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Instructions for Morality And Ethics College Essay Examples

Title: Leadership Ethics

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1434 Works Cited: 3 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: This project is an essay that articulates an individual personal values in terms of morality and ethics. As the writer of the paper, please pretend that you are a business leader or think of yourself as a one when you answer the questions below and write the essay.

Please read the following before you start writing the essay:
1) Haidt, The Righteous Mind, Introduction and Part 1, 2012
2) Appiah, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, Ch 1, 5, 2011
3) The Moral Compass : Leadership for a Free World by Lindsay J. Thompson

Once you have a great understanding of the previous 3 references especially "The Moral Compass" one, please answer the questions below in an essay format without including the questions. Please make sure that you address and answer all of the questions below in your writings.


YOUR PERSONAL INTEGRITY: What is your understanding of a moral compass as a foundation for personal integrity? From which Wisdom Tradition(s) do you draw in constructing your moral compass? What do you value and question about this Wisdom Tradition?

MORAL VISION: What is your vision of a good life? What values anchor your moral vision? What symbol, song, image, or story motivates and inspires your moral vision? How does your Wisdom Tradition influence your moral vision?

MORAL CODE: What are the rules or principles of your moral code? How does your moral code align with your moral vision? How does your Wisdom Tradition influence your moral code?

MORAL FITNESS: What practices constitute your moral fitness regimen? How do you use these practices to cultivate personal character and integrity? How do these practices align with and reinforce your moral vision and code. How does your Wisdom Tradition influence your moral code?

• DEFINING MOMENT: What moral challenge has been a key defining moment for you? How has this challenge tested, clarified, and defined your character and values. If you could, how would you rewrite the script for this event in your life? Why? How does your Wisdom Tradition influence your moral understanding of this challenge?

YOUR FUTURE AS A BUSINESS LEADER: Drawing from the wisdom of your moral compass, how do you envision your future as a business leader?

• CONSCIENTIOUS LEADERSHIP: What challenges and opportunities do you envision for yourself in building business cultures of shared responsibility and accountability?

• CONSCIENCIOUS COMMERCE: What challenges and opportunities do you envision for yourself in creating wealth for human flourishing?

• CIVIC CONSCIENCE: What challenges and opportunities do you envision for yourself in building partnerships to create shared public value?

SUMMARY: What is your key take-away from this assignment?

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me through the portal. Please make sure that your writing contains no grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Thank You

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Perception of Leadership Styles and Trust across Cultures and Gender

Total Pages: 2 Words: 523 Bibliography: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: Read article, in 750 words express your opinion about this article. Are you agree or disagree? Why? give on example to support your argument.


Perception of Leadership Styles and Trust across Cultures and Gender: A Comparative Study on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Quader, Mohammed Shahedul, South Asian Journal of Management

The race to be the 56th President of the United States has conjured an unprecedented contest in the American Democratic Party between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The purpose of this study is to quantify and examine the perception of the contrasting leadership styles between these two candidates using a survey method. There appears to be a shift away from the skill-based leadership traits of decision making and experience to a preference for a more intangible evaluation of a leader's character: the level of their moral compass. No significant gender or cultural differences were found between the trustworthiness and likelihood of voting for either Obama or Clinton's leadership styles. Finally, there was also a noticeably high association between the perception of trust and the likelihood of voting for a leader.


The relationship of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's leadership styles has to be investigated from the view point of four distinct variables: gender, culture, trust and likelihood of voting. It is necessary to examine which leadership traits were considered to be of significant while addressing perception of trust and likelihood of voting. According to our study, the perception of fairness is the single most essential leadership trait which leaders should acquire in order to garner trust and commitment among voters. This in turn translates to employees in a business world. Other seemingly more obvious traits linked to current leadership studies, such as visionary and inspiring are both considered to be less influential in this study. The absence of both gender and cultural differences in the perception of trust and likelihood of voting towards both of the candidates' leadership styles is also very interesting. Thus, attention should be placed back upon transactional leadership, which has been pushed into the background and criticized for the being supposedly less effective than transformational leadership in the modern world. This finding has also placed extra weight on the study of how global leaders should be concentrating on how to project a perception that can be universally appealing based on values and its accompanying actions. The modern leader must hence be able to exhibit virtuous moral values in their leadership to be a true global leader. It is no longer much about which leadership style is moral suitable but rather the multiple realities and perspective that leaders have to reflect in order to inhibit trust within their workplace.


