Transformational Leadership in a Chinese Restaurant

  • Uncategorized


TransformationalLeadership in a Chinese Restaurant

Tableof Contents

Parameters of the Research 3

Problem description 3

Methodology 3

Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations 4

1.1 Background Information 5

1.2 Leadership Styles 6

1.3 Gender and Leadership 8

1.4 Women in Leadership 9

1.5 Statement of the Problem 9

Chapter 2: Methodology 11

Chapter 3: Findings 12

Chapter 4: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations 14

4.1 Discussion 14

4.2 Conclusion 14

4.3 Recommendations 15

References 16


Parametersof the Research

Theresearch aims at exemplifying the transformational management styleused by managers in a Chinese restaurant and other types of stylesthat influence the behavior of employees within the restaurant. Thegeneral manager applied transformational leadership style while linemanagers often shifted to transactional and laissez-faire leadershipstyles when faced with different situations. Therefore, the studyemploys factors related to these management styles to gather datawhich is significant in gauging their satisfaction levels ofemployees.


Chineserestaurants are prone to gender discrimination hence the researchwill help in determining the management style used by men and womenin management positions within the spicy food Chinese restaurant.Discrimination emerges from various beliefs and practices hencedetermining their impacts would be imperative for improving variousoperations within the organization. Additionally, discriminationinhibits the positive contributions from the employees since theydevelop irresponsible behavior and negative attitudes towards themanagement. Therefore, findings of the management style of differentleaders in the restaurant will be a milestone towards attracting andretaining a diverse workforce and guide the current managers on waysof becoming outstanding leaders.


Randomsampling method was used to sample various managers and employeesfrom the restaurant to enable collection of vital information aboutmanagement styles used within the organization. Data was collectedthrough interviewing by use of questionnaires whereby 18questionnaires were distributed among the sampled employees andmanagers to measure at least seven factors that influenced the typeof leadership style that managers applied. Finally, the analysis ofdata was carried out using the SPSS software while tables,percentages, mean and chi-square analyzes were used to therelationship between data collected on different factors.

Findings,Conclusion and Recommendations

Consequently,interesting findings came up from the study showing that women in themanagement positions performed well in 3 factors that includedidealized influence, management by exception and contingent reward.However, the research did not produce any significant findings of menin the leadership position. There seemed to be a preference of womenleaders since they effectively communicated to employees and engagedthem in decision making while men leaders were more aligned todictatorial style of management. Therefore, establishing anenvironment in which employees can air their grievances andparticipate in decision making is significant because it gives them asense of belonging and self-worth. Ultimately, cultivating a two-waycommunication mechanism improves understanding between leaders andtheir followers improving the quality of services delivered sincegaps are identified as they emerge and solutions craftedsystematically eliminating inefficiencies. Finally, the researchrecommends that restaurant managers in the hospitality industryshould be trained in leadership styles to enable them understandvarious issues that influence the performance in an organization.Therefore, incorporating leadership training in the curriculum ofvarious hospitality training institutions will help in earlydevelopment of key leadership traits that are necessary in themanagement positions.

Chapter1: Introduction

1.1Background Information

Globally,various changes have been taking place in the workforce oforganizations with women penetrating into male dominated leadershippositions over time. This paradigm shift has led to new styles ofmanagement whereby women leadership assumes characteristics such asemployee empowerment, caring and charismatic. However, variouschallenges have been experienced during these shifts that includeinadequate resources, discrimination against the female gender inleadership positions, exclusion from decision-making andstereotyping. Therefore, organizations will reap significant rewardswhen they appreciate the current increase in the number of the femaleworkforce by utilizing their skills and talents towards attaining acompetitive edge over the competitors (Jackson,2004).

Chineserestaurants have been experiencing high turnover rates among managersin the hospitality industry hence developing mechanisms forattracting and retaining women managers will improve operationswithin the restaurants immensely. In China, food service industryemployed approximately 2.6 million males in the workforce out ofwhich about 0.7 million occupied the managerial positions in the year1999. On the contrary, the number of females in the workforce wasapproximately 3.5 million out of which about 0.5 million heldmanagerial and supervisory positions. Despite taking the leastpositions in management, female workforce also earned less comparedto their male counterparts in the management positions. Therefore,women face immense challenges compared to men in managementpositions, and these hurdles influence the type of management stylethey employ to run various operations within the hospitalityindustry.

