Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Cultural values impact conceptions of good leadership, explaining why some Western-oriented leadership strategies appear to fail in Confucian contexts. To better understand how cultural values influence the process of leadership, the Vannsimpco Leadership survey was given to 291 Korean faculty members at a university in South Korea, along with 168 faculty members from an American university who served as a comparison group. Following the collection of 95 surveys (48 from Korean faculty and 47 from American faculty), factor analysis was used to evaluate respondents’ perceptions of leadership. Results suggested that Confucian values do indeed influence conceptions of leadership. As for Korean faculty, the ideal leader was envisioned as a person who relies on positional authority to make decisions, assign tasks, and promote good morale. Korean faculty also preferred more autocratic leadership strategies than their American counterparts. Collective analysis of findings suggests that transformational and democratic leadership strategies may be adapted in a South Korean context, yet these leadership styles must maintain some autocratic norms and positional authority mandated by Confucian ethical values.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.