The purpose of this research is to provide scientific evidence for the effects of different leadership styles specifically on the issue of trust among people of different cultural backgrounds and gender. This is a great opportunity to study two very distinct types of leadership; with Barack Obama's seemingly more inspirational style and Hillary Clinton's more pragmatic approach. Trust is an important issue in terms of a leader-follower relationship within a business environment. It will be a significant study to investigate whether or not people of different cultures and gender react to different types of leadership styles. The implications of the findings will be significant especially for multinational companies as well as changes in organizational leadership as a result of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&lA). Human Resource departments in companies shall also be equipped with the added knowledge for making recruitment decisions for future employees and executives. The result of this research finding will be useful to organizations which will hence be able to implement new strategic initiatives in leadership style and structure across these demographics.


This research paper has three specific objectives. Firstly, to quantify the perception of leadership styles of Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Secondly, based on these leadership styles mentioned, is there a difference in the perception of trust for different cultures and gender. Thirdly, what are the implications for organizations and business for this difference in perception of leadership styles on trust? The study will focus on combining analytical discussions of the empirical evidence as well as theoretical studies in order to present practical implications of this research to the workplace scenario of leadership.



Leadership styles have been emphasized ever since the Romans wondered whether force or inspiration was more effective as a motivator (Ancona, 2005). A large number of empirical studies have showed that leaders do influence people to achieve organizational goals (Barrick et al, 1991; Rumelt, 1991; and Koene et al., 2002). The empirical study of Lieberson and O'Connor (1972) which is most widely known as providing evidence for the irrelevance of leadership have even begun to acknowledge the fact that leadership does matter when it comes to company performance. Recent research on leadership has moved beyond the arguments about whether leadership is important and has begun to examine when and under what circumstances would leadership matter more or less (O'Reilly et al, 2005). Interest in this question has only intensified as a new world unfolds in the aftermath of September 1 1 and more recently during the credit crisis for the past year. The concept of good leadership remains amorphous. A research conducted by Boseman (2008) reveals that there are four characteristics and traits that followers seek in leaders. They found that followers want leaders who are honest, forward-looking, inspiring and competent. It is justifiable that the last trait is one which Hillary Clinton commands respect for during the Democratic Party nominee elections; a well-established, well-staffed and well-financed national organization (Dionne, 2007). However, where Clinton seems to lag behind Obama is in the first three traits. Barack Obama's reputation in honesty, forwardlooking and inspiration precedes his political policies. In terms of competency he has shown the ability to have measured leadership as well. He not only embodied the traits of being a competent planner and a skilled organizer, he started an unheralded campaign by building a 700 person organization from scratch (almost akin to an Internet start-up company) to begin his fund raising efforts for his primary election campaigns in order to become the Democratic Party Nominee Elections (Alter, 2008) . However, leadership traits do not necessarily justify the effectiveness of good leadership and hence researchers have shifted to look beyond traits and focused on the behavior and style of the leader.

Lord and Maher (1991) suggest that leadership qualities are attributed to individuals, and people are accepted as leaders because of the degree of congruence between their behaviors and the leadership theories held by their attributers. Among the most recognized leadership theories are transactional leadership, also called leader-member exchange approach (Graen and Uhl-Bien, 1995) and transformational leadership (Bass, 1990). There is also the trait theory approach (Stogdill, 1974), the participative approach (Tannenbaum and Alport, 1956), situational leadership (Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1958) and the contingency approach (Fiedler, 1964). All of these behaviors and styles are now deemed to be determinants of leadership effectiveness (Yukl, 1998).


Leadership starts with getting people emotionally on-board (Hill, 2008) . This emotional dimension which is attached to leadership emphasizes the importance of leadership when it is sensed rather than characterized as a definition. The 34th United States President, Dwight Eisenhower once said, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it" (Harteis, 2006). A recent study of employees' perceptions of their leaders discussed the effects of employeesupervisor demography similarity to the perception of these supervisors' leadership ability. It is found that a strong correlation between employees who were in senior level management had a more positive perception towards their leaders who were demographically similar. However employees who were in lower level management perceived their leaders more negatively if they were demographically different (Goldberg et al, 2008). This further justifies the importance of perception as being an important aspect in order for leaders to communicate their vision accurately and effectively throughout the organization. This is especially true in the tussle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Party nominee elections. The elections provide an exciting and interesting dynamic in politics where two individuals were required to create an impression on millions of voters' everyday. Managing perceptions or image as the media and entertainment industry would call it, should be considered a fundamental component in leadership today (Harris, 1987). However in 550 BC, Lao Tzu was quoted as saying "The leader shows that style is no substitute for substance - that creating an impression is not more potent than acting from one's centre" (Miller, 2007). Therefore, it bodes well to look into more concrete evidences of the different types of leadership styles there are and how they can be used to project their intended perception to their audience accordingly.