1.2Leadership Styles

Leadershipstyles vary depending on the leader, follower and the environment inwhich they conduct their daily activities whereby differentorganizations acquire different leadership styles. Additionally, thetype of leadership style applied in a restaurant setting isinfluenced by factors such as gender, age, and personality. Theresearch mainly focuses on transformational leadership style commonlyapplied in a Chinese restaurant to identify various gaps that existand factors that influence the management style. Transformationalleadership focuses on ethics, standards, values, long-term goals,emotions and entails evaluating the satisfaction level of followers,their motives and treating them with dignity. On the other hand,Transactional leadership involves exchanging valuable things betweenleaders and followers to improve their welfare.

Accordingto Northouse, transformational leaders motivate their followers invarious ways that include satisfying their high-level needs, raisingtheir level of consciousness and dedicating themselves towardsaccomplishing the goals of the organization. Northouse developedvarious factors that are subgroups of transformational, laissez-faireand transactional leadership styles. These factors outlinecharacteristics of different leadership styles whereby factor 1-4characterizes a transformational leader while factor 5-6 depicts atransactional leader. Finally, the characteristic of a laissez-faireleader is brought forward by factor 7. First, Factor 1 represents thecharacteristic of idealized influence which depicts a charismaticleader emulated by followers as their role model. Charismatic leadersuphold high moral values and create a clear vision and mission fortheir followers who highly respect them. Next, factor 2 entails thecharacteristic of inspirational motivation whereby leaders inspireand motivates their followers through clear communication of theirexpectations. Additionally, they cultivate teamwork in the workplaceand provide social support to employees to enable them to placeorganizational interests before their self-interests (Northouse,2004).

Moreover,factor 3 involves intellectual stimulation whereby followers areencouraged to be authentic and creative in problem solving anddecision making. Therefore, leaders assign their followerschallenging tasks to encourage them to become open minded indeveloping solutions for overcoming their belief systems.Furthermore, factor 4 represents individualized consideration wherebyleaders treat their followers in a special way providing a supportiveenvironment that nurtures the potential of employees. On the otherhand, contingent reward and management by exception arecharacteristics of transactional leadership style represented byfactor 5 and six respectively whereby contingent reward entails theexchange of valuable items between leaders and followers. Managementby exception is characterized by negative feedback, correctivecriticism and negative reinforcement whereby leaders can either beactively or passively engaged. Leaders actively involved inmanagement by exception lay much emphasis on mistakes conducted bytheir followers so that they can take corrective action while passiveleaders only act after a problem has occurred. Finally, laissez-faireleadership style is represented by factor 7 and is characterized by aleader who leaves employees to make their decision and does notprovide feedback to the employees limiting development in theirfollowers.

Transformationalleadership focuses on nurturing and empowering employees throughcreating and developing a change in the organization. Leaders craftand communicate a common vision that is shared with their followersand spearhead the process by acting as role models during the processof change. Women leaders tend to have the majority of theseleadership traits although the issue of gender is hardly articulatedduring studies about transformational leadership (Adizes, 2004).

1.3Gender and Leadership

Researchersfrom the field of management have developed various theoriesregarding gender and leadership roles whereby they have explainedvarious ways in which the society affects gender and leadershiproles. According to the theory of social roles, women performdifferent roles from men that influence their behavior hence tend toacquire skills and resources related to the requirements of theseroles. The society assigns domestic roles to women while men aregiven the role of breadwinners enabling them to participate more inthe organizations whereby they get the opportunity to leadershippositions. Also, other researchers have shown that men tend toacquire more power and high status in the society compared to womenfurther illustrating the challenges that women overcome as they tryto engage themselves in management functions in an organization.

Next,the theory of status characteristics suggests that members oftask-oriented group determine the performance of other memberswhereby their expectations are based on the past performance of anindividual and their aspects of demography namely race, level ofeducation and sex. The theory highly regards male leaders andsuggests that they ought to be accorded more respect and honor thantheir female counterparts which impacts adversely the style ofmanagement a leader employs and also determines the availability ofleadership opportunities for men and women. Therefore, these theoriescreate an explicit understanding the perceptions and expectationssurrounding gender and leadership thereby helping linktransformational leadership and gender. Men are perceived as beingdaring, assertive, competitive while women are perceived as beingcharacterized by aspects such as supportive, soft, tactful,affectionate and kind (Karsten,1994).

