MEXICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP:
A LIFE HISTORY APPROACH
Albert A. Martinez
B.S., Regis College, 1971
M.S.W., University of Denver, 1973
M.P.A., University of Colorado, 1994
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
1999 by Albert A. Martinez
All rights reserved
This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
Albert A. Martinez
has been approved
Steve W. DelCastillo
Martinez, Albert A. (PhJD., Public Administration)
Mexican American Leadership: A Life History Approach
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Mike Cortes
The Latino population represents the fastest growing ethnic minority group in
the United States. Projections indicate that by the year 2050, Latinos will represent
approximately 25 percent of the total population. Based upon this growth rate, there
are serious implications that will impact different social institutions in this country.
These include, but are not limited to labor and employment, human services,
management, and health care.
Despite the known implications of these increasing numbers, little attention
have been given to the under-representation of Latinos in leadership roles within the
public sector. To date, limited research has been initiated that could assist public
administrators in the nurturing of Latino leadership.
By and large, the major theories of leadership and other leadership scholarship
have not addressed the relationship between Latino culture and leadership behavior.
In fact, much of the literature seems to imply that the phenomenon of leadership is
culturally neutral. The prominent role of leadership will be accentuated among the
Latino population as it grows in numbers and political clout. Unfortunately, so little
is known as to what accommodations, if any, Latinos must make if they are to
become leaders in these environments. Similarly, limited research has focused on the
characteristics of Latino leaders and the influence that the Latino culture might have
had to its emergence.
Utilizing the methodology of qualitative research, and more specifically, the
use of topical life histories, this study explores the lives of six Latino(a) leaders
residing in the state of Colorado. In-depth, personal interviews were conducted as the
primary method of data collection, although other secondary sources were used.
The results indicate that, for the most part, Latino leaders perceive themselves
differently in terms of their leadership behavior than non-Latino leaders. In addition,
most of the sample participants report that their Latino culture; customs, values,
mores and other cultural nuances played a major role not only in the emergence of
their leadership behaviors, but on their leadership styles as well.
This abstract represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend its
This doctoral dissertation is dedicated with full respect, appreciation and love
to the precious members of my family. To my late mother, Alice Avila-Pacheco, who
has been a Champion in my life and gave me the desire to reach for the heavens. I am
sorry that you will not be there in person to see me walk. To my stepfather, Natividad
Avila, for his constant support of my educational endeavors. To my brother John,
who has been a model of perserverance. To my sister Rose, whose constant proding
and encouragement has kept me on task. To my children, Derrick, Christian, Theresa
and A.J., for giving me the opportunity to set an example. And to my grandchildren,
Dominic and Steven, for their unconditional love.
But, most of all, I dedicate this manuscript to my wife Alexis, whose qualities
of patience, encouragement and support take me always to the horizon of my purpose
and allow me to look beyond it. She has been the steadying force throughout my life
and the reflective heart that nurtures my existence.
I gratefully acknowledge the valuable involvement of my entire dissertation
committee who have enhanced the direction and quality of this study by their
constructive comments, helpful suggestions and ideas. I would especially like to
thank Steve DelCastillo for encouraging me to explore this subject area; Elisa Facio
for guiding me towards ethnography; Franklin James for honing my research
question; Mark Pogrebin for introducing me to the fascinating field of qualitative
inquiry; and my thesis director, Mike Cortes, for providing a limitless supply of
support, feedback and constructive direction.
I must also acknowledge the on-going support of my colleague, Ramon Del
Castillo, who began with me, this pursuit of knowledge in what seems like ages ago.
His critical mind and unwavering support helped me to complete this journey.
Gracias a mi hermano.
I also want to thank the sample participants for the wealth of information that
they willingly shared with me, especially Tony Perea, for the many years of
encouragement that he has shared with me.
Above all, great thanks to Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha who taught
me that prayer without action is nothing more than idealism and that the life of a
Boddhisattva of the Earth is one filled with action.
1. PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION......................................I
Relevance to Public Administration.........................7
Cultural Diversity and Pluralism...........................8
Gaps in Leadership Theory.................................10
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.....................................12
Overview of Leadership....................................15
Leadership Trait Theory...................................22
Humanistic Leadership Theory..............................24
Situational Leadership Theory.............................32
Transformational Leadership Theory........................36
Values and Leadership: Latino Values and Leadership.......44
Validity, Reliability and Limitations..........................73
4. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS.............................................77
Maria Guajardo-Lucero, Ph.D.............................79
Mr. A1 Maes, J.D.(Pseudonym)............................80
Veronica Barela, M.P.A..................................80
Tony Perea, M.S.W.......................................83
Bob Martinez, M. S......................................83
Findings: Major Themes.........................................85
Exposure to Discrimination and Racism...................92
Importance of Education.................................99
Strong Commitment to Others............................106
Analysis: Lessons Learned?....................................123
Role of Ethnicity......................................124
Relationship Between Cultural Identities and
Importance Of Latino Cultural Values And
A Typology for Latino/Chicano Leadership.............136
Impact Of Racism and Discrimination On
5. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS...................................154
Implications for Latino Leadership Training..........162
Implications for Advancing Educational
Attainment by Latinos................................163
Implications for Further Research....................164
Sample Participant Interviews..............................176
Unpublished Personal Interviews............................177
PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges that face public and private sector
organizations is leadership. At its best, leadership can transform and renew
organizations, community-based agencies and the public and inspire workers and voters
who have lost confidence in their ability to face the future. But, according to noted
author, Warren Bennis, in a world of increasing complexity and uncertainty, leadership
today is more problematic than ever. The challenges it faces in terms of cultural
diversity and pluralism and transnational inter-relationships have never been as evident
as they are today, (Bennis, in Nanus, 1994, p. xiv).
While leadership can be defined in many ways, for purposes of this study, the
conceptual definition that was used is as follows:
Leadership is ...inducing followers to act for certain goals that represent
the values and the motivations, the wants and the needs, the aspirations
and expressions...of both leaders and followers (Bums, 1978, p. 19).
Although the prominent role of leadership will be accentuated among the Latino
population as it grows in numbers and political clout, limited research has focused on
the characteristics of Latino leaders. Yet Latinos and other minority leaders will
continue to increase in numbers. As Latinos move into higher levels of leadership and
management in industry, government and education, more attention should be given in
the research to cultural values, customs and ethnic idiosyncrasies heretofore disregarded
in the management and leadership field.
Little exists in the literature with respect to the establishment of any type of
theoretical approach to Latino leadership and/or Latino leader characteristics that can be
of significant benefit in accomplishing this task. As a result, we see a myriad of
approaches to Latino leadership development being initiated; some are exclusively for
Latinos; others are more culturally diverse; still others are targeted towards a specific
goal such as board training or voter registration. What currently exists is minimally
effective at best and perhaps fragmented at worst
We also see normative statements about Latinos and Latino values in the
literature that appear authoritative, but may, in fact, be no more than hunches. Left
unsubstantiated, the possibility exists that such ideas, constructs or suppositions are
wrong. This conclusion is supported by a review of the literature in several academic
areas; public administration, political science, education and sociology. It is also
supported by the many interviews that were conducted with prominent and
knowledgeable individuals around the country. These interviews are chronicled
following the references at the end of this manuscript.
The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the characteristics of six
Latino leaders in the state of Colorado in order to gain insight into their leadership
behaviors; particularly their leadership styles, and the influence, if any, of
language/cultural nuances on their leadership behaviors. Of particular interest to this
study are the self-reported social, familial, cultural and other environmental factors that
may have contributed to the leadership behaviors of the participants. The research
question that guided this study is the following: What are the characteristics of
Latino leaders and how important a role did their ethnicity play in their becoming
The term Latino is used throughout this study. In the literature reviewed and
cited herein, the term is often used as a collective term; one used to generalize qualities,
behaviors, customs and culture of many different groups of individuals. Latino as
defined in this study includes Cuban American, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, Mexican
Americans, and other ethnic minorities of Spanish or Latin American descent.
However, the reader should be cautioned that the findings included in Chapter 4 and the
conclusions and recommendations included in Chapter 5 relate more specifically to the
Mexican American/Chicano people. This is by design due to the sample used.
Therefore, generalizations to the other ethnic groups that falls within the collective term
Latino should be avoided.
The sample size was selected on the basis of data analysis and interpretation
demands and is explained in greater detail in Chapter 3. Since a qualitative approach
was used, the generaiizability of the results was less important than the depth and
richness of the data yielded. This too is explained in greater detail in Chapter 3.
Latinos are a rapidly increasing ethnic minority group in the United States. In
the decade between 1970 and 1980, Latinos accounted for 23 percent of the growth in
the population and their proportional percentage of the U.S. population rose from 4.5 to
6.4 percent In contrast Blacks remained fairly stable at about 11.7 percent. According
to 1997 Census Bureau updates, there were 29,577,000 Latinos residing in the United
The population increases among Latinos have been staggering. The United
States Census Bureau Estimates in 1997 show that Latinos accounted for 9.6 percent of
the total population in 1992; 10.1 percent of the population in 1994; 10.7 percent in
1996; and 11.3 percent in 1998. In raw numbers, this figure represents over 30 million
Latinos in the year 1998. By the year 2005, Latinos will be the single largest ethnic
minority group in the nation. By the year 2050, one out of four U.S. residents will be
Latino (U.S. Bureau of the Census, personal communication, Memorandum CB97-
FS.10, dated September 11,1997).
Cortes describes Latinos as a population beset with a disproportionately large
share of the nations social problems (Cortes, 1998, p. 440). Cortes then indicates that
despite their high participation rates in the labor market, Latinos total family earnings
are well below the national average. Latinos are concentrated in the low-skilled, low-
paying and often high risk paying jobs (Cortes, 1998, p. 440). Poverty rates for Latino
children are nearing 39 percent; for Latina-headed households it is 50 percent (Boijas &
Tienda, 1985, cited in Cortes, 1998, p. 440).
Other important demographic information that is perhaps more telling about the
impact that the rise in the Latino population will have include the following:
Latinos constitute the fastest growing ethnic minority in the United
States and are expected to reach 27 million by the year 2000, excluding
undocumented persons. Approximately 65 percent of this population are
Mexican-Americans (Hudson Report on Workforce 2000,1990).
Latinos constitute a more youthful population as compared to other
Americans. The Latino median age is 25 as compared to 32 for non-
Latinos. Latina women have a median age of 25.8 years as compared to
32.9 for all U.S. women and have a higher fertility rate (Cortes, 1991).
Rates of growth in population for Latinos will have significant
implications for leadership development and services. The youthfulness
of the population may determine Latino representation at all levels of
government; their patterns of using political, social institutions, and the
types of services and skills they need most to compete in the labor
marketplace (Bonilla-Santiago, 1992)
Handicapping their prospects for leadership is the fact that Latinos are
experiencing lower academic achievement and are dropping out of high school at
alarming rates. According to Cortes,
Latino youth have the nation's iargest high-school dropout rates. There
are important future consequences of high dropout rates, not just for
Latinos, but for society in general (Cortes, 1991, in Gallegos and
O'Neill, 1991, p.143).
In 1998, Cortes found that Latino youth continue to have the highest high
school dropout rates. Nearly one-third of all Latinos between the ages of 16 and 24
years of age have dropped out of high school. Cortes indicates that this failing in
education will severely impact the future of this country.
These phenomena will destine the vast majority of Latinos to unskilled, semi-
skilled and blue-collar occupations and inhibit their movement up into leadership and
management positions. It is perhaps this picture of the Latino, relatively unskilled and a
high school dropout that alarms many private and public sector managers today as they
are faced with increasingly more complex labor markets. Given the current trend, many
managers might fear a lowering of the standards if they are to create an environment
where cultural diversity flourishes and Latinos and other minorities achieve equal
access to leadership positions. Although cultural pluralism has remained viable as a
concept in the literature, it has been extremely difficult to put into practice. As a result,
this fear is manifested in continual efforts to maintain the oligarchic structure in both
public and private organizations. This serves to screen out Latinos, women and other
Triandis found that Latinos who ascend to leadership positions face the loss of
cultural identity as a cost of entry (Triandis, 1981, p. 26). This is further supported by
Bass' conclusion that the preponderance of evidence [in leadership research] endorses
the need for Latinos who serve as leaders in majority environments to emulate the
white, male manager, (Bass. 1990, p. 912). Therefore, Bass and others make the
following normative observations and statements that, as yet, remain empirically
untested: Latinos must become acculturated in order to become successful leaders
within the dominant culture and organizations.