In an article Hill (2008) emphasizes the importance of closing the emotional gap between leaders and followers in order to compensate for the financial gap between them. Character communication is considered to be a key determinant of the extent of people's trust and commitment. The ability of a leader to communicate the confidence of trust is essential to the future performance of their company (Casimir et al, 2006). Leaders and followers negotiate on a relationship based on reciprocity and mutual benefits. However, it is argued that reciprocity fails to build relationships of trust. In order for trust to be truly realized, leaders have to abide on an ethical responsibility to reduce fear and increase followers' participation in an organization (Rusaw, 2000). Taking Barack Obama's winning Democratic Party Nominee Elections campaign for example, his change message was far superior in 2008 from an ethical standpoint (Obama, 2008). The shining star in Obama's campaign strategy was to enforce that unlike Hillary Cliniton, he justifies change by refusing to take campaign money from federal Washington lobbyists. Obama's roots were traced back to the day when he started his professional life as a community organizer after graduating from Columbia compared to Hillary Clinton's rise to political maturity working for the Democratic Leadership Council, a more top-down elite group (Dionne, 2007). These messages help exude his aura of authenticity and giving his campaign a sense of national movement. The tone of every organization is set from the top. Barack Obama enhanced the tone of his campaign by a carefully constructed grass-roots campaign organization and concentrating on public donations which serves to increase followers' participations around the country. According to Podsakoff et al. (1990) follower trust in the leader is one of the most important variables that can mediate the effectiveness of transformational leadership in terms of producing performance outcomes. There is always much expectation towards a leader; in terms of a vision for their organization and a leader's competencies. The bottom line of leadership, as suggested by Christenson (2007) is that a leader must be trustworthy because there is nothing so elusive, yet nothing so essential as trust alone.


The increasing interdependencies among the world's economies have highlighted the reality that leaders no longer operate in the relative isolation of domestic markets (Aimar and Stough, 2007) . Today, leaders are constantly exposed to different cultures with different lifestyles. It is therefore essential to have a fully comparative understanding of managing and leading global business corporations. This comparative understanding of managing across-cultures will assist leadership theory to look beyond what Vaili (1993) suggests is the Western myth that culture is irrelevant. A recent study conducted by Aimar and Stough (2007) proved that the cultural context plays a 'critical' role in moderating the relationship between leadership style and vital employee attitudes towards work such as satisfaction and commitment.

Unfortunately, reports reveal that almost 85% of fortune 500 executives believe that their firms lack competent global leaders (Muczyk and Holt, 2008). In order to succeed in today's economy, multinational organizations ought to have global leaders who are able to transcend both cultural and gender boundaries. It is exactly these two factors which have proved to be a challenge for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. From a demographic and strategic perspective, the election seems to be one which is based on race and gender (Kantor, 2008). Obama carried the AfricanAmerican vote in every single primary state while Clinton carried the white vote in all but seven states. In terms of gender, Hillary Clinton was clearly the winner with more women voters, winning by 20-5 1 % for most states compared to Obama's average winning percentage of only 15% among women. Obama however took the male vote in all but nine states (Carter and Cox, 2008). A new strategic approach is necessary for Barack Obama to win the general election. His message of change is one which is appealing to all and no longer focuses on just specific demographics in order to garner votes. This new approach to appeal across cultures and gender presents a stark contract to Karl Rove's 51% tactic to vindicate two successful elections for President George W Bush (Blaz and Allen, 2004). With the United States' history of refusing both blacks and women the right to vote, this year has been a quantum leap forward in a struggle for equal representation at the highest level of leadership in government. More importantly, it provides a testing platform to showcase which type of leadership style will be more effective and successful in gathering together cross-cultural and cross -gender votes (Walumba et al, 2007).


The 81% of the survey participants are students from University of Strathclyde and University of Glasgow in the UK and the rest are students from universities or business schools around the world. All the participants are identified to have the same standard of academic background. They are all recognized as having graduated with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent in all different disciplines of study. The participants were all informed that the survey was voluntary with anonymity assured. The survey conducted was independent and confidential as the names of the participants were not asked for. They were also asked to complete the survey individually so that the results were not affected by discussions with other participants. Overall, 103 students participated in the study by completing surveys that were sent to them through an internet survey site. Some of the participants were offered to fill in the survey on paper with exactly the same questions as the Internet survey website. Among the 225 people who were sent the survey, 44.4% responded and amongst those who responded, 98% returned a fully completed survey. The final selected sample yield consists of 100 observations. The respondents ranged in age from 20 to 30 years old, with the mean age of respondents being 25 years. Across the sample, the percentage of male and female participants is 54% male and 46% female. In terms of nationality 45% are identified to be from the east and 55% are from the west. The timing of the survey is deemed important in terms of generating the perceptions of the participants towards Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The survey was distributed only after the Democratic Party nominee was announced on June 7, 2008. This was a result of Hillary Clinton conceding the race for the nomination and thus giving Barack Obama the nomination victory on the same date (Knowles, 2008). In light of this, the following assumptions were made for the survey:

* Barack Obama's victory does not have enough significant empirical influence on the results of the survey.

