motivation. Along similar lines, Oldham and Cummings (1996) examined creativity using 171 employees at a manufacturing firm. The researchers found that supportive supervision was positively related to creativity assessed by supervisor creativity ratings, number of patent disclosures written and contributions to a suggestion program, especially when employees reported creativity-related personal characteristics. In another, more qualitative study, De Jong and Den Hartog (2007) interviewed 12 managers working for knowledge-intensive service firms, asking them to describe leadership behaviors that could stimulate or discourage employee idea generation and idea application behaviors. Using coding procedures to extract commonalities, as well as literature reviews, the authors developed a behavioral taxonomy for innovation leadership. Some 13 behaviors were identified including: innovative role-modeling, intellectual stimulation, organizing feedback, recognition, rewards and providing resources. All in all, these findings suggest a clear conclusion: leadership is important for employee creativity and the accompanying innovation process.

Part of a leader’s role in generating and implementing creative ideas is to evaluate the work of others and provide feedback (Mumford et al., 2002; Mumford, Eubanks & Murphy, 2007). The way in which this evaluative role is executed can indeed have an impact on the innovation process (Andrews & Gordon, 1970; Galluchi, Middleton & Kline, 2000; Zhou & Oldham, 2001). A strong body of work suggests that the leaders of creative efforts should provide adequate support for their followers (Guastello, 1995; McGourty, Tarshis & Dominick, 1996; Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Anderson & West, 1998; Bain, Mann & Pirola-Merlo, 2001; Ensor, Cottam & Band, 2001). Generally, three types of support seem indicated by the literature: (1) support for ideas, (2) support for the work, and (3) social support. In regard to idea support, Andrews and Gordon (1970) found that, when given too early, negative feedback can hinder scientific creativity. Similarly, Galluchi, Middleton and Kline (2000) found that premature criticism can lead creative people to withdraw. More specifically, this withdrawal occurs when ideas are in a formative stage. Given these findings, leaders should carefully schedule feedback delivery, especially during the early stages of development. Thus, leaders training should involve the enhancement of creative problem-solving skills and reshaping the common assumptions often held about creative work (Basadur & Huusdorf, 1996; Scott, Lertiz & Mumford, 2004): leaders must be able to recognize and respond appropriately to original ideas, as well as be able to provide a direction for their followers’ problem-solving activities.


Alina M ihaela Dima, Simona Vasilache, Simona Agoston,

Valentina Ghinea, Tanase Stamule

Literature review on leadership tendencies

The field of leadership — in theory and in practice — has been a fast-growing part of management knowledge since the beginning of the 20th century. In most conceptions of management and organization, leadership has a given and central place in enforcing principles, motivating employees and communicating future goals and visions to strive for. Leadership is assumed to make a special, significant and positive contribution to action processes in most organizations, and leadership studies as an academic field has thus been preoccupied with the never-ending task of identifying identities or practices related to successful leadership.

The field of leadership studies has traditionally been leader-centered, focused on the individual leaders and their traits, abilities and actions (Wood, 2005), placing the abstract phenomenon of ‘leadership’ into distinct individuals that are detached from their cultural context (Barker, 2001). This was a part of the developments in the management sciences during the early 20th century, in which the best leaders were to be identified and chosen out from their suitability and formal merits rather than from pre-modern bases such as kinship or charisma.

The problem was still to determine what constituted a suitable leader, and this question gave rise to a series of different theoretical schools (Parry and Bryman, 2006; Yukl, 2008). One stream of thought tried to identify personality traits that distinguished successful leaders from other people. Against this, others claimed that leadership was about interaction between leaders and followers, and that different interaction styles (e.g. characterized by concern for people) implied different consequences (Katz et al., 1950; Stogdill and Coons, 1957). Yet another stream of research advocated instead a situational perspective, according to which leaders are only effective if they adapt their style to the situation at hand; for example, very simple or very complicated situations are best handled through task-oriented leadership, while most other situations are better handled through socio-emotional leadership styles (Fiedler, 1967). The situational perspective became very influential, reflecting the increasing popularity of the contingency approach in organization theory, but it has also been subjected to recent criticism for focusing too much on the leader and not enough on the group interaction (Parry and Bryman, 2006).