Relevance to Public Administration
This study has relevance to Public Administration for several reasons. First,
despite the enormous growth in the Latino population in recent years, there are limited
numbers of Latinos occupying leadership positions in public organizations and limited
knowledge of why this is the case. Second, there is a need to identify the characteristics
of Latinos who have occupied leadership positions in the public sector in order to gain a
better understanding of causal or contributing factors. The hope is that, once known,
this information can positively impact on leadership training programs and cultivate
more leaders. Equally as important is the fact that an extensive review of the literature
suggests that gaps exist with respect to Latinos as leaders and the possible influence of
culture and cultural values on leadership. In this sense, this study can contribute to the
academic scholarship of leadership.
Cultural Diversity and Pluralism
The traditional American image of diversity has been assimilation and
acculturation; a melting pot where ethnic and racial differences are standardized into a
kind of "puree (Thomas, 1990, p. 112). While this melting pot metaphor has not
hampered the free expression of ethnic and cultural values and mores in everyday life, it
has had a definite impact upon the work place. Thomas asserts that corporate success
has demanded a good deal of conformity, and employees have voluntarily abandoned
most of their ethnic distinctions at the company door as the cost for advancement.
However, this willingness to assimilate and acculturate on the part of Latinos
and other minorities is no longer a given. Many are now unwilling to "melt down" and
the thrust of todays non-hierarchical, flexible, collaborative management will require an
increased tolerance for individuality, cultural diversity and a recognition of mutual
Other writers and knowledgeable individuals that are cited in the literature echo
Thomas sentiments. For example, Garcia and de la Garza assert that Latinos who have
ascended to leadership positions have been stripped of their cultural uniqueness (Garcia
and de la Garza, 1977). Similar sentiments are echoed by Cotrell, (1994) and Baca,
Public and private-sector organizations are being faced with the problem of
economic and fundamental survival in a rapidly growing competitive world with a
workforce that consists of and will continue to consist of "unassimilated diversity"
(Thomas, 1990, p.l 13). The primary goal of leadership in such an environment is to
manage diversity in such a way as to get from a diverse workforce the same
productivity once generated by a fairly segregated workforce, and to do so without
tokenism, artificial programs, standards or barriers. Managing diversity should not be
construed to mean controlling or containing diversity, but rather it means enabling every
member of the organization or company to perform to his or her potential. In support of
this position is the work of Latino psychologist, Manuel Ramirez. Ramirez studied
Latino families and concluded that being bi-cultural was found to increase leader and
follower satisfaction and positively impact on decision-making processes (Ramirez,
Ramirez describes the advantages that bi-cultural and multi-cultural Latinos
bring with them into group settings and decision-making situations. He asserts that
diversity [primarily ethnic] represents both the greatest blessing and greatest challenge
to the future of the United States. Ramirez responds to the phobia expressed by some
sociologists that diversity and pluralism pose a threat to leadership and democracy with
empirical findings to the contrary. He found that bi/multi-cultural individuals are better
able to assume leadership positions, express empathy with the group, cope with stress
and anger, and possess better communication skills. Ramirez formulates what he refers
to as a Flexibility, Unity, and Expansion model (Ramirez, 1984).
Ramirez concludes that more information is needed with respect to this model in
terms of its impact on relationships between cultures and within cultures. He asserts
that Latinos have much more to offer to the dominant culture and for them to be forced
to "acculturate in order to be successful or accepted fails to allow them to contribute to
the fabric of society to their fullest
Gaps in Leadership Theory
Ronald J. Schmidt, in his article entitled "Cultural Pluralism and Public
Administration: The Role of Community-Based Organizations," published in American
Review of Public Administration, asserts that Latinos and other minorities will not soon
be assimilated into the "melting pot" of the dominant culture. Instead they will require a
response from the dominant culture that does not strip them of their traditional cultural
values, but incorporates them into management and policy decisions, (Schmidt, 1988).
We have yet to witness such a response in many public and private organizations based
upon the information learned through interviews or in the literature reviewed.
There is also a growing body of literature in Public Administration, Political
Science and Management theory that concludes that ethnic minorities are no longer
willing to become assimilated in order to ascend to leadership positions (Willie, 1984;
Schmidt, 1988; Thomas, 1990; Trujillo, 1992; Sisneros, 1993; delCastillo, 1993;
Garcia, 1994; de la Garza, 1994; and Cotrell, 1994).
How then can Latinos expect to become leaders in these environments if there is
pressure to conform and yet an unwillingness to do so? This dilemma suggests that
further information is needed that explores the emergence process of Latinos into
leadership positions. However, to date, leadership research has done little to re-examine
the tenets of established leadership theory or explore the importance of culture and
cultural values. Similarly, leadership theory has implied that its very foundation is
culturally and ethnically neutral by the mere absence of scholarship in this area.
It is within this framework that this study explored Latino leadership. By
deliberately probing into the life experiences and histories of six Latino leaders, several
common themes, events and characteristics were identified that could become the very
foundation of a construct called Latino leadership.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
There is an extensive body of literature related to the subject of leadership. Of
specific interest to this study was the area of general and specific leadership theory and
value theory. Of particular importance is the recognition of beliefs, attitudes and values
in relationship to leader-follower relationships. Besides the pre-disposition to lead and
a feeling of efficacy concerning leading, values form an important part of a preference
network for leaders. This introduces the possibility that differences in values, beliefs,
and attitudes impact leadership and the leader-follower relationship. This would be
especially true of culture and ethnically based values. Within this context, values are
being defined as beliefs and attitudes that are centrally located within ones total belief
system (Rokeach, 1973,1979).
The breadth and scope of leadership scholarship is quite astounding. In fact, one
might argue that the mere mention of a literature review on leadership theory is enough
to dissuade potential inquiry into this vast body of information. One need only peruse
the management literature sections in any library or bookstore to determine the
magnitude and complexity of leadership development. Quite frankly, this predicament
has given rise to the emergence of numerous leadership gurus each posing their own
approach to leadership.
Leadership defies precise definition primarily because it is an idea in flux.
Leadership has a somewhat mysterious aspect to it. It is easy to recognize, hard to
describe, difficult to practice, and almost impossible to create on demand in others.
Further, leadership often means different things to different people and in different sets
of circumstances. It is one thing to a publicly elected official. It is yet something else
to a city manager trying to cope with shrinking budgets, raising citizen demands and
special interest groups. Compounding this predicament is the fact that cultural diversity
and pluralism is fast emerging with its own demands for leaders and leadership in
Despite over 200 separate definitions of leadership in the professional literature,
some consensus on it various facets is worth noting. Almotairi (1992), noted that
among these central ideas are the following:
A Group Process Leadership is a social activity; it takes place in
relationship between people and between individuals and groups.
Followership Similarly, leadership almost always involves willing
followers; people who might see personal need satisfaction in following
particular leaders and adhering to the leaders values, programs,
methods, and goals. So too, leaders themselves are typically involved in
followership behaviors as they also follow other leaders and have been
good followers in the past; they know about being a follower from
Influence/Power Leaders typically influence those around them,
society generally speaking, and the different institutions of society.
Creative Vision Leaders create vision of the future. They articulate a
clear, attractive, compelling vision of what life, the organization or
agency, and the individuals involved can or should be like. They then
preach that vision, focusing attention and energies on attaining this
good future state of being.
Different Leaders are different from most of the rest of us. They may
be described as charismatic, magnetic, powerful personalities or other
similar adjectives. At a minimum, they are different from the follower
Enthusiasm A part of the difference that leaders project is high-
energy, enthusiastic involvement. They trigger similar motives in
followers. We become motivated by their personality and activity of the
leaders we volunteer to follow
Some other, less universal characteristics are often included in these definitions.
These include communication skills. Generally speaking, leaders are seen as good
communicators, personally demonstrating to the group of followers values and ideals,
and as transformers of the organizations and institutions. Thus, leadership is both a
personal activity and an organizational process. In fact, it can transcend the latter and
impact cultures and societies as a whole.
Therefore, given the complexity of the subject and in order to manage this
arduous task, this researcher has included only the most significant features of past and
present leadership theories in addition to a historical overview of the evolution of
In order to augment this literature review, numerous interviews were conducted
with prominent individuals from throughout the United States who were knowledgeable
about Latino leadership. These interviews were directed to elicit from them their expert
opinions on why there is so little academic scholarship on Latino leadership and more
specifically, on differences and similarities of Latino leaders as compared to non-Latino
Leadership scholarship is not a static phenomenon. It continues to expand
almost daily as new works are added and existing works are revised and updated. The
literature review that follows is presented into the following specific areas:
Overview of Leadership
Leadership Trait Theory
Humanistic Leadership Theory
Situational Leadership Theory
Transformational Leadership Theory
Values and Leadership Latino Values and Leadership Styles
Overview of Leadership
Theorists in the study of leadership have sought to understand the dynamic of
leadership by attempting to investigate the causal factors of effective leadership. In the
early 1940's, the dominant leadership theories were those that espoused the "Great
Man," theory that believed that there were inherent personality types, naturally inclined
toward leadership. This theory held that individual men [and presumably women] were
endowed with unique characteristics that allowed them to influence their followers.
Jennings stated, "Great changes in the history of an organization or a society generally
result from the innovative efforts of a few superior individuals" (Jennings, 1960, p. 11).
Closely related to the "Great Man" theory was a leadership trait approach that
argued that common traits, if demonstrated by identifiable leaders, would contribute
towards the development of leadership capacities. Until the 1940's, most research about
leadership focused on individual traits.
This pure trait theory eventually fell into disfavor. StodgiU's critique in 1948
concluded that both person and situation had to be included to explain the emergence of
leadership. Effective leaders did not merely appear according to some internal clock,
but developed in relationship to particular circumstances. Since Stogdill's critique it has
generally been accepted that any leadership theory has to take into account the situation,
the individual and the interaction between them. Various researchers addressed the
relationship among these factors over the past three decades.
Blake and Mouton developed a theory of leadership, which addressed this by
rating leaders in terms of their concern for people and concern for production.
According to their managerial grid Blake and Mouton viewed these concerns as
complementary rather then as opposites. Leaders who rated high on both scales
engendered feelings of commitment to the work and interdependence based on a
common stake in the organization among their followers (Blake and Mouton, 1964).
They argued that the leader's role changes as the group matures. Ultimately the leader is
low on both measures and the group takes over what had been leadership roles. This
approach included a humanistic attention to individuals, which was lacking in "Great
Consistent with this more "humanistic" concern for followers and their needs,
was Maslows hierarchy needs. He too was concerned with the human being in
organizations. He applied his hierarchy of human needs to observations of workers. He
felt it was important for leaders to help all workers satisfy their need for self-
actualization and become whatever they had the capacity to become (Maslow, in
McGregor, 1966, p. 8).
McGregor's Theory Y was quite similar to Maslow's self-actualization in that it
assumed people were motivated and wished to do a good job (McGregor, 1966, p. 11).
Based on this view of human nature, an effective leader would try to structure the
organization so that people could recognize and fulfill their needs as well as help the
organization achieve its goals.
Other studies have also pointed to the importance of the relationship between
the leader and the rest of the group. Fiedlers contingency theory looked at the leader as
being predominantly task-oriented or relations-oriented. He believed the leader is more
or less effective depending upon the conditions in the given situation. Ideally, leaders
will be well matched to the situations they find themselves in (Fiedler, 1967, p. 69).
House's path goal theory described such a concern by leaders of followers
interests. In this theory, the leaders role is one of clarifying goals for followers and then
helping them identify paths to reach those goals. This theory looks upon the interaction
between leader and follower as a type of exchange. The leader provides valuable
services to the group in return for the compliance and support of his/her followers.
Increasingly, the leader is seen as a member of the group who plays a particular role in
specific situations (House, 1971).
The various theories outlined above share a view of the relationship between
leader and those led which involves some kind of exchange. Rewards, status, or
satisfaction of psychic needs are granted the follower in return for his work and his
support of the leader. Even the most humanistic views of leadership are based upon
exchange. The leader helps the follower identify and satisfy higher level needs such as
self-actualization or self-fulfillment In return, the follower performs satisfactorily and
thus helps the organization achieve its goals. This transactional view leaves out an
important aspect of leadership; its transforming capacity.
The preceding paragraphs illustrate the evolution of leadership theories and
points to the importance of the relationship between leaders and followers. These more
humanistic approaches focus on the value of helping followers develop their potential.
We see an increasing emphasis on the importance of matching leaders to the given
situation- There is also an understanding that the leader has something more to offer
followers. It also reflects a growing consensus that perhaps we are witnessing a
paradigm shift in leadership theory.
In Leadership and the New Science, Margaret Wheatley indicates that leadership
is now being studied for its relational aspects. More and more studies are beginning to
focus on followership, empowerment, and leader accessibility (Wheatley, 1992, p. 12).
She goes on to state that the impact of vision, values and culture occupy a great deal
organizational attention. Leadership skills have also taken on a relational approach.
Leaders now are being encouraged to include stakeholders, evoke followership, and to
empower others and this is resulting in a different paradigm for leadership. She
We instinctively reach out to leaders who work with us on creating
meaning. Those who give voice and form to our search for meaning,
and who help us to make our work purposeful, are leaders we cherish,
and to whom we return gift for gift (Wheatley, 1992, p.135).
