Main Article Content

Denver Jade Fowler
Richard A. Posthuma
Wei-Chi Tsai



In the educational setting, hiring transformational leaders is essential to a schools’ success or failure.  According to Burgess (2002), “transformational leadership is vital to school improvement initiatives” (p. 20).  In this study, we examine Confucianism and country influence on structured employment interviews from both Western (United States) and Eastern cultures (Taiwan).  Eastern cultures have certain values not prevalent in Western cultures that may reduce the use of transformational leadership questions in job interviews.  Eastern cultures have higher levels of uncertainty avoidance, collectivism, and power distance.  We examined questions asked in actual job interviews in Taiwan and the United States (N = 178).  Additionally, we examined the three dimensions of interview structure including evaluation standardization, question sophistication, and questioning consistency.  We found that the number of questions about transformational leadership were less common in Taiwan, with its lower selection ratios, and when question sophistication and consistency were higher.  In the United States, we found that the number of questions about transformational leadership increased with selection ratio, question sophistication, and question consistency, but not in Taiwan.  The results of this study have important implications to all workplace settings around the globe where it may be argued that it is advantageous to hire transformational leaders to improve any organization.  However, the results of this study may have particular importance to the educational setting, in both China and the United States, and globally, where the need to attract and hire transformational leaders can be vital to a schools’ success (or failure). 

Key Words

Leadership, Employment Interviews, Transformational Leadership, Education

Article Details

Author Biographies

Denver Jade Fowler, The University of Mississippi

Dr. Fowler is an Assistant Professor at The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi (United States).  His research is focused on PreK-12 school leadership.  More specifically, that of the superintendency, mainly focused on ethical leadership perspectives and how they vary according to school leader demographics and school district characteristics. 

Richard A. Posthuma, The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Posthuma is a Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso in El Paso, Texas (United States).  His research focuses on cross-cultural management, high performance work practices, negotiation and conflict resolution, staffing and training, surveys and focus groups. 

Wei-Chi Tsai, National Chengchi University

Dr. Tsai is a Distinguished Professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan.  His research focuses on human resource management, organizational behavior, and training in organizations. 


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