In contemporary writings, the leader is described as a member of a group, albeit with specific possibilities to influence the group, and leadership is, consequently, a series of interaction processes where leaders inspire followers by creating common meaningful images of the future (Parry and Bryman, 2006; Smircich and Morgan, 1982).

Thus, in some situations, leadership is seen as a collaborative and collective responsibility where the responsibilities, competencies and decision-making need to be distributed onto several individuals rather than one (Huxham and Vangen, 2000). The resulting literatures contain several conceptualizations of such observations and arrangements, such as shared leadership, (Bradford and Cohen, 1998; Lambert, 2002; Pearce and Conger, 2003; Wilhelmsson, 2006), collaborative leadership (Collinson, 2007) and dispersed/distributed leadership (Crevani et al., 2007; Gronn, 2002, 2009; Lindgren and Packendorff, 2009; Parry and Bryman, 2006).

Academic vs business leadership

Although leadership in higher education has been borrowing both theory and practice since its inception from its father, business leadership, recently, it has been argued that the two of them are not as alike as we might have thought. For example, Choudaha (2011) states that there are at least three main differentiators between the two: the role of the institutional mission which impacts the style of leadership, the means of measuring success (quantitative vs. qualitative) and the role of governance, which is a shared responsibility and entails domain expertise for leading an educational institution. However, practice has taught us that there is at least one more thing which separates academic from business leadership. This is one issue with respect to academic leaders that has recently come to our attention, the fact that it is usually not an anticipated career path for many academics. As McClurken (2010) states: Rarely do people go into graduate school thinking ‘Gee, I can’t wait until I’m department chair.’

Due to the lack of provisions for the role of academic leader, many of those facing this challenge end up complaining that they have a poor understanding of their role, that this role is too demanding, complex and very stressful, have high administrative workloads, find little support, feel undervalued, are uncertain about the scope of their role and that they are ill-prepared for their new responsibilities (Ladyshewsky and Jones, 2007). From this we can derive another discrepancy between academic and business leadership: for most people, becoming a business leader is a life goal, an accomplishment, whereas for academia the role of academic leader has come to be regarded as a “career killer”, as the administrative demands that are associated with it hamper with the main activities of academia, teaching and research (Vikinas, 2009).

While much research has been undertaken on leadership in the management literature little work has been undertaken on Academic Leadership. Given the broad range of roles undertaken by academic leaders in universities today and the relatively small number of studies in the area, it is perhaps not surprising that Academic Leadership is poorly understood, under-theorised, and characterised by sometimes contradictory and often underdeveloped definitions.

However, the work of Ramsden et al. (2007), Bryman (2007), Scott et al. (2008) and most recently Vikinas (2009) provides a useful overview of Academic Leadership at all levels. Ramsden et al. (2007) identified four types of leadership in their study of teachers‘ perceptions of Departmental/School leadership (Transformational as defined by inspirational behavior and trust, Transactional as defined by setting clear goals and contingent rewards, Teacher/lecturer involvement, Collaborative management). Bryman‘s (2007) review identified 13 forms of leadership behaviour at the departmental level and described some additional behaviors such as being a role model, advancing the department‘s cause, providing resources, and participating in academic appointments.