* All the participants have been following the progress of the elections through the same three forms of media: Internet, television and newspapers.


Independent Variables

Nationality: The nationalities of the participants have been divided into two geographical areas: The East and the West. The East consist of countries in Asia and Eastern Europe, including Russia, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, the Middle East and Central Asia. The West includes the Americas, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. For those with dual nationalities, they have been asked in the survey to pick one nationality. It is assumed that the country they have chosen is the one which they have lived in the longest. The individual is assigned the binary number 1 for West and 0 for East.

Gender: The variable gender is also divided into binary numbers, with 1 for male and 0 for female.

List of Leadership Traits As Independent Variables: The independent variables below represent the different leadership traits and characters deduced from the study of leadership styles over the years by different authors and researchers. The list of traits and characteristics are listed alphabetically in the survey to remove any hint of importance for the leadership traits. This has enabled the survey to be conducted in a fair manner and in order to produce the most accurate results. Participants were asked to rate how much they perceived Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to embody the respective individual traits. In order to assure that there is no bias towards the difference in leadership styles, no questions about specific leadership styles as stated in the literature review. This enabled the study to concentrate on which leadership traits each candidate was perceived to have a higher relation to and hence the candidate's definitive leadership style would be able to be deduced from the survey result. Respondents were required to rate each candidate's leadership traits in the survey based on a 5-point Likert scale (Trochim, 2006), such as (a) Strongly disagree, (b) Disagree, (c) Neither agree nor disagree, (d) Agree, and (e) Strongly agree.

The leadership trait theories developed by Stogdill (1974) are particularly suited to leadership. McCaIl and Lombardo (1983) then advanced the research above and further identified four traits such as (a) Admitting Mistakes, (b) Composed, (c) Fluent in communication, and (d) Intelligent, by which leaders could succeed or derail. Another leadership style which has been identified is the participative leadership style made famous by Lewin et al. (1939) research. Both of them identified styles of leadership which were centered on decision-making. Decision making is constantly dependant on all different situations and this result in the addition of a separate style called the situational leadership style. Tannenbaum and Alport (1956) took the more generalized decision making situations and reduced it to a more limited set of behaviors. It has been deduced in this study into three primary independent variables suitable for the survey, such as (a) Autocratic, (b) Decision-making, and (c) Team Player.

The transactional leadership style suggests that people are being motivated by reward and punishment (Graen and Uhl-Bien, 1995). Therefore the transactional leader works through creating clear structures and telling the subordinates their responsibilities by being: (a) Competent, (b) Experienced, (c) Fair, and (d) Risk-taking as suggested by Hill (2008) . According to Bass (1990 transformational leadership style determines inspiration as the most important and effective method of leadership. While the transformational leader will ultimately try to lead changes within the organization, there is also a tacit promise to transform their followers in one way or another. Furthermore, Kouze and Posner (2002) developed a survey that asked people which common characteristics of leaders would cause them to willingly follow the leaders and over a period of 20 years they came up with 20 characteristics out of survey conducted on seventy 5,000 people. The nature of their study is transformational leadership based and thus the following characteristics used are a result of those which match research of Bass's (1990) research as well and hence are used in this study of comparing the leadership traits of Obama and Hillary, considering (a) Autocratic, (b) Ethical, (c) Honest, (d) Inspiring, and (e) Visionary.