What we see in the current literature is a focus on leadership models that would
be considered very similar to the transformational model described later in this chapter.
Much of this is being driven because of the popularity of flexible management,
participatory management, concern for humanistic principles and other effects of the
"reinventing government mentality." It has created a market for gurus of leadership and
several have come forward.
For example, in Super Leadership: Leading Others to Lead Themselves, Manz
and Sims (Manz and Sims, 1989), have proposed that a new paradigm in leadership
theory has emerged. They refer to it as Super Leadership. They go on to contrast it
with more traditional approaches that they refer to as transactional and more idealistic
approaches such as Visionary-Hero. Considering the process that they have outlined for
their definition of Super Leadership, it could be concluded that it is not too unlike the
basic assumptions of transformational leadership proposed by Bums. Similarities also
exist with the four classifications of transformational leadership proposed by Bass and
Avolio and described later, (Bass and Avolio, 1985).
Manz and Sims believed that Super Leadership is the optimal style of leadership
in terms of meeting the needs of followers, achieving efficiency on an individual and
organizational basis, and satisfying higher-order needs such as self-efficacy and self-
actualization. They also believed that the act of leadership could be taught and
constantly are improved upon. According to their conceptualization of leadership, in
order to become a Super Leader one must:
Use self-Management to become a self-leader.
Be a model of self-leadership to followers.
Create positive thought patterns.
Develop self-leadership through rewards.
Treat mistakes as opportunities.
Promote self-managed teams
Promote a self-leadership culture.
Their model is illustrated in Table 2.1.
MAINZ AND SIMS FOUR TYPES OF LEADERS
Strong Man Transactor Visionary- Hero SuperLeader
Focus: Commands Rewards Visions Self-Leaders
Type of Power Position/ Authority/ Coercive Reward Relational/ Inspirational Shared
Source of Wisdom and Direction Leader Leader Leader Mosdy Followers, then leaders
Typical Leader Behaviors Direction Command Intimidation Non-contingent Reprimand Goal Setting Contingent Personal Reward Contingent Material Reward Contingent Reprimand Stating of leaders vision Change in status quo Exhortation Inspirational Persuasion Seven Steps to SuperLeader- ship
Subordinate Response Fear-Based Compliance Calculative Compliance Emotional Commitment based on Vision Commitment Based on Ownership
Source: C.C. Manz and H.P. Sims, Jr. SuperLeadership: Leading Others to Lead Themselves.
j Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 1989.
Leadership Trait Theory
Perhaps the earliest systematic research on leadership was directed toward the
identification of traits, or characteristics, of great or effective leaders. This approach
assumed that individual traits of effective leaders could be readily identified. Therefore,
much of the research was designed to identify intellectual, emotional, physical, and
other personal characteristics of successful leaders. A notable exception to these
characteristics was the inclusion of ethnic, racial or cultural variables. The population
studied was primarily white, Anglo males. Therefore, little was made known about
minority or women leader traits. Personnel testing components of scientific
management supported to a great extent the trait theory of leadership (Stogdill, 1974).
In his 1935 book, The An of Leadership, Ordway Tead addressed the notion of
followership and concluded that most people desired to belong to goal-oriented groups
and recognized that not everyone could be a leader. Tead stated that "good leading
depends on good following. The leader points the way but the followers must decide
that the way is good (Tead, 1935, p. 298). Tead acknowledged that often times, the
perceptive powers of the leader in terms of his or her ability to identify appealing goals,
critical situations or issues, do provide an opportunity to demonstrate leadership.
This ability to perceive situations and process ideas in a logical fashion became
an identifiable leadership trait. Follet also recognized this and discussed the law of the
situation (Follet, 1949, in Bass, 1991). However, unlike Follet who believed in the
significance of the situation, Tead believed that true leader could create the situation.
Tead identified the following traits as reflective of leadership:
1. Physical and nervous energy Leadership requires an enormous
amount of energy because it is so physically and emotionally taxing.
2. Sense of purpose or direction The leader must have goals, be able
to articulate them and inspire others to pursue them.
3. Enthusiasm Good leaders often feel themselves "commanded by
power." Their enthusiasm is somehow converted into command or
4. Friendliness and affection Tead believed that leaders needed to be
liked by followers if they are to exercise the necessary influence over
5. Integrity Leaders need to be trustworthy (Tead, 1935).
Stogdill noted in his survey of 33 studies that there is a general trend, which
indicates that leaders are more intelligent than followers are. However, he noted that an
extreme difference in intelligence between leader and follower was dysfunctional
because it impaired effective communication between them (Stogdill, 1974).
Ghiselli (1963) reported several personality traits, which tend to be associated
with leader effectiveness. For example, he found that initiative and the ability to act and
initiate action independently were related to the level in the organization of the leader.
The higher the person went in the organization the more important this trait became. He
also found that self-assurance was related to hierarchical position in the organization.
Although some traits appear to differentiate effective and ineffective leaders,
there still exist many contradictory research findings. There are a number of possible
reasons for the disappointing results. First, and most problematic is the lack of
agreement in identifying traits. Second, the list of potentially important traits is infinite.
Every year new traits are added to personality, physical characteristics, and
intelligence. This continual "adding on" results in more confusion among those
interested in identifying leadership traits. Third, trait test scores are not consistently
predictive of leader effectiveness. Traits do not operate singly, but in combination, to
influence followers. This interaction influences the leader-follower relationship.
Further, cultural/gender bias potentially impact the norming of the instrumentation used.
Fourth, the patterns of effective behavior depend largely on other factors. Finally, the
trait approach does not provide insight into what the effective leader does in his or her
position or role as a leader. Observations are needed that describe the behavior of
effective and ineffective leaders (Almotairi, 1992).
Humanistic Leadership Theory
Bass indicated that the theories of leadership of McGregor, Argyris, Likert,
Blake and Mouton, Maslow, and Hersey and Blanchard were grounded in the American
ideals of democracy and freedom (Bass, 1990, p. 42). These theories were concerned
with development of the individual within effective and cohesive organizations.
Therefore, the function of leadership was to modify the organization to help create
freedom for individuals to realize their potential and contribute to organizational
Since 1947, Likert has been studying how best to manage the efforts of
individuals to achieve desired performance and satisfy work objectives (Likert, 1961,
1967). The purpose of most of the famous leadership research from the University of
Michigan in the late 1940's was to discover the principles and methods of effective
leadership. The effectiveness criteria used in many of the studies included:
Productivity per work hour or other similar measure of the organizations
success in achieving its production goals.
Job satisfaction of members of the organization.
Turnover, absenteeism, and grievance rates.
Employee and managerial motivation (Almotairi, 1992).
Through interviewing leaders and followers, the researchers identified two
styles of leadership, which are referred to as, job-centered and employee-centered. The
job-centered leader practices close supervision so those subordinates perform their tasks
using specified procedures. This more clearly demonstrates transactional principles.
This type of leader relies on coercion, reward, and legitimate power to influence the
behavior and performance of followers. The concern for people is viewed as important,
but not necessary to get the job done.
On the other hand, the employee-centered leader believes in delegating decision
making and aiding followers in satisfying their needs by creating a supportive work
environment This more clearly demonstrates transformational principles. The
employee-centered leader is concerned with follower's personal advancement, growth,
and achievement These actions are assumed to be conducive to group formation and
development. In empirical studies designed to compare the two leader types, Likert
found that employee-centered leadership behaviors are more effective. However, the
Michigan studies do not clearly show that one particular style of leadership is always
the most effective. Furthermore, it fails to predict which style will be the most
effective. Finally, it only examines two aspects of leadership, task and people behavior.
Other major research efforts that were initiated occurred in the post-World War
II era. These included those at Ohio State which resulted in a two-factor theory of
leadership (Stogdill, 1974). These studies isolated two leadership factors referred to as
initiating structure and consideration. Initiating structure involves behavior in which the
leader organizes and defines the relationships in the group, tends to establish well-
defined patterns and channels of communication, and spells out ways of getting the job
done. Consideration involves behavior indicating friendship, mutual trust, respect,
warmth, and rapport between the leader and followers.
Yet Blake and Mouton who conceptualized the managerial grid initiated another
study within this approach. They established a grid with concern for production and
concern for people on the two axis and laid out 9 possibilities for each. Blake and
Mouton assumed that people and production concerns are complementary, rather than
mutually exclusive. In addition, they believed that leaders must integrate these concerns
to achieve effective performance results (Blake and Mouton, 1978, 1981). According to
Blake and Mouton, the grid enables leaders to identify their own leadership styles. It
also serves as a framework for leaders to use in assessing their styles before undertaking
a training program that is designed to move them to higher levels.
McGregor proposed another approach from which to view leadership and
management In The Human Side of Enterprise he proposed the best-known dichotomy
in leadership theory: Theory X and Theory Y, (McGregor, 1960). McGregor referred to
Theory X as the "traditional view of direction and control." Under this view the leader
made the following assumptions about the followers:
The average human being has an inherent dislike for work and will
avoid it if possible.
Because human beings dislike work, they must be coerced, controlled,
directed, and threatened with punishment if they are to put forth-
adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational goals.
The average human being prefers direction, wishes to avoid
responsibility, and has relatively little ambition. Most of all, security is
Conversely, McGregor viewed Theory Y as a means of "integrating individual
and organizational goals." Under this view, the leader made the following assumptions
about his or her followers:
The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as
play and rest.
The threat of punishment and external control is not the only means
available for increasing effort toward the accomplishment of
organizational goals. Humans are quite capable of exercising self-
direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are
Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with
The capacity to exercise a high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and
creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely not
narrowly, distributed in the population.
Under conditions of modem industrial life the intellectual potential of
the average human being is rarely utilized.
According to McGregor, the principle that derived from Theory X was that of
direction and control through the exercise of authority. Theory Y, by contrast, was
based on the principle of integration or the creation of conditions such that the members
of the organization achieved their goals best by aiming their energies toward the success
of the enterprise. This principle of integration literally creates the conditions whereby
individuals achieve their personal goals in the process of contributing to the objective of
the organizationthe process of mutual reinforcement.
The assumptions of a leader are important, according to McGregor, because
what one believes to be true causes one to behave in a certain way. This is not unlike
Rokeach's theory of value congruence, (Rokeach, 1973). This behavior, in turn, causes
others to behave exactly as one expected. This is the way people create self-fulfilling
prophecies. If a leader assumes that followers are lazy, are irresponsible, and must be
forced to work hard, it is likely that a system of incentives and appraisal will be set up
that guarantees followers will behave in precisely this manner. Precise rules and
regulations will be developed, and managers will closely supervise workers to ensure
that work is not only completed but also accomplished in the precise manner that the
leader desires. Workers will soon find ways of getting around the system and will
eventually behave irresponsibly, just as Theory X predicts.
On the other hand, if followers are assumed to be responsible and mature, a
system of incentives and appraisal will be set up that encourages them to behave in a
mature and responsible way. Opportunities for professional and personal growth will be
provided, supervision will be relaxed, and workers will respond with maturer behavior.
Interestingly, McGregor has been criticized for thinking of leadership only in
terms of either Theory X or Theory Y when, in reality, followers possess some
characteristics described by both theories. In fact, McGregor apparently recognized the
danger of thinking in terms of such extremes and indicated early that leaders should
engage in selective adaptation with respect to their assumptions. Still, The Human Side
of Enterprise is a classic in the field; not because of its scientific sophistication, but
because of its clarity and its focus on a key ingredient of leadership, namely, what the
leader assumes about followers does in fact affect leader behavior. Manz and Sims
support this point with the following axioms:
When employees live with criticism, they leam to condemn.
When employees live with ridicule, they leam to be shy.
When employees live with tolerance, they leam to be patient.
When employees live with encouragement, they leam confidence.
When employees live with praise, they leam to appreciate.
When employees live with approval, they leam self-esteem (Manz and
Sims, in Sims and Lorenzi, 1992, p. 301).
Likert's work accurately represents the types of issues that need to be considered
when identifying appropriate and inappropriate leadership styles, and his ideas are based
on more and better data than most of the other research in this area. The foundations of
this theory of leadership were in 1961. In New Patterns of Management, (Likert, 1961),
two ideas appear particularly significant for managers. First, the most effective leaders
and managers are those who form a linking function with people above and below them
in the organization. Second, Likert proposed his famous principle of supporting
relationships, which stated that leaders should ensure "a maximum probability" that all
interactions in an organization are viewed as supportive and designed to build and
maintain a sense of personal work and importance.
Likert contrasted various types of organizations on the basis of the type of
leadership style used. Likert's ideas are consistent with those noted by McGregor.