Scott et al. (2008) reported that for most leadership levels the focus was on policy formation, managing relationships, working with challenging staff, involvement in various aspects of planning, and attending meetings. The study of Vikinas (2009) was to enhance the quality and effectiveness of programs by developing the leadership capacity of Academic Coordinators as being the front-line managers in universities, the linking pin (Likert, 1961) between the School/Department and the students. In order to achieve this goal, the study identified the key leadership skills and abilities required for effective coordination of programs and developed frameworks and resources for professional development of Academic Coordinators. Main conclusions of studies reflect that effective leadership in complex environments (such as institutions of higher education) requires complex behaviour including competence in a number of roles and the capacity to move effectively between them. They must be able to perform a broad range of competing roles and functions – developing, innovating, brokering, delivering, and monitoring. Added to these five operational roles, there is a sixth role that will facilitate their effectiveness at the academic level called integrator (a fit between context and behaviour) meaning the capacity of Academic Coordinators and Leaders to be both critical observers and reflective learners (Vilkinas and Cartan, 2001, 2006).

Undoubtedly, the role of Leaders and Academic Coordinators is complex and they need to employ a range of strategies: carring for the teaching staff and dealing with their personal development (Developer role) whilst at the same time demanding that the student completes their assignments (Deliverer role); finding the balance between liberty and regulation, and autonomy and restraint and observing performance (Monitoring role); between creativity and criticism (Innovator role) as well as finding resources and developing networks inside and outside university (Broker role).

Research methodology

Fundamental to the strategy of science is the formulation and testing of hypotheses about populations or the effects of experimental conditions on criterion variables (Ho, 2006). For that reason the first step undertaken within this study was the identification of the research hypotheses. The research hypotheses were deducted from the theory. Thus:

H1: Research competence exerts the strongest influence on the perceived capabilities in the field of academic leadership.

H2: The endowment of a strong vision is positively correlated with the perceived capabilities in the field of academic leadership.

H3: All the four leadership scales are positively correlated with the perceived capabilities in the field of academic leadership.

In order to test the aforementioned hypotheses during the academic year 2010/2011 there have been conducted structured interviews within a master programme offered by the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, the largest and most prestigious economic and business school from Romania. There were interviewed the Master Director and 15 professors (teaching staff within the Master programme). The majority of the respondents were represented by females and their average age is 56 years.

The qualitative results obtained from the structured interviews were translated into quantitative data, using the Likert scale. For the left-hand side of the model, namely the selfevaluation, a seven-point Likert scale (from 1 – totally disagree to 7 – totally agree) was used in order to give the respondents a larger leeway, given the very subjective nature of the self assessment process. For the right-hand side of the model, namely the evaluation by the subordinates, the more common five-point Likert scale (from 1 – never to 5 – always) was used (the five-level Likert scale is convenient because it encourages respondents to use all of the five levels) (Field, 2005).

The main limits of research consist in the fact that the research population represents a convenient sample, which do not offer representativeness to the research results. In a next stage, the structured interviews could be administrated to a larger number of leaders and their subordinates and a transversal approach, instead of a longitudinal one, should be deployed.

Structural equation model of academic leadership

The paper adapts and tests in the academia a structural equation model of leadership used by Spreitzer et al. (1999), employed on Fortune 500 organizations. The hypothesized model takes into account, on the one hand, the self-assessment done by the leader (the left-hand side of the model), and, on the other, the assessment done by the subordinates (the right-hand side of the model).

Considering the academic context, and relevant literature, we have proposed, for the left-hand side, four components of academic leadership: research competence, education competence, administrative competence, and vision. Competence is a component of leadership in general (House, 1977), and should be recognized as such in academic practice. We have split competence according to the three traditional components of the academic environment, keeping in mind that they are not independent. According to Starkey and Tiratsoo (2007) “forty years ago running a business school was something a senior Professor might well take as a matter of duty before retirement. Nowadays, Deans almost constitute a profession in their own-right, a cohort with unique and specialist skills […]. Deans may be likened to sports coaches: hired to improve performance, fired at will, but with one eye always on building their own careers.” Vision was included also as a traditional component of leadership (Hanna, 2003).

The four items corresponding to the four components – a) do you characterize youself as performing outstanding research?/ b) are your teaching skills adequate?/ c) do you perform an effective administrative job?/ d) do you consider that you have a strong vision? – were evaluated on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 – totally disagree to 7 – totally agree. The Cronbach Alpha for these items was 0.72, a value which we considered acceptable for the analysis.

