Influence of cultural values on peoples behaviour

During the War of Independence, Turkish people combated for conciliation, welfare and communal enlargement. Many people faced with death of relatives and injuries between the years of 1911 and 1922. Variety of communities such as the Balkans, North Africa, Russian, and Mesopotamia were influenced by the external or internal powers and the final Ottoman scramble ( Shorter, 1985). Turkish state was struggling with the allied powers for partition schemes in World War I ( Alaranta, 2008). After the war, Turkish state reconstructed and declared its independence. As a result, the republic of Turkey was found in 1923.

Cultural values:

Cultural values influence people’s behaviour and the way they perceive the world. According to Granato, Inglehart, and Leblang ( 1996) culture means a common value that the members of a society shape their behaviour accordingly. The value system can be altered by different societies. For instance, pre-industrial societies are shaped by religion, and it is hard to change their previous cultural values. On the other hand, in the most industrialized societies, rationalism takes place and change can occur immediately (Granato,Inglehart, and Leblang, 1996). Additionally, culture has a critical impact on managerial practices, and employees’ motivation. When Turkey is considered, it can be seen that paternalism is one of the unique cultural values and style of leadership dimensions ( Aycan, 2000).

Paternalism is occurred when the employers concern about their employees in-the-job activities as well as off-the-job activities. Paternalistic leaders care and try to improve the employees welfare and guide for accomplishing their goals ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2006). There is one factor which is associated with paternalism is called assertiveness. Accordinng to Pelligrini and Scandura ( 2006), assertiveness focuses on competition and success versus social and emotional relations with other people. It was found that Turkey does not have high levels of assertiveness when it compared with US ( Pelligrini &Scandura, 2006). The underlying reason is receiving and experiencing positive feelings from subordinates is important for Turkish leaders. They want to establish close relations, and try to prevent any situation that would end up with a conflict between subordinates and supervisors.

Collectivism is another unique feature of Turkish culture. In collectivist cultures, individuals are supported and rewarded when their behaviours are collectivist ( Aycan, 2000). Collectivist cultures have a strong power on individuals’ identities which are constructed by the group they are connected. On the other hand, individualistic cultures, individuals are the ones that the manipulate their identities according to their personal values and beliefs ( Aycan, 2006). When the Turkish culture was examined, it was found that religion is another factor for collectivist behaviours. People who live in Turkey are 98% Muslim ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2006). In Islamic faith, collectivism is highly supported and the idea of brotherhood results holding the group that individuals belong in. As a result, collectivism is one of the highly encouraged values of Turkish society.

Employee of Public Sector Selection

Government Selection will be clarified as having a job in public sectors requires different specifications when it compares with private sectors.

Individuals in Turkey who want to work in government have to pass an exam called Kamu Personeli Seçme Sınavı (KPSS). Mathematical, Turkish, foreign language abilities and general knowledge are tested in this exam. Individuals who get satisfactory grades also need to acquire some features. Being a Turkish citizen, being eighteen years old; do not have official crime history, for male applicants passed military service, get a medical report from a military hospital, and do not have previous government dismissal are some of necessities of government selection. KPSS has two types; those who are graduated from four-year University and those who are graduated from two-year University (college). After KPSS results are published, applicants get a form for filling their preference of where they want to work. KPSS results and preferences of applicants are evaluated. After a while employment placement will be announced. This process is made in certain times and governmental units inform applicants when they need employees. Since public sectors have rigid rules to follow up, government is less paternalistic than private sectors. Private sectors have a power to behave in a father manner to its employees. However, public sectors have to behave in a same way to all employees and it is not expected to behave like a father. (Differences will be clarified detailed).

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As a result, this study will investigate basic constructs of Turkish workplace unique properties; paternalistic leadership behaviors, job satisfaction, and WFB. Their differential effects on the relationships between paternalism and job satisfaction, paternalism and WFB, job satisfaction and WFB, and the mediation effect of WFB will be analyzed in detail and results will be compared across different sectors.