Dependent Variables

Extent of Trustworthiness of Each Candidate: The participants were asked to determine to what extent they consider Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton trustworthy, which is a measure of trustworthiness. They were required to give a rating between 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest rating, or meaning the participant do not trust the candidate at all and 5 being the highest rating, or signifying that the participant trusts the candidate entirely. This was placed as the second last question of the survey after they had to evaluate each candidate in terms of their leadership traits and characters. This was done on purpose to provide the participant with the appropriate time and questions to prompt all the participants to think in a similarly structured way about each candidate before they made their decision on the level of trust they had of each candidate. The 1-5 scale rating measures the participants' perception of trustworthiness of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the basis of their basic observations and extent of knowledge of each candidate. It is both interesting and important to point out that both candidates have had to deal with two scenarios which would have affected the issue to their level of trustworthiness in the public's eye. Hillary Clinton's case of mistrust is she has lied during the election period about risking her life under sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia during her days as First Lady (Earle and Hurt, 2008) . Barack Obama similarly tried to justify his presidential case with a relationship he claimed to have with a pastor who believed that the US government spread the AIDS virus and called on God to 'damn America' (Lowry, 2008). These were top stories in the media during the nomination race and it is assumed that the participants in the survey will be taking both these news stories into account when they were asked to evaluate the trustworthiness of both candidates.

Likelihood of Voting for Each Candidate: In this study, the likelihood of voting for each candidate is used to determine the level of commitment which the participants would have for the candidates of choice. This was the last questions in the survey, placed after the trustworthiness question as stated above. Participants were required to rate their likelihood of voting for each candidate (assuming they had the right to vote) based again on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being least likely and 5 being the most likely.

Control Variables

Character of Participant (Rationale or Emotional-Based): While the participants have equivalent educational backgrounds, how they perceive both the candidates might vary according to the participants' character itself. Therefore two control variables for the participants' characters; rationale-based (set as the binary number 1) or emotional-based (set as number 0) have been created. This way the sample population can be divided into two characters and the regression of each character towards the dependant variables (trustworthiness and likelihood of voting for either candidate) can be investigated.

Participants' Own Political Value (Characterized More by Obama's or Clinton's): The participants can also be controlled into two samples by how their political values match either candidate's values and political policies. In this variable, if the participant's political values are characterized more by Barack Obama, the individual will be assigned a binary number of 1 and the number 0 for Hillary Clinton.

Basis of Knowledge (Perception, Researching Facts, Media): A binary number of 1 is given to basis of knowledge if the participants show in the survey that their decision is based on perception and/or researching facts and/or media and a 0 is given otherwise. The participants can therefore be controlled into samples according to their basis of knowledge and its effects towards the dependant variables as stated above.

Hypothesis Testing

Having considered the Literature Review, five hypotheses were suggested for the study.

Gender and Cultural Differences on Trustworthiness

* There is a significant difference between genders in the extent to which they perceive the trustworthiness of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

* There is a significant difference between participants from different cultures in the extent to which they perceive the trustworthiness of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Gender and Cultural Differences on Likelihood of Voting

* There is a significant difference between genders in their perceived likelihood of voting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

* There is a significant cultural difference between the participants in their perceived likelihood of voting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Trust and Commitment

* The perception of Trustworthiness and Commitment (likelihood of voting) towards leaders is highly related.



This study attempts to determine the leadership styles of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton based on perception. Furthermore, the study tries to assess the importance of certain leadership traits on the issues of trust and their willingness to vote for a certain politician. The study then further investigates whether or not there is a difference in perception between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's leadership styles from the point of view of students from different countries and gender. If so, to what degree does it differ? and which are the leadership traits and characteristics which influences those perceptions? (Table 1).

Following the Democratic Party Elections, it would be interesting to first of all determine which three leadership traits have been identified by the sample as being the highest rated for both candidates. Barack Obama is most highly rated for his oratory skills (fluency in communication), intelligence and being a visionary. Hillary Clinton received high ratings for her intelligence, experience and competences. In trying to envision a reason for Hillary's loss in the nomination race according to the sample, Hillary is perceived to be rather unethical, poor at admitting her mistakes and being unauthentic.

The Candidate's Leadership Styles

The study has also found that the sample perceives Hillary Clinton to embody transactional leadership traits according to the theory developed by Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995). On the other hand, Barack Obama is perceived to be a more transformational type of leader based on Bass (1990) research on transformational leadership. This difference in the sample's perception of both Obama and Clinton's leadership styles seems to work out exactly the way both candidates wish to be perceived. Senator Clinton has argued that the role of the President is not only to provide visionary leadership but to also control the federal bureaucracy downwards to ensure policies are carried out faithfully and effectively (O'Toole, 2008). This bureaucratic downward leadership style clearly shows in the sample mean's perception of how autocratic her leadership style is, with Hillary being given a rating of 3.25 out of 5 compared to Obama's 2.64. In sharp contract, Senator Obama declares that he will be managing his Presidency in a more chief executive style by wholly focusing on vision, judgment and inspiration. Once again, the perception of the sample proved Obama's reputation and leadership style as a transformational one with his much higher ratings in vision (3.95 compared to Clinton's 3.29) and inspiring (4.22 compared to Clinton's 3.81). It is then proceeded to test which of the leadership traits recorded in the survey would have the most substantial effect on the study's two dependant variables of trustworthiness and likelihood of voting for both candidates.