Each believed that the type of climate management establishes within an organization,
influences the performance of employees. While both writers recognized that
situational variables could radically affect leader behavior, the theme is quite clear
greater focus on the human factor will lead to higher levels of individual and
organization performance. Furthermore, even though Likert and McGregor would not
deny the importance of situational factors, there is little doubt from their writings that
both believed the human relations orientation of Theory Y to be preferable to other
There are other difficulties associated with this approach. Most basically, this
approach encounters problems similar to those of the trait studies. Effective leadership
does not seem to be the same in all organizations or situations. Researchers view style
as a constant factor, at least over a short period, but supervisors may apply different
styles in different situations.
In his maturity-immaturity theory, Argyris noted a fundamental difference
between the organization and the individual. He determined that is was the nature of
organizations to structure members roles and set limits on their performance.
Conversely, it is the individual's nature to be self-directed and to seek fulfillment
through exercising initiative. On this basis, organizations will be most effective when
its leadership provides the means for employees to be creative (Argyris, 1964).
Situational Leadership Theory
Because of the difficulties in identifying ideal and particularistic theories on
leadership, what resulted was a situation-based theory. This suggested that leadership
effectiveness is dependent upon the fit between personality, task, power, attitudes, and
expectations. Within this framework are three major theories; Fiedler's Contingency
theory; House's Path-Goal theory; and, Hersey and Blanchards Contingency theory.
Fiedler's contingency theory dominated much of the literature on leadership
research during the decade of the 1970s. According to Fiedler, the effectiveness of
task-oriented and relations-oriented leaders depends upon the demands imposed by the
situation. Leaders are assessed as either task oriented or relations oriented according to
the way they judge their least preferred worker. In this theory leadership can be viewed
as a relationship between power and influence. Task oriented people should be selected
to lead very favorable or unfavorable situations, and relations-oriented people should be
selected to lead situations that are neither high nor low in terms of favorability (Fiedler,
Fiedler proposed three situational factors that impact upon a leader's
effectiveness. These include leader-member relations, task structure and position
power. The leader-member relations refer to the degree of confidence, trust, and respect
followers have in the leader. Task structure includes several variables including goal
clarity, goal-path multiplicity, decision verifiability, and decision specificity. Position
power in the contingency model refers to the power ascribed to the leadership position.
According to the Path-Goal theory, leaders are effective because of their positive
impact on follower's motivation, ability to perform, and satisfaction. The theory is
referred to as path goal because its focus is on how the leader influences the follower's
perceptions of work goals, self-development goals, and paths to goal attainment (House,
Two major propositions were made as the result of path-goal theory. These
Leader behavior is acceptable and satisfying to the extent that the
followers perceive such behavior as an immediate source of satisfaction
or as instrumental to future satisfaction.
Leader behavior will be motivational to the extent that it makes
satisfaction of followers needs contingent on effective performance and
it complements the environment of followers by providing guidance,
clarity of direction, and rewards necessary for effective performance
(House and Mitchell, 1974, p. 84).
Therefore, leaders should strive to increase the number and types of rewards
available to their followers and help clarify the manner in which these rewards can be
actualized. Conversely, the leader should help to identify any barriers, which interfere
in their follower's attempts to meet them. Clearly, this approach requires a great deal of
time and flexibility from the leader for it to be effective.
Two situational aspects of this theory include the personal characteristics and
competence level of the followers and second, the environmental pressures and
demands with which followers must cope in order to accomplish goals and obtain
satisfaction. Generally speaking, the path-goal theory reflects an improvement over trait
and personal-behavioral theories because it attempts to identify which factors affect the
motivation to perform.
These two models are important contributions to leadership theory. The have
similarities as well as differences. The similarities include their focus on the
dynamics of leadership; their consideration of situational factors; their influence on
further research and; both have had some problems with instrumentation and
measurement (Hollander, 1978). Table 2.2 compares these two models (Almotairi,
1992, p. 47).
Approach Leader Behavior Style Situational Factors Outcome Criteria
Fiedler's Contingency Theory Task-Oriented Relationship-Oriented Task Structure Leader-member relations Position power Leader/Group's effectiveness
Path-Goal Theory Directive Supportive Participative Achievement Minded Follower characteristics Environmental factors Satisfaction and improved performance
The situational variables discussed in Table 22 differ somewhat. There is also a
different view of outcome criteria for assessing how successful the Leadership style had
Lastly, it is important to note that Hersey and Blanchard (1977) developed a
contingency theory of leadership to explain the fact that consideration and initiating
structure are not consistently related to leader effectiveness. That is, if a leader
emphasizes either one, or both, it did not necessarily result in success. Their life-cycle
theory extends Blake and Moutons (1978) managerial grid work (Almotairi, 1992, p.
72). The theory is concerned with two broad categories of leadership behavior:
Task behavior; the extent to which leaders are inclined to organize and
define roles, explain activities, and establish well-defined
communication channels and task accomplishment processes.
Relationship behavior; the extent to which leaders are likely to maintain
personal relationships; open communication channels; and provide
socio-emotional support, psychological rewards, and facilitating
Hersey and Blanchard focus on only one situational factor, follower maturity.
This includes the capacity to set high but attainable goals, a willingness to take
responsibility, a high level of education and experience. Maturity involves two
components, job maturity and psychological maturity. They recognized other factors in
the situation, but ignored them in their model. They concluded that, as the level of
maturity increases, the leader should use more relationship-oriented behavior and less
task-oriented behavior to a point where followers have a moderate level of maturity.
While Hersey and Blanchards theory contains certain logic and focuses on
effective behavior of leadership, it fails to relate its concepts to practical experience.
It ignores other relevant variables that are important to a fuller understanding of
leadership (e.g., task goal commitment, goal interdependence, etc.), although it is built
on sound theoretical foundations.
Transformational Leadership Theory
In his 1978 seminal work, Leadership, Bums wrote extensively about
transforming leadership. In this work he compared and contrasted transactional with
transformational leaders. While the first type of leader motivates followers by
exchanging rewards for performance whether they are economic, emotional or political,
the latter type of leader recognizes and exploits an existing need of a potential follower.
The successful transformational leader looks for possible motives in followers, seeks to
satisfy higher needs, and engages their maximum potential. In many respects, this
model constituted a departure from the leadership theories that have been identified and
researched prior to that time.
Bums showed that many of our greatest leaders (e.g., Roosevelt, King, and
Gandhi) had been effective by exhorting their followers to look beyond their self-
interest to the good of the group. Ultimately, such leaders are able to transform their
followers into leaders in their own right. This is far more appealing to follower interest
than having power wielded over them. Bums viewed this style of leadership as distinct
from and better than transactional leadership in bringing about real intended change.
The transformational leader does not merely recognize current needs and find
ways for followers to meet them. She or he seeks to fully engage followers and looks
for potential in them. The leader works with the follower to elevate that potential and
realize it. This is done in the context of making "conscious choices among real
alternatives (Bums, 1978, p. 36). The leader has goals in mind and is constantly
seeking to reach them. However, the method for reaching goals is decidedly different
from that of a transactional leader.
The difference results in the followers of a transformational leader becoming
different people over time than if they had not been part of that relationship.
Conversely, the followers of a transactional leader will be the same people in different
circumstances. The latter has changed the degree of an already existing circumstance.
The former has changed the quality of the circumstances themselves. This is a critical
aspect to this models appeal to followers and a reason why so much attention has been
given it in the literature.
Transformational leadership incorporates many aspects of other leadership
theories. It is humanistic in its emphasis upon the needs of the follower and the
relationship between follower and leader. It acknowledges the contingency aspect of
leadership, and moves far beyond "great man" theories of causation. The crucial
difference lies in the conceptualization of a leader as one who fundamentally changes
followers, even to the point that they become the leaders. The leader is also transformed
through his relationship with followers. Ultimately, both are raised to a higher "level of
human conduct and ethical aspiration" (Bums, 1978, p. 20).
Other similar theories that fall into this classification include Tichy and
Devannas version of Transformational Leadership (1990), Visionary Leadership as
articulated by Nanus (1992), Bennis (1994), Manz and Sim's Super Leadership (in
Manz and Sims, 1989), and Enlightened Leadership as popularized by Oakley and Krug
The transforming philosophy that emerged in Bums Leadership presented a
new paradigm in leadership theory. The essential differences between the transactional
and the transformational philosophies lie in the impact upon the follower. The
transformational leader asks his/her followers to transcend their own self-interests for
the good of the group, organization, or society; to consider their long-term needs to
develop themselves, rather than their needs at the moment; and to become more aware
of what is really important. In this way, followers are converted to leaders.
The transforming leader recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a
potential follower. But, beyond that, the transforming leader looks for potential motives
in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower.
The result of transforming leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation and
elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents
(Bums, 1978, p. 4).
Thus, Bums argued the real goal of transforming leadership is in what it does for
its human members. It is in addressing change based upon follower's needs that are of
paramount importance in the transforming process. This view of leadership is
revolutionary because it is action oriented and strives to create new and broader
boundaries. Bums sought to synthesize these approaches and concluded, "That people
can be lifted into their better selves is the secret of transforming leadership and the
moral and practical theme of this work" (Bums, 1978, p. 462).
With the emergence of Bums' contribution to leadership theory, several writers
sought to popularize this approach because of its contemporary applicability. Writers
like Tichy, Devanna, Kuhnert and Russell, Avolio and Bass and several of Bass*
colleagues at the National Center for Leadership Studies at the University of New York
at Binghamton. Others have worked to expand Bums' conceptual framework. As a
result, four major dimensions of this approach have been identified and written about in
the literature and described below.
Transformational leadership can generally be conceptually organized along four
correlated dimensions. These include charismatic leadership, inspirational leadership,
intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Within these dimensions the
leader moves from presenting a vision and articulating the goals to inspiring enthusiasm
among the followers to creating an understanding of the problem. The dimension of
individual consideration is more of a philosophy that demonstrates a caring attitude of
According to Bass and Avolio, transformational leadership is closer to the
prototype of leadership that most people have in mind when they describe their ideal
leader and it is more likely to provide a role model with which subordinates want to
identify, (Bass and Avolio, 1988, p. 37).
Bernard Bass and several of his colleagues have conducted the greatest body of
empirical research on transformational leadership. As early as 1985 Bass began his
research efforts in order to develop and apply a model of leadership that could account
for leadership behaviors that covered a much broader range than the transactional model
explained. His early works concentrated on leadership and performance where he
sought to explain leadership that inspired followers to extraordinary levels of effort and
While Bums had conceived of leaders as either transactional or
transformational, this paradigm was modified in 1985 by Bernard Bass, who proposed
that transformational leadership augments the effects of transactional leadership in
terms of its impact on the efforts, satisfaction, and effectiveness of subordinates (Bass,
1985, p. 28). Bass noted that many of the great transformational leaders including
Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, were able to
demonstrate transactional styles given the proper circumstances. Bass went on to
incorporate aspects of transactional leadership into his research and subsequent
development of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ).
In 1985, Bass identified 142 items of leadership behavior which had been
generated from a content analysis of an opened-ended survey of 70 senior executives
who were familiar with transformational leadership and a subsequent theory-driven
literature search (Bass and Avolio, 1990, p.18). These 142 items were then sorted into
three categories: transformational, transactional, or "cant say. Of the original 142
items, 73 were finally selected for inclusion in the MLQ questionnaire based on the
following criteria: eight or more judges identified an item as transformational and none
or one identified the item as transactional, or vice versa. Based upon his research he
formulated several variations of the MLQ to be used for self-ratings, subordinate
ratings, and superior ratings and established a correlational matrix of the seven factors.
Using data provided by a 1985 sample of 176 senior military leaders, Bass
conducted a factor analysis using a varimax rotation of the 73 items off of his MLQ and
yielded seven leadership factors. He labeled these following factors as indicators of
Charisma: Provides vision and a sense of mission, instills pride, gains
respect and trust;
Inspiration: Communicates high expectations, uses symbols to focus
efforts, expresses important purposes in simple ways;
Intellectual Stimulation: Promotes intelligence, rationality, and careful
Individualized Consideration: Gives personal attention, treats each
employee individually, coaches, and advises (Bass and Avolio, 1990, p.
As a result of his research findings, Bass identified and defined four factors or
leadership types that he referred to as indicative of Transactional Leaders. These
include the following:
Contingent Reward: Contracts exchange of rewards for effort, promises
rewards for good performance, recognizes accomplishments;
Management by Exception (active): Watches and searches for deviations
from rules and standards, takes corrective action;
Management by Exception (passive): Intervenes only if standards are not
Laissez-Faire: Abdicates responsibilities, avoids making decisions. This
constituted the non-leadership factor (Bass and Avolio, 1990, p. 20).