Paternalism can seen in many culture such as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India ( Aycan,2006 ) . In one research which includes Turkey and other 9 countries, HR practices were compared in the means of cultural differences. The results showed that Turkey had the higher score of paternalism, and power distance ( Aycan, 2000). When Turkish employees establish their relations, they attach importance to dimensions of paternalism, recognition of power (authority) and loyalty within the group. Thus, hierarchy becomes one of the important features of this context, and authorities gain undisputed power.


Pater refers to behave like a father, or protect like a father ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2006). It is like how parents treat their children without any personal interest, or without any hidden intent. In organizational context, paternalistic leaders feel responsible for taking care of their employees’ ‘off-the-job’ activities, and encourage them for better life standards, and welfare (Pasa, Kabasakal, Bodur 2001). Besides, leaders feel obligate to care their workers health, and safety. Therefore, they feel free to manipulate their worker’s activities which are taking place in or out of working environment ( Aycan, 2000). As those behaviors resemble parental behaviors, paternalism is also called as a father-like leadership style ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2008). Employees who perceive paternalistic leadership style recompense their approval by respecting their leaders’ requirements, and willingly fulfilling their demands ( Aycan, 2000). In the means of behaving like a father, it is noteworthy to say that leaders are aware of their authority on employees in order to enhance their quality of lives; therefore, leaders attempt to prevent employees to experience strain as a result of this leadership style ( Pelligrini & Scandura 2008).

Furthermore, cultural differences should be analyzed in that sense. When paternalism is considered in Western context, employees take it negatively and reciprocate it by labeling as “benevolent dictatorship” ( Northouse, 1997). Employees, who do not want interference to their ‘off-the-job’ activities, are not willing to accept this protective care. On the other hand, Turkish workers consider paternalistic leadership style personally and socially confirmed. Hence, according to Dickson, Hartog, & Mitchelson (2003), ‘culturally contingent’ leadership styles should be differentiate from ‘universally contingent’ leadership styles.

Paternalism and Power Distance:

Power distance refers to clarify incompetency within a group where there are different levels of employees. It is the way of how a culture appreciates inequality, and the way of rationalizes it in the means of leaders and workers relation ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2008). In Turkish managerial framework, collectivism and power distance is highly observable ( Pelligrini, 2008). As a result of high levels of power distance and collectivism leads leader to build up a ‘patronage relationship’ ( Kabasakal & Bodur, 1998).


According to research of Aycan ( 2006) there are four ranges of paternalistic leadership style which are benevolent paternalism, exploitative paternalism, authoritarian approach, and authoritative approach. Initially, benevolent paternalism is the one where the leaders feel to promote their workers welfare, on the contrary exploitative paternalism evokes workers’ obedience for fulfilling managerial aims. Moreover, when authoritarian and authoritative styles are compared, the crucial discrepancy is the degree of authority. Authoritarian style promotes reinforcing workers to confirm managerial objectives. For instance, an authoritarian leader offer reward for accomplishing an organizational objective, whereas an authoritative leader assists for improving employees’ welfare which is similar to benevolent paternalism.

Paternalism in private sectors vs. public sectors:

In private sectors, leaders treat workers as a member of their family. Workers are expected to be loyal as well as cooperative. Private sectors are operated as a family, and business. The word family is crucial for private sectors as it reflects positivity, warmth and security. Yet, it should not be missed out that treating like a family does not mean to accept workers faults or disregard their disrespectfulness. Loyalty is the most crucial concept for paternalistic organizations. The improvement of the organization is more important than improvement of a single worker. Therefore, the ones who are only keen on personal growth are not welcome in paternalistic firms.

Laws that force citizens to conform a certain set of rules for their own safety could be defined as paternalistic. Some citizens feel that they can look after themselves, and the government should not tell them what to do. However, laws are usually ensure that a certain behavior is harmful for society, and should be banned or reduced. This obligation could make some people feel restricted. The reason why the employees of public sectors do not feel paternalistic leadership style is the belief of obligation to do what is told and most of time they believe that the reason this obligation is not for their sake. Since, government has to follow rules, and employees have to obey them. Public sectors are not allowed to be flexible in some cases. For instance, working schedules are fixed and workers are expected to adapt their off-the-job activities accordingly. On the other hand, private sectors offer flexible time tables or provide extra off days for their workers for promoting their off-the-job lives. Therefore, public sectors are expected be less paternalistic than family owned companies. Public sectors make rules for society, however private sector suggest rules for provide support, protection and care for their employers. Therefore, in governmental units, supervisors are not expected to behave as a father-like leadership style.