1.4Women in Leadership

Accordingto a study conducted by Northouse about women in managementpositions, women defeated men in various fields that wereinvestigated such as adaptation to change, productivity, employeemotivation, work quality, and conflict resolution. Moreover, womenperformed better than men in social skills and improved theireffectiveness as they realized higher management positions where morecooperation was required. Currently, most organizations desirecooperative leadership that is imperative towards utilizing thepotential of human resource in an organization well. However, womenface structural barriers that are perceived to be inborn inorganizations inhibiting women from developing the right behaviorsrequired to rise beyond a certain level. These barriers includementoring, unequal pay, personal support, cultural stressors andtokenism where women find it difficult balancing between requirementsin their career and family needs. Therefore, women ought to make achoice between their careers and family whereby they decide to bemore involved in their families (Northouse,2004).

1.5Statement of the Problem

Theresearch focuses on the management style used in Chinese restaurantwhereby different leaders in different management positions apply thevarious style that influence employees in different ways. Datacollection will be conducted through interviewing and by use ofquestionnaires whereby managers and employees in the restaurant willprovide in-depth information about different management styles thatare being applied in the restaurant. The study of management styleswithin the restaurant is significant in determining gender baseddiscrimination that is rife in management positions as women areexcluded in the decision-making process. Discrimination inhibits theability of employees and women leaders in raising their contributionshence recognizing various beliefs and practices that affect theparticipation of these groups will be a milestone towards improvingthe organization. Consequently, discrimination affects their behaviorthat influences their leadership styles and affects their ability toutilize their unique talents towards benefiting the organization.Therefore, the findings from the research will inform theorganization of the significance of a diverse workforce and enlightenmanagers on the importance of becoming better leaders. Finally, thestudy will also illustrate the importance of improving theemployee-manager relationship by maintaining a motivated andsatisfied workforce that have a positive impact on customers and thebusiness at large (Jackson,2004).

Chapter2: Methodology

Theresearch was conducted in a spicy food Chinese restaurant whereby 18respondents were chosen through random sampling to help in gatheringinformation about various management styles within the restaurant.The sample population comprised of 8 employees and ten managers andprovided different views about the management of the restaurant. Halfthe number of each group used in the research comprised of male andfemale genders so that uniform information could be collected aboutvarious factors influencing the type of management style.

Subsequently,data collection was carried out by interviewing using questionnaireswhereby questionnaires were administered to the respondents, and theywere guided in filling various fields about characteristics ofleaders within the restaurant. Also, secondary data was collectedthrough review of published materials to gain a better understandingof the topic which led to more valid findings at the end of thestudy. Finally, data was analyzed through SPSS software while variouspercentages and mean were calculated to provide more meaningfulinformation that could help in decision making. Furthermore, tablesand chi-square analyzes were used to show the relationship betweendifferent factors that were being studied during the research.

However,various limitations were experienced during data collection thatincluded difficulties in collecting data from managers due to theirbusy schedules that made them hardly fill questionnaires. Secondly,high employee turnover rate affected the response rate that was lowerthan expected and could be attributed to dissatisfaction amongemployees who felt management was not providing a friendlyenvironment for the development of their skills.

Chapter3: Findings

Atotal number of 18 questionnaires were administered to 18 respondentswho included employees and managers in different managementpositions. Out of these, 15 questionnaires were completed andreturned while three questionnaires could not be traced. Next,questionnaires were analyzed and showed that 65% of the responsescame from the female workforce especially in management positionswhile male respondents did not return all the questionnaires.Additionally, most respondents belonged to the age group of 25 to 34years while a few respondents constituted age group of 35 to 44 yearshence different productive age groups were well represented in thestudy. Respondents with the highest level of education had acquired abachelor’s degree representing about 74.5% while the least educatedrespondent had certificate level education from a technical collegerepresenting about 25.5%. Questionnaires were also distributed basedon various management positions that included general manager,assistant general managers, managers, chefs and waiters/waitress.