His results were categorized into a higher-order factor analysis representing
active and passive leadership. He consistently found significant correlation between
transformational behaviors and high ratings regardless of the particular rating form and
determined that transformational principles could be taught. This model of leadership
has a high degree of internal and external validity, generalizability and statistically valid
and normed instrumentation. Furthermore, the model has been studied in a variety of
organizational settings such as military agencies, private sector corporations, public
sector organizations, educational institutions, colleges and universities, and local units
Subsequent research has demonstrated that once leadership styles are assessed
(via the MLQ) that training can be afforded to individuals in order to improve along the
continuum toward the "higher order" leadership styles. Further, Bass and his associates
noted that transformational leadership augments transactional leadership and the
literature on this subject refers to this as value-added leadership.
Citing his findings in the International Journal of Public Administration in 1991,
Bass concluded that there was great universality of his full range model of leadership.
He successfully tested his model in Barcelona, New Zealand, Japan and Mexico and
found a high degree of correlation to his American studies.
Values and Leadership: Latino Values and Leadership
Like much of the literature in the social sciences, the literature on values and
leadership is quite diverse and not sufficiently well integrated. However, it clearly
reflects the importance and pervasiveness of values. There is extensive literature on
both values in general and on more specific values concerned with work and leadership
functions in organizations.
Hit asserts that values are preferences for courses of action and outcomes. He
differentiates them from beliefs and ideologies even though they are not always viewed
separately in the literature but indicates that values shape attitudes (Hunt, 1991). This is
consistent with much of the literature. Values are seen as a very individual matter and
distinct from organizational culture.
Four well-known value frameworks are frequently referred to in the literature.
These include the following (Hunt, 1991):
1. Allport-Vemon-Lindzey Framework: this framework focuses on six
value dimensions: theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political,
and religious. Allport and associates measured the relative strength
of these six dimensions using a forced choice instrument. This
resulted in rather lofty values that have been minimally used in
organizational settings (Allport, Vernon and Lindzey, 1970).
2. The Rokeach Framework: this framework divides values in to 18
that are terminal (end-states) and 18 that are instrumental (modes of
conduct). This model has recently received some attention in the
area of cultural competency approaches (delCastillo, 1992).
3. The England Framework: this framework is by far the most complex
and was especially developed for managers. He developed a
"Personal Values Questionnaire," that included 16 items each in 5
different categories, from personal growth goals of individuals to
ideas about more general topics. England has focused especially on
values of leaders across different countries. However, the
instrument's complexity makes its use problematic.
4. The Hofstead Framework: this framework was developed for cross-
national value comparisons and considers societal factors,
(presumable this would include ethnic cultures, although this is an
assumption on this researchers part). Hofstead developed five
dimensions that he used to classify societal cultural differences
across some 40 countries. There was no mention of societal cultural
differences within the United States. Like much social science
research and study in this country, there is an assumption of cultural
homogeneity, which is not the case among Anglo-Americans, much
less Mexican Americans.
One of the major problems with the research on values relates to ethno-centric
studies. Limited inclusion of people of color in these studies raises serious questions
about bias issues, including the norming of instrumentation with a predominantly Anglo
middle class. Further, in those few studies about minorities in the United States,
Stanfield concludes that the research is pejorative and based upon flawed
methodologies. This is especially true with regard to Mexican Americans where values
have been mislabeled as cultural, when in fact they may be differences based upon
industrial versus agrarian-based societies (Stanfield, 1993).
It has been asserted that there are definite Latino cultural characteristics or
variables that are likely to effect their emergence and success as leaders. These include
the Latino view of self and world; individual -vs-collective needs; importance of family
even at the risk of personal goal denial or delay; and their emphasis on cooperation -vs-
competition. Indeed, the collectivist values to which Latinos subscribe, more so than
the mainstream society in the United States, that are likely to affect their performance as
leaders include being sensitive, loyal, respectful, dutiful, gracious, and conforming
(Triandis, Kashima, Lisansky, and Marin, 1982, p. 31). According to these findings,
Latinos are more likely than mainstream society to favor supervisors and management
styles that provide social support and consideration, assistance and cooperation
These findings indicate that much more research needs to be conducted specific
to Latinos as leaders within their ethnic community as well as within the majority
community in order to determine whether or not cultural characteristics influence the
leadership process in any significant manner.
In her doctoral dissertation on Mexican Ethnic leadership in San Antonio, Texas
in 1948, Sister Frances Jerome Woods identified several cultural characteristics that
impact on the development of leadership within the Mexican-American community.
Specifically, she discussed the prime importance of family and a spirit of cooperation
and accommodation as important cultural influences for leadership. However, perhaps
more important to leadership than these factors that can be derived from the
colonization of the Mexican, is social discrimination and negative stereotypes held by
Anglos of Mexicans. In addition, unequal application of the law towards this group,
and segregation of Mexican people in housing, employment and education have
inhibited leadership development (Woods, 1948). Woods conclusion was that these
factors have severely impaired leadership within the Mexican American community.
Other values like courtesy, humility and cooperation were also noted as
significant. Woods made a point to note that many of these values contributed to a
"patriarchal," regime of leadership-followership among the Mexican community.
Bonilla-Santiago made the same observations about the patriarchal structure within
Latino families and its impact on Latina women leaders. Bonilla-Santiago determined
that the second-class status afforded Latina women by their husbands, fathers or Latino
men in general, was a barrier to more women becoming leaders.
This raises a question about gender issues and feminism and its relationship to
the cultivation of leadership, particularly among women. This cultural influence is
compounded by contemporary attitudes within the womens movement. Citing widely
from this literature Bonilla-Santiago concludes that Latina women have never been
more than marginally accepted into the womens rights movement and have not
significantly benefited from it. Her conclusion is that gender, while significant, is not a
primary variable in effecting Latina women leadership as compared the Anglo women
leadership. She cites cultural differences between the upwardly mobile Anglo woman
and the Latina woman from the barrio as being too different as to have little in
common, (Bonilla-Santiago, 1992).
In his 1981 text, The Nature of Leadership for Hispanics and Other Minorities,
Ernest Yutze Flores indicates that any definition of leadership would most probably
apply equally as well to Latinos as to non-Latinos. He goes on to state that the
traditional notion of leaders is that all, regardless of their ethnicity are to some degree
controlled and influenced by the members whom they lead and must address many of
the same issues and problems. However, Flores concludes that there are unique
differences specific to Latino leaders, as opposed to those who are not. This is
principally because they are products of unique social, cultural, psychological, and
philosophical orientations. There are symbols, messages, customs, rituals, and non-
verbal amenities which only the Latino can speak and understand (Flores, 1981, p.47).
He concludes that more needs to be learned about Latinos in leadership positions.
In Hispanics and the Nonprofit Sector, Margarita B. Melville describes the
contrasting values of Latinos and the dominant Anglo culture (Melville, in Gallegos and
ONeill, 1991). She indicates that most analytically oriented Anglos make several
contrasts between themselves and Latinos with respect to values. These include the
Latino view offamilia versus Anglo individuality; Latino authoritarianism versus
Anglo egalitarianism; Latino present-time orientation versus Anglo future-time
orientation; and Latino religion and recreation as opposed to Anglo technology and
business, (Melville, 1991 in Gallegos and O'Neill, 1991. p.104).
Melville concludes that there should be no doubt that there are fundamental
differences in values between Latinos and non-Latinos that would impact leadership
development within the dominant culture. Bonilla-Santiago too, affirms this in her
1990 study of Latina Women leaders where she found that the majority of her sample
(84 percent) cited cultural values as a primary determining factor in their leadership
behaviors (Bonilla-Santiago, 1992).
In 1951, Miles Zintz identified several distinguishing characteristics between
Mexican American values and Anglo-American values that are illustrated in Table 2.3,
(Zintz, in de la Garza, Kruszewski and Archiega, 1971, p. 36). Recognizing that the
original list was developed over four decades ago, the table has been updated to include
more current information as cited in the literature. However, the reader should be
cautioned that some of the differences were based on stereotypical views of Mexican
Americans/Latinos. Therefore, the question of relevancy must be considered. Another
factor that must be considered relates to possible researcher bias.
Many of the more contemporary scholars in ethnographic research such as
Stanfield and Facio (1992) and other political scientists like Hero (1992), Garcia, de la
Garza (1977), Cotrell (1994) echo the challenges ofMartinez (1971) and Liebow (1967,
in de la Garza, Kruszewski and Arciniega, 1971). This latter group believed that some
of the differences noted were more class differences and differences based on points of
origin (coming agrarian versus industrial backgrounds) than they were cultural
characteristics. However, these challenges were not based on empirical studies.
TYPICAL CLASSIFICATION OF MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LATINO AND ANGLO-AMERICAN VALUE SYSTEM
Latino Values Anglo-American Values
Subjugation to Nature Mastery over nature
Present time orientation Future time orientation
Status based on ascription Status based on achievement
Pamcularistic perspective Universalistic perspective
Emotional Affectively neutral
Low level aspiration High level of aspiradon
Work for present needs Work for future success
Non-adherence to time schedule Adherence to time schedules
Reaction to change Acceptance of change
Non-sciendfic explanation for Natural phenomena Scientific explanation for all behavior
Obedience to the will of God Individuality and self-actualization
Source: adapted from Miles Zintz, "Education Across Cultures," pp. 241-43, in de la Garza,
Kruszewski and Arciniega Chicanos and Native Americans: The Territorial Minorities, New
Jersey: Prentice Hall. 1971. Also included in this chart is a compilation of differences cited by
other authors and researchers (Triandis, 1984; Triandis, Kashima and Marin, 1981; and Melville,
The Latino community, like all communities has had a leadership structure that
met and continues to meet the needs of the community to the extent that the dominant
group allows it to function. Historically, the interrelationship between these two groups
has often limited Latino leadership. This was noted in the studies of informal
associations and organizations within these communities done by Woods, 1948,
Benavidez, 1974 and Bonilla-Santiago, 1992. Woods noted:
Leadership in Anglo communities is evidenced in the formal
organizations, associations and groups that exist within society.
Mexican ethnic leadership exists and is evidenced in the informal
associations and less-known organizations that exist in the Mexican
community (such as League of United Latin American Citizens founded
in the 1930's). Since these groups are homogeneous in nature, they are
largely unknowns to Anglos and therefore, the perception continues that
there are no Mexican leaders (Woods, 1948, p. 89).
Keefe's doctoral study of Mexican American women leaders in small California
towns found that effective leadership among this group was highly correlated to the
maintenance of close identification with their ethnic community. This study also found
that these leaders were well integrated into the informal groups and associations in the
ethnic community and that their "leadership training," originated there, (Keefe, 1974).
Bonilla-Santiago made similar observations in her own national study of Latina women
Still, limited literature was noted related to Mexican American leadership styles
or characteristics. The only exception was a model identified by Guzman in his 1969
dissertation on the political socialization of Mexican Americans and other discussions
on Latino political leadership found in the Political Science literature. Guzman
proposed that there were two types of leaders within the Mexican American
community. These include the internal leader (the local informal leader ascribed
respect) and the external leader (functionaries of social and political organizations). His
typology is described in Table 2.4 below.
TYPOLOGY OF MEXICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP
L Internal Leaders
(a) Social (d) Political
1. Heads of ethnic clubs and societies l. Party Committeemen
2. The economically secure 2. Professional Politicians 3. Aides to professional politicians
1. Business owners based in barrio e) Professional
2. Professionals who depend upon the barrio 1. Teachers
for income 2. Social Workers
3. Labor 3. Police Officers 4. Other civil servants
1. Priests and ministers (J) Informal social workers
2. Laymen Individuals with reputation for solving problems
II. External Leaders
(a) Anglos (b) Mexican Americans
1. Social organizers from labor, community 1. Subsidized leaders employed by local
and church groups state, or Federal agencies
2. Experts from government, universities, and 2. Independent Individuals
According to Guzman, one function common to most leaders is the strategically
important inter-mediation between the minority [Mexican Americans] and the dominant
culture. Even when the internal leaders are confined to activity within the barrio they
usually perform some intermediary function. The external leaders, either Anglos who
come from outside or Mexican Americans who return to the barrio to help their people,
may also function as intermediaries, but usually in connection with particular programs.
During the political struggles of Mexican Americans of the post-civil rights era
many of these intermediary leaders were cooptated and widely referred to as vendidos
(Spanish for sellout or traitor) by other Mexican Americans who felt betrayed. This
reflects perhaps one of the greatest problems of Mexican American leadership, that of
dual validation so often required of the Mexican American leader. One the one hand,
the leader must achieve acceptance and approval from the community while
simultaneously achieving the same from the larger society, (Grebler, Moore, and
Guzman, 1970, p. 551). Finally, with regard to these basic types of leaders it should be
noted that the classifications are not mutually exclusive of each other. In reality,
effective Mexican American leaders often fall into several classifications.