We preserved the right-hand side of the model as close as possible to the four leadership scales used in business, namely influence, innovation, inspiration, and monitoring. The measures for influence were ingratiation, reasoning, and assertiveness (Thacker and Wayne, 1995; for an analysis focused on academic career advancement, see Zin et al., 2011). Ingratiation refers mainly to relationship with the leader’s superiors. The issue assigned to ingratiation was: “does the manager show a strong and fair relationship with superiors?” The issue assigned to reasoning was: “does the manager support his/ her choices by data gathering, analysing, discussing?” The issue assigned to assertiveness was: “does the manager show directness in his/ her actions?” All the items were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 – never, to 5 – always.

The measures for innovation were set by adapting the scale proposed by Choi and Price (2005): stimulation, assessment, and implementation. The issue assigned to stimulation was: “does the manager stimulate the employees’ creativity?” The issue assigned to assessment was “does the manager identify innovative ideas?” The issue assigned to implementation was “does the manager actively support the implementation of innovations?” All the items were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 – never, to 5 – always.

The measures for inspiration were adapted from Gardner and Avolio’s (1998) theatrical perspective on charismatic leadership. The two researchers speak about framing, scripting, staging and performing. The issue assigned to framing in the semi-structured interviews was: “does the manager set the desired meaning in organizational communication?” The issue assigned to scripting was: “does the manager develop a set of directions, as well as sketch the expected behaviors?” The issue assigned to staging was: “does the manager have an energetic and inspirational presence?” The issue assigned to performing was: “does the manager appear competent and determined?” All the items were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 – never, to 5 – always.

The measures for monitoring were set by adapting Dennison et al. (1995) scale, as follows: structure control, process control, detection, feedback. The issue assigned to structure control was: “does the manager check compliance with rules and procedures?” The issue assigned to process control was: “does the manager exert logistic control?” The issue assigned to detection was: “does the manager record errors and discrepancies?” The issue assigned to feedback was: “does the manager share findings with employees?” All the items were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 – never, to 5 – always. The Cronbach Alpha for these items of the right-hand side of the model was 0.69, a value which we considered suitable for the analysis, as the responses may be treated as consistent.

The descriptive statistics and correlations for the considered items are presented in Table 1 below:

Table 1. Descriptive statistics and correlations of constructs

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For these correlations, AGFI = 0.79, which is below 0.9, CFI = 0.87, which is also below 0.9, RMR = 0.052, slightly above the 0.05 threshold, which is due to the smallness of the sample. The strongest correlation between two perceived leadership items is between influence and inspiration (r = 0.69). Otherwise, the correlations are rather moderate. Due to the complex and fuzzy nature of the concept of academic leadership, the multicollinearity between the two variables, influence and inspiration, is considered not to affect the research outcome.

The model was further tested using LISREL. The input was represented by a covariance matrix. The result of the structural equation modeling is presented in Figure 1 below:

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Figure 1. SEM of Academic Leadership

The component (measured within the self assessment process) which exerts the most important influence on the perceived skills of academic leaders is the research competence (0.71), followed by vision (0.63) and educational competence (0.49) and administrative competence (0.46) which exhibit similar values. These results are consistent with the conclusions drawn from the literature review, where it is stated that becoming an academic leader does not represent in most of the cases an objective by itself, but a consequence of outstanding research results and skills, which are endorsed by a strong vision and further educational and administrative skills. The large weight of the research competence may be also a consequence of the fact that the analysis was conducted within the framework of Master program, where the research dimension might have an above-average importance.

The subordinates’ perceptions of leadership were positively correlated with all the four components (influence: ß11 = 0.52, p <0.001; innovation: ß21 = 0.38, p < 0.001; inspiration: ß31 = 0.41, p< 0.001; monitoring: ß41 = 0.47, p < 0.001). While, for the business environment, monitoring is not as significant, for the academic leadership it seems to be of importance. Therefore, we can conclude that all the three research hypotheses were confirmed.


