The Relationship of Self-Perceived Leadership Style and Acculturation of Latinas in the U.S. Army

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2004-11-04

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Title of dissertation: THE RELATIONSHIP OF SELF-PERCEIVED LEADERSHIP STYLE AND ACCULTURATION OF LATINAS IN THE U.S. ARMY.

Irene M. Zoppi, Doctor of Philosophy, 2004

Dissertation directed by: Professor Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr. Department of Counseling and Personnel Services

The purpose of this research study was to examine the relationship of self-perceived leadership, acculturation and individualistic/collectivistic behaviors in Latino women leaders. Using a canonical correlational design, the study aimed at investigating how acculturation and individualistic/collectivistic behaviors relate to leadership of 524 Latina U.S. Army active duty officers with a participation rate of 72%. The study used a quantitative, descriptive, and exploratory research approach to answer the following research questions: What are Latino women's self-perceptions of their leadership style? How does acculturation relate to leadership? What is the relationship between acculturation and Latino women's self-perceptions of their leadership style? What is the relationship of individualism/collectivism on the relationship between leadership and acculturation? How does individualism and collectivism relate to Latino women's self-perceptions of their leadership style? Correlational and t-test analyses were performed to compare the study's findings with those reported in previous research based on samples drawn from the MLQ. Correlation coefficients were computed to examine the relationship among demographic, leadership, acculturation, and individualism/collectivism variables. A canonical correlation was used to investigate the relationship between the set of variables of leadership and acculturation, acculturation and individualism/collectivism. Results indicated that the factor structure of the scales previously reported from Anglo cultures did fit the data from the Latina sample. These Latina officers, however, reported higher levels of transformational and lower levels of transactional leadership than normative samples. Significant canonical correlations were found among the variables under investigation that showed two types of canonical roots: Latina Collectivist and Active Transformational Leadership and Marginalized Individualistic and Passive Transactional Leadership. The Latina Collectivist and Active Transformational Leadership root was composed of the following variables: Latino Orientation, Horizontal and Vertical Collectivism, Idealized Influence (Behavior), Inspirational Motivation, Contingent Reward, Idealized Consideration, Intellectual Stimulation, Idealized Influence (Attributed), Laissez-Faire Leadership, and Management-by-Exception (Active). The Marginalized Individualistic and Passive Transactional Leadership root was composed of the following variables: Anglo Marginality, Latino Marginality, Latino/Hispanic Marginality, Horizontal and Vertical Individualism, Laissez-Faire Leadership, Intellectual Stimulation, Management-by-Exception (Active) and Management-by-Exception (Passive). Findings confirm Bass and Avolio (2004) contention that collectivist cultures nurture transformational leadership. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research were discussed.

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