Garcia and de la Garza, in the Chicano Political Experience, discussed the
problem of Latino leadership. They noted that the Chicano (Latino) population is made
up of varied groups and that the Chicano experience, despite certain key common
elements, is quite diverse. Therefore, they concluded that it was completely
understandable that no single Chicano had emerged as a leader for the entire community
and that the perception remained that there were no leaders. Unlike the Blacks during
the civil rights movement, Chicanos had no specific and easily identifiable target on
which to focus. Therefore, Chicanos did not rally around a single common cause.
Instead, several successful leaders emerged within Chicano communities depending to a
great extent upon the needs of different constituencies (Garcia and de la Garza, 1977).
They identified four different styles. These included the following
Style of Alienation (the ultra-radical leader that did not receive
widespread acceptance from either the Chicano or dominant community)
Moral Crusader (this was primarily a charismatic person fighting a
widespread and accepted cause, i.e. migrant farmworker rights);
Alienated Reformer (the leader who has mobilized his constituency
through cultural solidarity over a common cause such as voter
Style of Accommodation (this is quite similar to Guzmans intermediary
leader who is marginal at best and quite often is considered a vendido).
They also described the emerging "Middle Class leader," the leader with the
skills and willingness to work within the system for broad scale change.
The fragmentation of leadership within Mexican American communities is often
singled out as the most crucial difficulty. However, the existence of multiple bases of
leadership as such is not the foremost problem, nor is it unique to Mexican Americans.
Members of the dominant society who often insist on a united front within a minority
group as a precondition for effective dialogue or action fail to recognize that pluralistic
organization and leadership is basic to the way the Mexican American community
operates to get things done.
In Latinos and the U.S. Political System: Two-Tiered Pluralism, Hero describes
three theoretical approaches in the field of Political Science to understanding Latinos
and Latino politics in this country; pluralism, coalitional bias, and internal colonialism.
He goes on to describe how each has failed to address the unique characteristics of the
Latino experience in this country. He then compares and contrasts the different Latino
sub-groups from within these perspectives. He concludes that a new perspective of two-
tiered pluralism best describes the Latino experience. That is, because of historical,
socioeconomic, and other factors, Latinos and other minority individuals and groups
have largely been relegated to a lower social and political tier or arena (Hero, 1992,
According to Hero, despite the equal legal and political status of Latinos
formally, distinct factors and processes have led to a systematically lower political and
social status. Hero suggests that these factors have undoubtedly impacted Latino
leadership by limiting access and power to leadership positions and functions.
Hero noted that in the field of Political Science, there have been three major
models proposed that best describe the Latino political experience in this country. Each
of these models has impacted the emergence of leaders in all types of organizations.
These three models include the Pluralist Model, the Elitist Model and the Internal
Colonial Model (Hero, 1992).
There are several features that are of central importance to the pluralistic model.
1. Multiple Centers of Power. This model makes an assumption that
there are several centers of power, none of which are sovereign.
Therefore, power is widely dispersed both formally and informally.
This is also a group model in that the competing players in the
political arena are primarily groups, organizations, and other forms
of collective interests. A second major assumption is that these
groups are essentially equal in terms of resources and influence and
that through open competition, public policy emerges.
2. Multiple Access Points. This characteristic assumes that there are
many points along the decision-making route at which groups
seeking influence can exert pressure to shape policy.
3. Gradual Change. The policy process in the pluralistic model is an
incremental one and progresses with little dramatic change over
4. Other factors. Bureaucracies and semi-public administrative
decision making bodies impact individuals and groups through their
rules and procedures that are viewed an apolitical (Hero, 1992, p.
Latino political scientists have challenged this pluralistic model because it has
not extended the boundaries of the political process to the Chicano communities and
this has created a politically weak constituency. It has also served to alienate and
suppress formal Latino leadership. In addition, the assumptions of this model are not
the political realities that exist for most Latinos. Examples cited were the establishment
of political voting districts in such a way as to divide Mexican American communities
and inhibit the creation of strong voting blocks.
The Elitist Model refers to the distribution of power to a select few. Unlike the
pluralistic model, basic inequality is a given and control of the policy making process is
limited to closed ranks of those few. This core group is separated from the masses by
distinguishing social, cultural, economic and ethnic characteristics, (Garcia and de la
The Internal Colonialism Model has been proposed by some Chicano social
scientists because of the inadequacies of the models described above. This model is an
expansion and modification of the classic colonialism, adapted to accommodate the
Chicano experience in this country. The concept of colonialism generally refers to
situations in which one group of people dominate and sometimes exploit another.
Oftentimes this occurs between people of different ethnic and culture groups. However,
the major difference between internal and classic colonialism is that in the former, the
colonized population [in this case, Latinos] has the same legal rights as the colonizers,
(Garcia and de la Garza, 1977).
As noted in this review of the literature, it is clear that the research study of
leadership has no shortage of explanations of causal or determining factors. However,
various explanations have been refined, particularly with regard to the recognition of the
situational or contingency perspective. While the successful application of most of the
approaches discussed above has been reported, it is possible that the variety of
individuals and situations encountered in the world of organizations and institutions
means that there will always be limits to explaining leadership and applying that
Unfortunately, there has been so little scholarly inquiry in the literature as is
pertains to Latino leadership as a distinct area that it is impossible to draw forth
conclusions from many of the studies and approaches and apply them to Latinos. Do the
findings and theories apply? Is leadership a culture-neutral occurrence? This
exploratory study represents an initial attempt to answer these questions. Even among
the Latino/Chicano political scientists and sociologists cited in this Chapter, there has
been little agreement on the question that has driven this study; what are the
characteristics of Latino leaders and what role did their ethnicity play in their becoming
The study of leadership will continue to address subjects which involve a certain
degree of indeterminacy; because leadership is an activity of humans in a complex and
changing social and cultural environment, limits on predictability seem unavoidable.
This situation is further compounded when demographic changes in the population are
considered and Latinos become more of a political and economic force. Yet. advances
in understanding, which can improve or nurture leadership and in particular, Latino
leadership, are possible. The approaches to studying and explaining leadership
discussed in this Chapter represents the most significant of such advances and the hope
is that further inquiry will follow as a result.
This study employs a qualitative approach, and uses the method of topical life
history. Qualitative research is a paradigm developed in the social sciences that
fundamentally depends on observing people in their own territory and interacting with
them in their own language, on their terms. As a result, it is difficult to anticipate the
findings and conclusions. Often times qualitative research methods can better capture
the essence or perceptions of phenomena from the view of the persons involved in the
process being studied. A number of researchers such as Reissman (1994), Locke,
Spirduso and Silverman (1993), and Strauss and Corbin (1990) support the validity of
These researchers support the utility and appropriateness of a qualitative
research approach when dealing with topic area that requires an in-depth understanding
of a phenomena based on the perceptions and experiences of the participants (Locke,
Spirduso and Silverman, 1993, p. 99). This approach also allows for the discovery and
understanding of a particular phenomena about which little is known or that are
difficult to convey with quantitative methods alone. On this point Reissman states:
Qualitative data provide richness, diversity, accuracy, and contextual
depth. They can be used to characterize a group or process; uncover the
analytical ordering of the world being studied; develop categories for
rendering explicable and coherent the flux of raw reality; and locate
structure, order, patterns as well as variations (Reissman, 1994, p. 33).
Within the field of qualitative research there exists a number of principles that
serve to guide this approach. Among these principles is the proposition that grounded
or emergent theory is preferred to a priori theory and that all theory should be grounded
at some stage before it is applied. For this particular study, the grounded theory
principles will be incorporated into the design and data analysis. They represent an
inductive approach to research and theory building.
Grounded theory was originally conceptualized and established by Glaser and
Strauss in 1967. The work of these two pioneers provided the theoretical base for
grounded theory as well as the framework for the research process. Strauss continues to
refine the theoretical base and methodological process of grounded theory. Strauss and
Corbin define grounded theory as:
A grounded theory is one that is inductively derived from the study of
the phenomena it represents. That is, it is discovered, developed, and
provisionally verified through systematic data collection and analysis of
data pertaining to that phenomenon. Therefore, data collection, analysis
and theory stand in reciprocal relationship with each other. One begins
with an area of study and what is relevant to that area is allowed to
emerge. (Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 23).
The ultimate goal and purpose of grounded theory, is to generate theory through
the research process itself. The focus of grounded theory is constructing and developing
as many diverse and relevant theoretical categories as possible based on the data that
emerge from the research process. Accordingly, grounded theory research is
considered to be the process of discovering and understanding meaning while
generating theory concurrently through the general method of comparative analysis.
This foundation of a grounded theory approach is reflected in both Glaser and Strauss
(1967) and Strauss and Corbin (1990).
Regarding this study, the use of comparative analysis will be utilized to generate
conceptual categories and properties. Comparative analysis employs the logic of
comparison to analyze empirical data and, therefore, generate theoretical categories to
guide the study to the level of discovering and understanding meanings from the data
(Glaser and Strauss, 1967). Unlike quantitative research that seeks to verify an
aggregated result pattern, qualitative research strives to understand, interpret, and report
the diversity and variations that occur from the phenomenon being studied (Strauss and
Corbin, 1990; Emerson, 1983).
As stated, this study will employ a qualitative approach using the method of
topical life history. As identified primarily with sociology, cultural anthropology, and
political science, qualitative research has been referred to as "naturalistic,
"ethnographic," and "participatory." Similarly, it is often referred to as exploratory
research because of the lack of hypothesis testing found in quantitative approaches
(Glaser, 1978). As such, qualitative research allows for creative and more in-depth
inquiry into many and varied social phenomena.
The major area of inquiry will address the self-reported social, familial, cultural
and environmental factors that have contributed to the leadership behaviors of the
subjects. As previously indicated, little scientific inquiry has been initiated that would
allow one to make any conclusive, or for that matter, speculative statements about the
phenomenon of Latino leadership.
The most feasible research approach to this study is the use of mini life histories,
or topical life histories. These "topical life histories," referred to by Dollard (1935) and
later, Denzin (1978) constitute viable and systematic research methodologies in ethno-
centric research studies such as this one. Further, their differing approach is essential if
the researcher is to be successful in identifying, presenting and interpreting data about
an organization, a group or individuals from the perspective of the persons involved.
According to Mandelbaum, life histories emphasize the experiences and
requirements of the individual and how he or she functions within a society as shaped
by their particular cultural experiences (Mandelbaum, in Marshall & Rossman, 1989,
p.96). With such an emphasis, the life histories approach seems well suited for this
study in order to determine the relationship between leadership and cultural influences.
Dollard establishes what he refers to as ''criteria" for the preparation of adequate
life histories and offers the following seven standards:
1. The subject must be viewed as a specimen in a cultural series.
2. The organic motors of action ascribed must be socially relevant.
3. The peculiar role of the family group transmitting the culture must
4. The scientific method of elaboration of organic materials into social
behavior must be known.
5. The continuous related character of experience from childhood
through adulthood must be stressed.
6. The "social situation," must be carefully and continuously specified
as a factor.
7. The life history material itself must be organized and conceptualized.
According to Denzin (1978), Dollard's formulation focuses on early family
influences on the subject while recognizing the impact of the cultural settings in the
developmental process. Presumably, these include ethnic values, ethnic decision
making patterns, language, etc. Each of these is an important consideration when
conducting a retrospective account of one's life in total or in relationship to certain
aspects, such as leadership. An approach such as this provides the researcher with an
opportunity to observe, record and interpret social phenomenon within the cultural
context. It also allows for the validation of stereotypes held by ethnographers of
minority subjects, or it can discredit, as invalid, those notions heretofore held as
Traditional leadership theory primarily addresses the principles and practices of
leadership behaviors from a very Euro-centric perspective and oftentimes within a
quantitative and positivist tradition. Lacking in this point of view is the experiential
knowledge of the social lives and other phenomenon of Latinos and other people of
In The Good News about Life History, McCall and Wittner assert that the
positivist tradition has always assumed that researchers and social scientists knew
enough to ask the questions that would yield meaningful explanations of society, social
life and other targets of inquiry. (McCall and Wittner, in Becker and McCall, 1990).
But what if they asked the wrong questions? The life histories of minority group
members [including Latinos], on the contrary, present their experiences and meanings,
reveal the problematics of their social worlds, and help minorities use their own
knowledge to produce what they want to (Denzin, 1982).
There has been renewed interest regarding the use of life histories as a viable
research approach in the social science arena. This interest in life history research is the
product of scholarship that conceptualizes knowledge as inherently ideological. McCall
and Witter assert:
In every field of inquiry where this orientation has taken hold, a basic
method for gathering data has been to ask people to talk about their
fives. Because they depend less on concepts grounded in the
experiences of socially dominant groups and classes, fife histories
deepen the critique of existing knowledge. They force us to examine our
assumptions, incorporate more actors into our models, and generate
more inclusive concepts for understanding the actual complexities of
social institutions, phenomenon and the processes of social change
(McCall and Witter, in Becker and McCall, 1990, p. 46)
Therefore, the fife history approach, perhaps more than any other, has the
potential to expand leadership theory by critiquing established principles and precepts
and expanding this body of knowledge. Through the unfolding of fife history, as seen
through the eyes and experiences of six Latino subjects, we can gain new insights into
Latino leadership; insights that can help shape leadership development in the future.