The perception of leadership in universities has changed, over the last decades, as universities evolved from communities of equals, to entities having stakeholders, and from peer evaluation to external accountability. The traditional view of universities, associated with their prominent social role (Readings, 1996; Kumar, 1997) declined, and left in place the rules of the audit society (Power, 1997). New pressures – new technologies, competition for students, corporate universities, a need for a better fit with labor market demands – reposition continuously the university. We are witnessing the age of the “academic capitalism” (Kirp, 2003). The existing model of university is not only challenged in time – present vs. past, but also in space, as developing countries are creating their own competitive higher education systems, as a response to the Western supremacy (Marginson, 2007). A need for business-like rigor, in a field of consensual freedom, is deemed necessary. The immaterial values universities produce need to be measured, and the role ambiguity of the university, considering emerging concepts as the third mission, managerialism, marketization, has to be solved by effective leadership.

The present paper puts forth a Structural Equation Model for Academic Leadership which was deducted from the theory and tested within one Masters Programme in the most prominent School for Economics and Business from Romania. Considering the models’ parameters, it can be stated that all three research hypotheses were confirmed.

Considering the self-perceived traits of leaders, academic credibility, as a result of research competence, is highly valued, followed by the endowment of a strong vision. Educational and administrative abilities have closer, significantly lower, scores. The experience of previous leadership positions, as part of administrative competence, is also valued. With respect to the right-hand side of the model, one can note that within the academic leadership process, the dimensions “influence” and “monitoring” play the most important role, followed by “inspiration” and innovation” which feature lower similar scores.

The proposed model can be improved and expanded by including new dimensions both on its left- and right-hand side and by testing it in a larger sample, which would also confer more relevance and representativeness to the research outcomes.


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Alina Mihaela Dima

Culture and leadership

The leader does not just get the message across. The leader is the message .


Increasing globalization of organizations makes it more important to learn about effective leadership in different cultures. Leaders are increasingly confronted with the need to influence people from other cultures and successful influence requires a good understanding of these cultures. Leaders must also be able to understand how people from different cultures view them and interpret their actions, because some aspects of a leadership behavior may be relevant to all cultures but other aspects may apply only to a particular type of culture.

Cultural values and traditions can influence the attitudes and behavior of managers in a number of different ways (Adler, 1997; Fu and Yukl, 2000; House, 1997; Lord and Maher, 1991). The values are likely to be internalized by managers who grow up in a particular culture and these values will influence their attitudes and behavior in ways that may not be conscious. In addition, cultural values are reflected in societal norms about the way people relate to each other. Cultural norms specify acceptable forms of leadership behavior and in some cases may be formalized in societal laws limiting the use of power to influence the decisions and actions of others. Most managers will conform to these societal norms because a deviation from them may result in diminished respect and social pressure from other members of the organization.

Leadership behavior is influenced by other situational variables beside national culture (Bass, 1990; House, 1997). Some examples include characteristics of the organization (type, size, culture and climate) and characteristics of the managerial position (level and function, power, authority). The cultural and non-cultural determinants of behavior are not always congruent – some situational variables may have parallel effects across national cultures, but other situational variables may interact with national culture in complex ways.

The studies made on cultural differences in leadership are both quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative analysis tries to determine whether a type of behavior is used more frequently in one country than in another while the qualitative analysis is focused on identifying differences in the type of behavior in different countries. Thus, Dorfman et al found in 1997 that directive leadership was related to organizational commitment in Mexico and Taiwan, but not in US, South Korea or Japan; all five countries found supportive leadership to be related to the employees’ satisfaction with the manager, but cross-cultural differences were found for the relation of supportive leadership to subordinate performance and organizational commitment; in US the participative leadership was related to subordinate performance but not in the other countries.



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Title: Leadership challenges and ways into the labour market in Romania