The Candidates' Most Significant Leadership Traits

The adjusted R2 is 0.3971 which indicates that approximately 39.7% of the participants' trust towards Barack Obama is affected by the leadership traits of being fair (0.4723) and autfantic (0.2906) (Table 2).

Table 3 shows that the adjusted R2 is 0.5624 which reveals that approximately 56.2% of the participants' extent of trust towards Hillary Clinton is affected by the leadership traits of being fair (0.4490), visionary (0.2407), honest (0.1835) and composed (0.1545). In terms of trustworthiness of both candidates, the result from the study shows that fairness is the most important leadership trait to have as a leader because it is the only quality that is listed as significant for both of the candidates (Table 3).

A very high adjusted R2 of 0.6928 indicates that the likelihood of the participants voting for Barack Obama is 69% dependent on the following leadership traits: fair, political values, vhionary, competent and authentic. By referring to the coefficient recorded for political value, it as the highest effect (0.9819) on voters' likelihood of voting for Barack Obama. This suggests that if Obama's political values are perceived to be more characteristic of the voters' own values then they would be very likely to vote of Obama as well. The experience issue that Obama has been struggling with in comparison to Clinton shows no effect whatsoever in affecting the participants' likelihood of voting for him with the variable experience having only a coefficient of 0.0444 (Table 4) .

Compared to Barack Obama, the adjusted R2 for leadership traits to affect the likelihood of voting for Hillary Clinton is much lower at 0.3805. Nonetheless, the most important traits are fair, inspiring, decision-making and honesty, with the highest coefficient again being fairness at 0.3161. Once again, by referring to the result for both "trustworthiness" and "likelihood of voting", being fair is the only primary leadership character that is shared as being most essential for both candidates (Table 5).

Hypotheses 1 to 4 were all proven to be wrong (Refer Appendixes 1-8). This means that according to the sample, Hypotheses I and 2 were rejected as there is no significant difference between genders in their perception of the trustworthiness and their likelihood of voting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Also contrary to Hypotheses 3 and 4, there is also no significant difference in the perception of trustworthiness and likelihood of voting between the different cultures (nationality of origin) recorded in the sample. According to the correlation matrix between variables, a particularly significant observation was the high correlation between the perception of trustworthiness towards both candidates and the likelihood of voting for them (0.644 for Obama, 0.637 for Clinton) . Therefore, Hypothesis 5 has been proven to be correct. This means the perception of trustworthiness and commitment towards leaders is highly related. This means that those who trust the candidates more will be more likely to vote for them as well. This result proves to be important to be seen in tune with Podsakoff's et a?., research in 1990 which shows that follower trust in the leader is one of the most important variables for producing performance outcomes in the end. By referring to this study's explanation on likelihood of voting being a measure of commitment towards the leader, it would seem to be accurate to suggest that trust ensures commitment which ultimately improves performance for the future.

Correlation Matrix

Barack Obama: Strong relationships were recorded for authenticity (0.503), ethical (0.418), and fairness (0.568) on the trustworthiness of Obama. Furthermore, being autocratic will prove to have a negative effect on the trustworthiness of Barack Obama (-0.041). In terms of the likelihood of voting for Obama, once again authenticity (0.525), being ethical (0.515) and fair (0.677) were recorded as being very important. Besides that, other variables worth mentioning are honesty (0.511), intelligence (0.505) and being inspiring (0.483) . These leadership traits are hence considered to be important for creating a perception of Obama's attributes as a leader and increasing his chances of getting more votes. It is also determined that other variables which have a strong correlation to the important variable fair are: honest and admitting mistakes. This result reveals that in order for leaders to be perceived as fair, they have to also be perceived as honest and good at admitting their mistakes. Barack Obama's reputation as a great orator has a surprisingly low relationship with both trustworthiness and likelihood of voting with the variable fluent in communication recording only 0.247 and 0.368 respectively. However, Obama's vision of hope and change from the current government proves to be important in garnering the likelihood of the sample to vote for him with a correlation coefficient of 0.497 for the variable visionary.