Becker (1972) notes that in order to understand why someone behaves as he/she
does you must understand how it looked to that person. Considerations like what that
person thought he/she had to contend with and what alternatives he/she saw open to him
are critical. Becker asserts that you can only understand the effects of human behaviors
by seeing them from the actors point of view. He makes reference to the use of the life
history method by using an analogy to the development of a mosaic. Each piece added
to a mosaic adds a little to the understanding of the total picture.
Life history helps us in areas of research that are underdeveloped in terms of
populations studied because of the wealth of detail that they yield. It allows
investigators to expand a given field of study because of the newly identified variables
that begin to surface through life history. Becker concludes,
Beneath these specific contributions which the fife history is capable of
making lies one more fundamental. The life history more that any other
technique except perhaps participant observation, can give meaning to
the overworked notion of process (Becker, 1972, p. 425).
Therefore, the value of this approach will be to unveil those life processes as
identified by the sample participants that have contributed to their development as
leaders. Their own stories of life events and experiences will perhaps raise additional
questions to be researched at a later time. Such as approach could also identify for the
first time the relationship between the Latino culture, Latino values and leadership.
This research methodology thus seems appropriate for an ethnographic study of Latino
Each inquiry into different aspects of leadership will add more understanding to
the entire field. By studying a Latino sample, this research can shed light not only on
ethnographic studies but on leadership as well. Much has been gained through this
inquiry and exploration into the lives of six Latino leaders. How did they get to their
positions? What were the major influences in their lives? What events may have
contributed towards them becoming leaders? The richness of the dialogue that follows
these guiding questions illuminates and adds clarity to the subject of Latino leadership.
The critical question that guided this exploratory inquiry was as follows:
What are the characteristics of Latino leaders and how important a role
did their ethnicity play in their hemming leaders?
Purposive sampling was the most appropriate choice among sampling options
based on the intent of this study. Babbie (1994) and Erlandson, et. al. (1993), in their
specific recommended qualitative methods, state that purposive sampling is usually the
choice of preference based on the purpose and nature of qualitative research. The
following excerpt best reflects this position:
Central to naturalistic research is purposive sampling. Random or
representative sampling is not preferred because the researchers major
concern is not to generalize the findings of the study to a broad
population or universe, but to maximize the discovery of the
heterogeneous patterns and problems that occur in the particular context
under study. Purposive and directed sampling through human
instrumentation increases the range of data exposed and maximizes the
researchers ability to identify emerging themes and take adequate
account of contextual conditions and cultural norms (Erlansdon, et. al.,
1993, p. 82).
In addition, Strauss and Corbin contend that purposive sampling is most
appropriate when using qualitative research approaches. They state that,
You may look purposefully, for data bearing on categories, their
properties, and dimensions. That is, you deliberately choose sites,
persons and documents [emphasis in original] (Strauss and Corbin.
1990, p. 183).
They then go on to state:
The aim of sampling here is to uncover as many potentially relevant
categories as possible, along with their properties and dimensions.. ..The
sampling is open to those persons, places, institutions that will provide
the most relevant data about the phenomena under investigation.
(Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 181).
Therefore, sampling occurs on the basis of the theoretical relevance of concepts
or concerns in order to pursue analytically relevant concerns rather than establish the
frequency or distribution of phenomena (Emerson, 1983, p. 96). In addition, purposive
sampling allows the researcher to select participants who might provide the most
information-rich cases for in-depth study.
Accordingly, this study used purposive sampling in selecting the participants.
Each was selected on the basis of their leadership positions within the Latino
community in Colorado. Purposive sampling allowed for the inclusion of different
types of individuals in this study (i.e., elected officials, individuals from the private for-
profit and not-for-profit sectors, and women). Research participants were selected
based on several criteria. These included the following:
1. Publicly elected Latino officials within Colorado.
2. Latinos who have demonstrated a concern for Latino Issues
3. A good blend of Latino men and women.
4. Latinos who are directors of community-based agencies that have a
substantial Latino constituency.
5. Latinos who have demonstrated involvement in Latino issues at the
6. Latinos who are interested in participating in the study and can make
the time available.
7. Latinos who may provide interesting and contrasting backgrounds.
In each case, sample participants were selected on the basis of their satisfying
one or more of the criteria stated above. Chapter 4 will begin with a description of the
demographic characteristics of the sample participants. It should be noted that the
University procedures governing human subjects participation in research efforts was
strictly adhered to. Each participant was provided with an Informed Consent Form and
asked to give written authorization for their identity to be disclosed. Five of the six
participants identity and agency affiliation is being used with their permission. One
participant elected not to be identified by name instead choosing to use a pseudonym.
The six sample participants included the following individuals:
Maria Guajardo-Lucero, Ph.D. Executive Director of Colorado
Assets for Youth, Denver.
Mr. A1 Maes, (Pysuedonym) JD. High ranking elected official in
major Colorado City.
State Senator Bob Martinez, M.S. Colorado Legislator.
Ms. Veronica Barela, MJPA. Executive Director ofNEWSED
Community Development Corporation, Denver.
Ramona Martinez Denver City Councilwoman, Denver.
Mr. Anthony Perea, M.S.W. Executive Director of Denver Area
In order to gain a better understanding of the research question and identify
whether or not differences existed, in-depth interviews were conducted with each
participant and the interviews were recorded. The interviews were semi-structured in
order to allow the researcher to concentrate on leadership as opposed to collecting
information for biographical essays. The interviews were conducted in order to gain
insight into the life experiences of Latino leaders as they relate to leadership. All
interviews were recorded with the subjects permission and transcripts were made from
them. Finally, the interviews were transcribed verbatim to allow for a thorough reading
and annotation of major themes, concepts and issues.
The following questions guided the interview process. They were adapted from
Bennis' guiding questions used in preparing his book On Becoming A Leader (Bennis,
1994, p. 7).
1. What experiences were vital to your becoming a leader?
2. What were the turning points in your life that relate to your
becoming a leader?
3. Are there people in your life, or in general, whom you particularly
admire? If so, who and why?
4. What do you believe are the most important qualities of leadership?
5. How do you compare yourself as a leader, to non-Latino leaders?
Are there differences? If so, what might they be?
6. What can organizations and public institutions do to encourage
leadership development among Latinos?
Responses to these questions were recorded for later transcription. These
written documents or transcriptions of verbal communications allowed an analysis to be
performed to aid in the interpretation of the findings.
Data analysis is the process of bringing order, structure, and meaning
to the mass of collected data. It is a messy, ambiguous, time consuming,
creative, and fascinating process. It does not proceed in a linear fashion;
it is not neat Qualitative data analysis is a search for general statements
about relationship among categories of data; it builds grounded theory
(Marshall and Rossman, 1989, p. 112).
Data analysis is the final step of the research process before a particular
study can reach its conclusion. Qualitative research and grounded theory share
several common data analysis techniques that are used by researchers attempting
to analyze their data. The most fundamental data analysis framework is called
constant comparative analysis.
Generally speaking, grounded theory prepares the researcher and guides
the study toward being consistent and complementary throughout the entirety of
the research process. In addition, constant comparative analysis was an integral
part of the data analysis process. Both constant comparisons and the asking of
questions occur simultaneously and concurrently throughout the entire data
collection and analyses processes. Therefore, variations and changes in the
interview responses are inevitable with subsequent sets of data. Accordingly,
the subsequent conceptualization of concepts will dictate the direction of the
data collection analysis process because constant comparative analysis requires
that the variations, differences, and similarities be verified and validated with
actual additional data. That is why the interviews conducted were semi-
structured in nature to allow for additional probing from the general set of
questions depending upon the data collected.
Finally, constant comparative analysis is a process where on going
comparison occurs between collected data and theoretical constructs or
categories. Changes to or elimination of existing theoretical categories is
inevitable as each new set of data continues to inform, verify, and enhance
current theoretical categories. This technique, or method ensures that the
theoretical categories remain true to the direction dictated the data, therefore,
complementing the principles of grounded theory. Strauss and Corbin echo this
It is just as important in doing grounded theory studies to find evidence
of differences and variation, as it is to find evidence that supports our
original questions and statements. The negative or alternative cases tell
us that something about this instance is different, and so we must move
in and take a close look at what this might be. Following through on
these differences adds density and variation to our theory [Emphasis in
original] (Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 109).
This phase of the research process concentrated on developing
categories, or themes that became evident in the data analysis sage. Efforts were
continually made to allow the data collected through the interview process to be
driven by the participants and their dialogue.
Validity, Reliability and Limitations
All research endeavors struggle with issues ranging from purpose, policy
implementation and ultimately to practical utility. These critical aspects of the research
process are closely related to academic, peer and public acceptance of the study itself.
Academic acceptance and endorsement of a particular study is usually based on its
overall relevance as well as on the methodological issues of the research process itself;
such as validity, reliability, and generalizability. This study was no exception.
Overall, validity includes three aspects face, construct, and content. In this
study, the issue of face validity was addressed with the realization that the observation
and analyses techniques appear to measure what they are intended to. In qualitative
research and grounded theory, these particular aspects are not as relevant because there
are no preconceived or rigid set of propositions to guide the study from beginning to
end. Further, qualitative methods and the use of grounded theory, rarely yield proof
from its analytical process. Instead, these methods work to validate the relationships
within and among the categories established by the guiding questions. In this way then,
theory is developed through the inductive approach of qualitative research methods.
Marshall and Rossman indicate that the strength of a qualitative study that
strives to look at a particular setting, a process or a social group, becomes its validity
(Marshall and Rossman, 1989, p. 149). They assert that in-depth description of any
phenomenon studied through qualitative methods will be rich with data derived from
the study. This richness of data, becomes its validity.
There is another aspect of validity that needs to be considered and that is
construct validity. This is best defined as an indication of the extent to which the
constructs of theoretical interests are successfully operationalized in a research study.
Babbie states that construct validity is based on the logical relationships among
variables (Babbie, 1986, p. 28). In this way then, this research design must seek to
ensure that the concepts being studied are guided by the theoretical constructs, the data
itself and verification through the use of constant comparative analysis.
Yet another aspect of validity that must be satisfied is that of content validity.
Babbie defines it as the degree to which a measure covers the range of meanings
included within a concept (Babbie, 1994, p. 128). In most cases where qualitative
methods are used in tandem with grounded theory, content validity is rarely an issue
because the methodology of grounded theory is geared towards constantly seeking the
conceptual relevance of the data to the emerging theory during the entire process of data
gathering and interpretation (Babbie, 1994, p. 129).
Clearly validity is an important aspect of this study. It is also a strength to this
study because the data gathered from the six participants are valid to them. The
difficulty then becomes the issue of reliability. Babbie describes reliability as, a matter
of whether a particular technique, applied repeatedly to the same object, would yield the
same results (Babbie, 1994, p. 124). For example, the application of quantitative data
collection methods or instruments would yield similar results even when administered
by another researcher, all things being equal with respect to design, etc..
However, a qualitative design may or may not yield a similar pattern of results
when administered to a different sample population. The possibility of the research
yielding additional results or patterns is just as high. Therefore, this possibility is the
inherent nature of grounded theory.
Traditionally, validity, reliability and generalizability of this study would be
considered limited due to the small sample size and selection process. Six Latinos were
interviewed in this study. However, many ethnographers state that sample size is
irrelevant to the reliability and validity of a qualitative study [such as one using a life
history approach] (Facio, 1988, p. 64).
The importance of an ethnographic study lies in its contribution to, or
development of research paradigms. It is the implications of the study, rather than the
generalizability of the case study itself, which are significant. Basically, theory and
method should be combined carefully and purposefully with the intention of adding
breadth and depth to an analysis, but not merely for the purpose of pursuing "objective
truth" (Facio, 1988, p. 64). Such was the purpose of this study.
This study was not directed by a concrete set of assumptions nor was it
concerned with hypothesis testing. The reason for this is that in the qualitative
approach, and in particular, ethnographic studies such as this one, the researcher
assumes a learning role rather than a testing role. Consequently, that language
associated with the testing role is not appropriate. Such questions as "what is your
hypothesis?" "how large is your sample?" are not relevant as they do not describe how
this learning role is carried out (Facio, 1988). Indeed, this researcher was theoretically
prepared and guided by the literature, but elected not to impose a hypothesis thereby
limiting or predetermining the nature of the data.
In order to contribute to the validity of the results, a review of primary and
secondary data sources was initiated. This included personal resumes, lists of awards
and accomplishments and other written biographical information on each of the sample
participants for later use in the analysis of the data and the development of conclusions
and recommendations from this study.