Hypothesis 1: Public sectors will be less paternalistic than private sectors.

Job Satisfaction

There are variety of factors that have an impact on job satisfaction; work content, age, gender, education level, working condition, location, salary, working hours etc. ( Bodur, 2002).

According to cross-cultural researches, it was found out that the level of job satisfaction depends on culture. Azalea, Omar, & Mastor (2009) examined in contrast of workers in Malaysia and Indonesia. The difference between two countries is their cultural values. Malaysia was reported more individualistic than Indonesia. According to research results, Malaysia where there are more individualistic values scored higher on job satisfaction (t(398)= 3.89, p< .01). In another study, it was revealed that individualistic cultures more focus on individual needs which lead them to have higher satisfaction level as they are more concerning as well as taking actions for their personal benefit ( Aycan, 2007). Therefore, it can be said that, Western countries where employees are individualistic have higher levels of job satisfaction when it compares with Eastern countries ( Aycan, 2007). Furthermore, besides cultural differences, language is another determiner for job satisfaction. Language carries cultural values from past to today. People who speak same language have similar cultural values which is a result of having same job satisfaction level ( Aycan, 2007). On the other hand, when there is cultural discrepancy between countries, they display different levels of job satisfaction.

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The dyadic relation between employee and leaders display the impact of collectivism where employees concern about establishing relations, pursuing obligations and attempt to be loyal. When leaders desire to share their authority with their subordinates, it has a negative impact on job satisfaction ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2006). Employees of Western countries are desired to be delegated, and asked for sharing power. However, in Eastern countries, this situation results in decrease in job satisfaction (Schriesheim, Neider, & Scandura, 1998). In this respect, instead of associating delegation and job satisfaction, it is more beneficial for Turkey to research paternalism and job satisfaction. In a Turkish MNC’s sample, it was found that paternalism is significantly correlated with job satisfaction ( r= .39, p<.01) ( Pelligrini & Scandura, 2006).

Employees who are working in governmental units have rigid rules to follow than those who are working in family owned companies. It is rare to have close relations in governmental units. Employees and employers who are working in governmental units have high-power distance and expected to have low paternalistic leadership behavior than family owned companies and job satisfaction is a positive outcome of paternalism

Hypothesis : Public sectors will have less relation between paternalism and job satisfaction than private sectors.

Hypothesis : Employees who are working in public sectors will be more satisfied than employees in private sectors.

Work-Family Balance:

Work-Family Balance (WFB) indicates equal satisfaction in both work and family environment ( Kirchmeyer, 2000). Equality includes “inputs” and “outputs” which refers to personal attribution to work and family life ( Kirchmeyer, 2000). In order to have equal satisfaction, individual needs to attach equal importance to their time, commitment, involvement and attention in both domains. Therefore, they will reach a balance level between work and family life. If individuals have a positive balance they are more likely to satisfied ( Kirchmeyer, 2000). However, when there are noticeable differences in both domains such as less commitment to work, or less attention to family lead to low levels of satisfaction ( Kirckmeyer, 2000).

Moreover, employees who are satisfied their job can translate this positivity to their home, which is called positive spillover from work to home. Individuals who are engaged with their job, and overlap the needs of the work and family domains are more likely to experience positive spillover (Clark & Isen, 1992). Similarly, when employees have high levels of satisfaction in their home, they can transform their positivity to their working environment and attain same satisfaction at work domain which is called positive spillover from home to work.

When employees have equal power and desire to manipulate their environment and satisfied their role in both domains, they are more likely to have a work family balance.

Hypothesis: Employees who have positive spillover from work to home will have higher levels of job satisfaction.

Hypothesis: Employees who have positive spillover from work to home will have higher levels of job satisfaction.

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