Dataanalysis through tabulations and Chi-square for Factor 1 representingidealized influence that tested the behavior of management towardsemployees showed that females were better than males since theyscored higher than males. About 11 (70%) respondents gave women ahigh score on high level idealized influence while men were scored alittle in the moderate level idealized influence. Furthermore,analysis via Chi-square also showed great disparities in gender,whereby women scored higher than men.

Onthe other hand, results for Factor 2 representing inspirationalmotivation showed more male representation at 26% (4) than women whoscored 13% (2) at the moderate level. However, women scored 53% (8)at high-level inspiration motivation while men scored 6% (1) at thislevel.

Resultson factor 3 which represented intellectual stimulation showed morescores for male 60 % at high-level intellectual stimulation thanfemales who scored 26% (4). However, women scored more than men inmoderate level intellectual stimulation that were about 13% (2). Theanalysis via Chi-square showed significant statistical differencesbetween male and females in regards to intellectual stimulation.

Moreover,findings on factor 4 which represented individual considerationshowed higher scores for female managers at moderate level 17% (2)and high level 78 % (12) individual considerations. Similar resultswere realized for factor 5 which represented contingent rewardwhereby female managers scored higher than male managers athigh-level contingent reward whereby the scores were about 73.3%(11)and 26.7%(4) respectively.

Finally,female managers scored higher than male managers in factor 6 whichrepresented management by exception whereby at the high level, theyscored 68% (10) while male managers scored 13% (2). These resultswere reversed in factor 7 which represented laissez-faire whereby menscored higher at the high level than females although Chi-squareanalysis did not produce any statistically significant differences.

Chapter4: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations4.1Discussion

Findingsfrom this research support the literature review acquired fromsecondary sources that suggested that transformational leaders havecertain traits that are represented by at least four factors fromNorthouse’s study. The research produced similar findings wherebyfemale restaurant managers were outstanding in the four factors thatdistinguish transformational leaders. Notably, transformationalleaders act as role models to their followers nurturing andempowering them, which were key things valued by women managers inthe Chinese restaurant. Evidently, female restaurant managersmotivated their follows, cared for them and developed high levels oftrust as they encouraged a two-way communication, which were traitscommon in factors one, three and four. However, males scored high onfactor number three about intellectual stimulation which entailsbeing creative in problem-solving and challenging existing belief andpractice system. The findings were contrary to literature fromNorthouse research that suggested that female managers wereoutstanding in generating new ideas and problem solving. Women alsoperformed well on factors five and six as compared to men since thesefactors involve transactional leadership that further proved thepoint that women are transformational leaders.


Fromthe aforementioned, it is evident that gender influences theleadership style employed in an organization whereby restaurantmanagers realize different performances when ranked on the sevenfactors of leadership depending on whether they are either men orwomen. Moreover, women scored more on the three factors oftransformational leadership style showing that they have thepotential of initiating successful changes in the restaurant that canimprove the performance of the Chinese restaurant. Finally, theavailability of a clear communication mechanism coupled with a goodworking environment that nurtures and develops employees’ skills,are paramount towards attaining successful restaurant managementstyle.


Restaurantmanagers in the hospitality industry ought to be trained in variousleadership styles to help them determine their weaknesses andstrengths so that they can improve on their weaknesses. As a matterof fact, the knowledge acquired would be significant in improvingtheir relationship with their followers since they would recognizethe various skills they ought to develop as leaders. Ultimately,incorporating various leadership styles in the curriculum fortraining restaurant managers will be a milestone towardsunderstanding an improving management in the hospitality industries(Martin &amp Oakley, 2008).


Adizes,I. K. (2004). Management/MismanagementStyles: How to identify a style and what to do about it.Santa Barbara, Calif: Adizes Institute.

Jackson,F. (2004). Recruitment,retention, reward: Employing a diverse workforce.Retrieved September 24, 2004,

Karsten,M. (1994). Managementand gender issues and attitudes.Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Martin,J., &amp Oakley, C. (2008). Managingchild nutrition programs: Leadership for excellence.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Northouse,P. (2004). LeadershipTheory and practice(third edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Close Menu