Hillary Clinton: Hillary's trustworthiness is strongly related to the variables of being ethical (0.539), fairness (0.668), honesty (0.562) and providing inspiration (0.472). Strong relationships were also recorded for fairness (0.479), honesty (0.490), being inspiring (0.496), good decision-making (0.400) and being a visionary (0.457) towards the likelihood of her being voted by the sample as a leader. Once again the variables of honest and fair carry such importance in the follower's trust and commitment towards a leader. It is interesting to see that despite how skill based a president's job description is, the sample still insists on making their decisions based on the candidate's attitude and character. Furthermore, despite Hillary Clinton's strategy of running as a more experienced candidate, the variable experience did not turn out to have a significant relationship with either the sample's trust towards her (0.159) as a leader nor the likelihood of voting for her (0.327).


The analysis which has been carried out above has yielded a number of interesting findings concerning the ddírent leadership styles of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as the inter-relationship between gender and culture with trustworthiness and likelihood of voting for both candidates. It would be impractical to suggest that politics is like business, a political party is like an organization and the party is the brand. However, it should be noted that just like politicians, business leaders are not exempt form the general sense that those in positions of authority are not to be trusted (Kellerman, 1999). Hence the results of investigating the perception of the varying leadership styles of Senators Clinton and Obama across different cultures and gender can go a long way in providing business leaders wifh a sense of what would enhance trust, commitment and ultimately raise the performance of their workforce. According to Ibarra (2008), there are three key areas of competency for leaders: skills, developing relationship networks and style. What this study has demonstrated is the importance of a shift from hard tangible skill-based leadership where leaders rely on simply functional and operational-based knowledge to a much more intangible skill-base. Taking the variables of these hard tangible sills, it is proven that in this study Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are equally perceived in terms of competency (3.72) as well as almost equally intelligent (4.07 for Obama, 4.13 for Clinton). Therefore, what the study has surprisingly shown is that the intangible skill base which makes the difference consists of the leadership traits affair, honest, authentic. It is easy to see how these ethical leadership traits will be important to employees especially in terms of cultural and gender expectations. It could even be assumed these attitudes are simply prerequisites to becoming leaders. The study has highlighted that in spite of all the convoluted discussion on leadership, it is essentially still back to the basics of having good human character.

These virtuous skills might be considered somewhat less attractive than other perceived traits such as visionary or inspiring. Even Machiavelli (1991) strongly argued that doing the right thing morally or spiritually often meant doing the wrong thing when it comes to being effective. However, the empirical evidence gathered in this study has shown that being fair will make the important difference in building trust and commitment. Once trust accumulates, relationships are more reliable and thus reliability makes relationships more efficient between the leader and the follower (Young, 1991). In terms of style, this study has shown that both Barack Obama's transformational leadership style and Hillary Clinton's transactional leadership style can transcend gender and culture. This proves to be in direct contrast with what was pointed out by Yang (2006) who established that a transactional leader promising individual rewards for extra effort instead of a collectivistic approach to work is nowadays very likely to potentially damage trust and follower performance. What this also means is that the 'glass ceiling' (The Wall Street Journal) (Menon, 2008) which acknowledges that being black or female will create a hidden barrier and inhibit the opportunity of being the President of the United States may finally be 'smashed'.

Before results of this study are used to continue speculating about how transformational and transactional leadership are essentially similar in terms of garnering trust and commitment, it is required to take a look at the demographic of the sample of study. First of all, the average age of the participants is 25 years old and among those more than 85% have studied business related degrees. The sample study has also very limited experience of work-life. Therefore, it would not be accurate to suggest that a leadership role in any company should override any gender or cultural role expectations. What it does prove is that perception can be a reflection of reality. It would be true to suggest that many of these participants have sat through business education classes on leadership and being informed that transactional leadership is considered to be more ineffective and traditional compared to a transformational one. The results are significant in the way that even with the knowledge which the participants are equipped with, they have still chosen to trust and commit to Hillary Clinton as much as Barack Obama. What does remain interesting for companies is that the search for a global leader should still be for that person who executes fairness among employees from different cultures. This reiterates the point that good cultural understanding is still very important in order for the company to be led by fairness. An important reason for this is due to the increasing number of M&A between companies from the East, especially in the Middle East and the West. In 2007, M&A deals involving the Middle East have reached at least $105 bn with 21 deals in the United States and 19 in the United Kingdom attracting total values of $23.3 bn and $13.9 bn each (Grocer, 2007). With that amount of funds and interest involved, having the right leadership to satisfy the different demands of culture and gender in these companies will become increasingly important in order to achieve synergy and to boost their returns.

