A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF PSYCHOSOCIAL CORRELATES OF LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS IN THAI AND AMERICAN BANKS
 
Sorod, B. O., National Research Council of Thailand, Thailand
 
Fiedler's (1967) Contingency Model of Leadership proposed that leadership effectiveness depended on the interaction between leader characteristics and the leader's control of the situation. Later, Fiedler's Cognitive Resource Theory (Fiedler & Garcia, 1987) indicated that under high stress, performance negatively correlated with intelligence; whereas under low stress, performance negatively correlated with experience. In Thailand, Bhanthumnavin (1983, 1988) presented Psychological Theory of Moral and Work Behaviors suggesting that performance could be differentiated by the degrees of 8 psychological characteristics one possessed. The first 3 basic characteristics were similar to those specified in the Cognitive Resource Theory: intelligence, experience, and mental health. The other 5 psychological characteristics were positive work attitudes, moral reasoning ability, belief in internal locus of control, future-orientation and self- control, and achievement motivation. The present study was conducted cross- culturally to examine whether the 10 variables mentioned above correlated with the performance of Thai and American leaders, and which variable(s) would be the best predictor(s) of performance. Data were collected from 607 Thai and 97 American bank managers and assistant managers. Results indicated support for Psychological Theory of Moral and Work Behaviors. Among those characteristics, achievement motivation was the best predictor of performance. The Contingency Model was supported in a group of Thai leaders who possessed a high level of the 5 psychological characteristics combined. No effect of stress was found on the use of the 2 Cognitive Resources, experience and intelligence. However, differences between cultures and among within Thai culture were discovered.