This study has also shown that the respondents are more likely to vote for the candidate who has the same values as they do. This seems to be why Obama's campaign has managed to gather such a strong movement of support Obama's message of change is synonymous to most of the public's desire for a new government after the Bush administration. As shown in this study, the values that he has created alongside the message have managed to resonate very strongly among participants from both the East and the West. It is worth noting here that only 2% of the respondents are from America so therefore it seems clear that Obama's values can go beyond the differences in culture and gender outside of America too. What this symbolizes is the influence which a leader of a multinational company can generate if they have embedded values for the company's employees to feel personally attached to. This can be viewed in a slightly different light to Bass' (1990) argument of generating a common goal. Unlike goals, values shape the motive of the company, which is the whole point of ethical and corporate- social-responsibility based businesses these days. It is therefore not surprising to see that there is ample research showing that adaptable and value driven companies are the most successful organizations on the planet (Barrett, 2005).

By focusing on commitment (likelihood of voting) towards leaders, the results of this study suggest that being visionary (for Obama) and inspiring (for Clinton) (See Appendixes 3 and 4) are almost equally important. The ability to manage through commitment therefore requires more flexibility, less hierarchy, less bureaucracy whilst also requiring an enhanced capacity for collective action between leaders and followers. Making promises can be one of the first steps to combine the value driven leadership as discussed above and the traits of vision and inspiration. A company can be regarded as nothing more but a network of internal and external commitments (Highsmith, 2008) . Executing such promises within those commitments would be the main challenge for leaders. Explanation would be important as part of the execution and that is shown again in the study that leaders ought to be authentic and honest in doing so. It will help the general workforce understand why these promises are important to them which will hopefully create a gut feeling inside them to take notice and respond to the vision or inspiration. Promises, not processes therefore should be the focal point of leaders in achieving the desired return in commitment both by shareholders and employees alike. It is also interesting to note that Clinton's rigid commitment processes in her strategy and Obama's simple but strong promise of change is also the speculative reason (Alter, 2008) why Obama won the Democratic Party Nomination. Stern (2008) argued that we have to keep our hero-worshipping of leaders under control amidst the United States presidency election this year. "It is the managers who will ensure the roads are safe to travel on, employees get paid and the hospitals stay open." The purpose of the study is not to cast aside managerial skills as uninspiring or mundane. Leadership choices need to be taken upon by companies in order to exude the right perception to ensure trust and motivate commitment among managers into performing the best they can for the organization. As discussed above, the study has identified that these choices have to be virtuous ones.


By the means of using both empirical research data and literature review, the study has managed to present striking results regarding the perceptions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's leadership styles. The outcome of the results is able to stretch beyond just political realms and into the practical influence of leadership in businesses. The results of this research data revealed that Hillary Clinton is indeed perceived as a transactional leader whereas Barack Obama is perceived as a transformational leader. This study also made significant comparisons between how these styles are perceived in relation to culture and gender and found that there was no difference for both these variables. Finally, the relationship between different leadership traits and the issues of trust and commitment were also investigated. Leadership traits which are closely linked to morality and ethics such as being fair, authentic and honest, are of considerable importance to the extent which leaders' trustworthiness is being perceived as well as the level of commitment which followers are willing to give. This has proven to be a contradiction to the perceived excellent communication skills which Obama possesses and Clinton's experience in politics which were deemed to be major factors throughout the nomination race and yet verified to be unimportant in generating trust and commitment amongst respondents.

The study found that there were neither cultural nor gender differences in the perception of the extent of trust and likelihood of voting for either candidate. No evidence has been provided that males might trust Barack Obama more or be more inclined to vote for him and vice versa for Hillary Clinton. There was also no evidence to suggest that there was any difference in the preferences in voting among participants from western and eastern origin. The results of these investigations show that perhaps it would be wise to take a step back from making constant comparisons between different leaders. It would be beneficial to take a bird's eye view of the scale of the unprecedented contest between these two leaders over the past year. Hillary Clinton was widely expected to acquire the nomination but suddenly found herself losing to the young Obama in 2008. What the Democratic Party Nomination race has proved is that a political race can be so similar to the unpredictable nature of the world of business. The strong differences in opinions and a long bitter campaign for both these candidates have caused the speculation that the next US President will most likely come from the Democratic Party. Thus, within such an ever-changing and complex environment, it seems to be for the greater benefit of the organization and its people if there are constant criticisms shown among leaders.

Limitations of the Study: It has to be acknowledged that there are some limitations to bear in mind when interpreting the results of this study. First of all, the sample of study used is relatively small and it might not seem to be representative of what the result for the whole population could be. This is especially true for the variable culture because there is a definite discrepancy in the number of participants for each country. Therefore the sample has to be divided into East and West origin, instead of individual countries.



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[Author Affiliation]

Mohammed Shahedul Quader*

[Author Affiliation]

* Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing Studies and International Marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh. E-mail:

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