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
The purpose and design of this exploratory research seeks to determine the role
that ethnicity and culture play in the emergence, development and behaviors of Mexican
American/Chicano leaders. Therefore, a set of questions was formulated beforehand
and these served to guide the semi-structured interviews that occurred with six sample
participants. As described in the Methodology Chapter, each interview was recorded
and verbatim transcriptions were developed as tools in the analysis phase of this study.
This chapter begins with a demographic summary that provides an overall
picture of the participants backgrounds and characteristics. These characteristics were
not a part of the criteria for sample selection. Yet, they are an integral part of the
research question that seeks to identify the characteristics of Latino leaders. While most
of this information became known through the interview process, some of it was
provided directly by the participants themselves in the form of resumes, awards,
professional profiles and other source documents.
Immediately following the demographic summary is a presentation of the
findings that were identified as major themes that emerged from of the interviews.
These themes became apparent through an analysis of the interview transcripts.
The final section of this chapter provides an analysis of the data that emerged
through the interview process. This analysis describes the significance of the findings
within the broader context of the literature review. Accordingly, the analysis is
structured to respond to major points or assumptions that were derived from the
As discussed in Chapter 3, the sample participants were selected based on
criteria that has previously been identified. The sample included three male and three
female participants. Three of the participants were raised in small or rural communities
while the others were raised in predominantly larger and urban settings. Finally, the
sample represented a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, including publicly elected
officials and leaders from the private, not-for-profit sector. Below are some of the most
distinguishing characteristics of the sample.
Maria Guaj ardo-Lucero, Ph.D.
Dr. Maria Guajardo-Lucero is the Executive Director for the Search Institutes
Colorado Assets for Youth in Denver, Colorado. She was raised in Fresno, California
and is a first generation Mexican American. Dr. Guajardo-Lucero holds a Masters
Degree and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver.
Formerly the Executive Director of the Latin American Research and Service
Agency, Dr. Guajardo-Lucero has long been active in a variety of issues impacting the
Latino community. She is a graduate of such national training programs as the
National Latina Leadership Training program in Washington D.C., the National Center
for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Kennedy School
Leadership Management Program at Harvard University.
Dr. Guajardo-Lucero is a past Leadership Foundation Fellow, National Council
of La Raza Fellow; Hispanic Health Leadership Fellow, Kellogg National Foundation
Fellow', and National Hispana Leadership Fellow.
Dr. Guajardo-Lucero has been the recipient of numerous awards including
international recognition from Soka University as a recipient of their Humanitarian and
Peace Award in Tokyo, Japan, the Women of Distinction Award, the Soka Gakkai
International Culture Award, and the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award.
Mr. A1 Maes, LD.(Pseudonym)
Mr. Maes currently holds a high ranking position in city government for a major
Colorado city. He is a first generation Colorado native whose family ancestry goes
back several generations to Northern New Mexico. Mr. Maes is a graduate of Stanford
University and a major Eastern University Law School. Mr. Maes has an extensive
background in public service having been elected both as a State Representative and a
State Senator in the Colorado Legislature.
Mr. Maes is active in community activities such as the Latino Research and
Policy Center, Planned Parenthood of Colorado and holds membership in the Colorado
Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Maes is the recipient of
numerous distinguished awards for public service such as the Health Care Advocate for
All Award, American Planning Association Award and the Colorado Hispanic Youth
Veronica Barela, MJA
Ms. Barela is the Executive Director of NEWSED Community Development
Corporation in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Barela is a native of Colorado having been
raised in Denver. Ms. Barela has directed the NEWSED organization since 1978 and
has been involved in various community planning activities directed towards improving
the lives of residents. In her current capacity Ms. Barela has been responsible for the
infusion of millions of dollars into the commercial redevelopment of the neighborhood.
More recently, she has directed a national demonstration grant funded by the Annie E.
Casey Foundation aimed at directing an institutional change initiative to improve
service delivery for children and families.
Ms. Barela is a past graduate of the Denver Community Leadership Forum, the
National Economic Development Training Institute and the Leadership Development
and Advocacy Program sponsored by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund
Ms. Barela has long been active in local and national affairs including the
Federal Reserve Board Advisory Council, the Mayors Hispanic Advisory Committee
and Hispanics of Colorado. Finally, Ms. Barela has been the recipient of numerous
awards including the National Merit Award from the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) and the Declaration of Veronica Barela Day in Denver, by
proclamation of the Denver mayor. This last award was in recognition of life-long
commitment to civil rights and community development issues.
Ramona Martinez is currently a member of Denver City Council, representing
District 3. Councilwoman Martinez is a Colorado native having grown up primarily in
Denver. She has held public office since 1987, winning her seat on the Denver City
Council, representing District 3. She has been re-elected to two additional terms. In
1991, Councilwoman Martinez became the first Latina selected by her peers as
President of City Council. The following year she was again elected Council President
and became only the second person in Denver history to serve two consecutive terms.
Councilwoman Martinez has a long history of community involvement having
worked closely with numerous grass-roots organizations on behalf on children youth
and family issues at the local and state level. She has also been involved in such
national initiatives as the Hispana Leadership Forum, is a founding member of the
National Hispanic Leadership Institute and a founding member of the Hispanic
Womens Caucus and a current Board member of the National Association for Latino
Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
Councilwoman Martinez has received numerous awards for her years of
efforts in democratic politics and community activities. These prestigious awards
include the Hispanics of Colorado Leadership Award, National Hispana Leadership
Award, and the National IMAGE (Incorporated Mexican American Government
Employees) Leadership Award. Councilwoman Martinez is also a graduate of the
National Center for Creative Leadership.
Tony Perea, M. S. W.
Tony Perea is currently the Executive Director of Denver Area Youth Services
(DAYS) in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Perea has lived in Colorado all of his live with the
exception of a few years in Arizona. Mr. Perea is a first generation son of Mexican
immigrant parents. Mr. Perea is a graduate from the University of Denver earning a
Master of Social Work Degree.
Mr. Perea has directed the same organization since 1972 and has developed it
into a nationally recognized youth and family service agency. In his capacity as
Executive Director, Mr. Perea has also served as the principal investigator for a series of
national demonstration projects funded by the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention in
Washington D. C.
Mr. Perea is the recipient of numerous awards. These include: Administrator of
the Year by the Progressive Youth Foundation; the Judge Evans Award as the
Administrator of the Year as recognized by the Colorado Juvenile Justice Council; and
An Excellence-in-Service Award from the Graduate School of Social Work at the
University of Denver.
Bob Martinez, M. S.
Bob Martinez is currendy a State Senator in the Colorado Legislature
representing District 25 in Commerce City, Colorado. This is his fourth consecutive
term. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served in the Colorado House of
Representatives from 1981-1984. Senator Martinez has held several influential
positions in the Colorado Legislature including Caucus Chairman and Democratic
Senator Martinez was bom in Holly, Colorado and has been a lifelong resident
in the state. He is a first generation son of Mexican immigrant parents. He has been
involved in numerous initiatives addressing Latino enrollment in higher education and
has been a founding member of several education advocacy efforts including the United
Mexican American Student (UMAS) and the Association for Chicanos in Higher
Education at Metropolitan State College in Denver. He is also a graduate of the
Graduate Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Governments at Harvard
Senator Martinez has been involved in several civic organizations such as U.S.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; American G.I. Forum; American Legion;
Metropolitan Boys Clubs; and Denver Goodwill Industries. He has also received
numerous awards including the National Freedom Magazine, as Human Rights
Findings: Major Themes
Several common themes emerged from the interviews that warrant further
discussion. These themes are perhaps key elements in defining the nature of leadership
within the Mexican American/Chicano community. However, the reader should be
cautioned that it was not the main intent of this research study to create new theory and
generalize its findings to the entire Latino or Mexican American/Chicano community.
Rather, the intent of this study has been to explore various aspects of Latino leadership
and identify points for future research in this much under-researched area. The general
and specific findings of this study should be viewed as a platform for new research to
build upon because this effort was truly an exploratory study that yielded several areas
for further research.
The emerging themes include the following and each will be discussed more
thoroughly in the following pages:
significance of family
exposure to discrimination/racism
importance of education and commitment to learning
strong commitment to others
impact of cultural values
Throughout the interviews, the participants repeatedly made references to the
significant impact that one of their parents or siblings made on them at an early age.
Through their own admission, several believed that one of the most important reasons
why they had attained their position in a leadership role was due to the modeling
behaviors displayed by their parents or other significant family members. For example,
Councilwoman Martinez stated:
I was really inspired by seeing my mom in school a lot. She took on
community activities, but she was instrumental in making me
understand that you take care of your family first. She made me realize
that children are really important and if you can succeed with them you
can succeed with almost anything you do.
When asked about other significant role models in her family, she went
on to describe other members of her family. She stated:
My grandfather was a school board member in the San Luis Valley and
he was very active in the community. My uncle is also a superintendent
of schools and has also been active in his own way. This seemed to
motivate my parents, especially my mother to take an active role in the
lives of my siblings and I. I remember that not many of my friends had
that type of support back in the 1950s. I also think that my parents
being involved in church activities was a major factor. My parents
helped me to believe that I could do anything that I set out to do. And
this was ingrained in me way back in junior high school.
Perhaps even more emphatic were the comments offered by Mr. Maes when he
stated that coming from a leader-oriented family was most definitely a strong life
experience that contributed to his becoming a leader in the public sector. He stated:
I was raised in a very politically aware family in New Mexico. Several
of my moms relatives were involved in public office. Her uncle was a
United States Attorney for New Mexico. Before that he was on the city
council and was also mayor of Albuquerque. So, my mom, even though
it was not politically correct at the time, was a leader, always heading
some committee or serving on some committee or something. So it
seems to me that a lot of what goes hand-in-hand with whether you are
going to become a leader is who have been your role models? I would
say that that is a very big factor.
Similarly, Tony Perea referred to his mother as his champion. In his
case he believed that the reason for this was the early death of his father and the
expectation that he become the man of the house. This left his mother, at age
32 to raise five children alone. He specifically remembers that .. .on the day
we buried my father, as is expected in our culture, I became the man of the
house. His profound sense of duty to his family first was of paramount
importance despite his young age of twelve, just barely entering his own
adolescence. His poignant remarks are quite revealing:
My mother pretty much governed with love.. ..I mean, she certainly
expected respect and I think, as I look back now, I see one of the critical
elements that came out was respect From the standpoint of pretty much
little things like not smoking, not cussing, paying respects to the wishes
of my mother of what she wanted us to do and not do. But there was
always this silent glow around us because my mother was around us.
This profound sense of duty most definitely helped to mold my
leadership behaviors; first within my family and then later in my
professional life. I just never forgot.
He went on to state that in his particular case, leadership stemmed
from his desire to do right by his mother and make her proud of him. Perea
went on to state that he believed that Chicanos were raised at a very early
age to have a heightened awareness of those around us He revealed a great
deal about an innate intuitiveness of Chicanos and their trusting and caring
nature that he believed affected their relationship behaviors with others,
including leadership behaviors.
Another example of the strong influence on leadership behaviors was the
ability of parents to influence their children as illustrated by the comments made
by Mr. Maes. He indicated that his parents never really pushed him to become
a leader, either a publicly elected leader or just a community leader. On this
point he stated:
I was never pushed by my parents to run for public office. Running for
my first office, which was in the Colorado State Legislature, I was never
pushed in that direction. It was real interesting. You know, my mom
and dad especially, had a real ability to challenge you without pushing
you, which is kind of interesting. You know, I never felt like I had to do
anything that I have done; whether its going to law school or anything
else, even though it was something that made them happy. But, in terms
of being a leader, they never hesitated at the chance to tell me that I
should help somebody who needed help. I was encouraged to always do
that, but the elected part of it, well it was never in the cards.
It is interesting that Mr. Maes mentioned that he was continually encouraged by
his parents to help those that needed help. He believed that this caring was a cultural
attribute that had been ingrained in him since he was just a boy growing up in North
Denver. This concem-for-others theme also surfaced in several of the interviews and
will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Dr. Guajardo-Lucero, who was the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents
growing up in the San Joaquin Valley in California attributed much of her success to the
fact that she had older siblings who had paved the way for her. She was one of the
younger children in the family and became much more independent because of the
example set by older siblings living outside of the home. She stated:
The other thing that was a tremendous benefit was that my older siblings
all went to college at some level. Whether it was a community college
or a four-year college or a four-year university, and so they opened the
door for me. I mean, I am absolutely indebted to them because by the
time I got to high school, my siblings had gone away to somewhere or
had already graduated. So it was more acceptable for Maria to now and
go do something.
In fact, the relationship with my older sister who is 10 years older than
me was significant. And she is someone who has shaped my life; who
in my early years provided a lot of direction and protection. She was like
a second mom to me. Shes the one who taught me my ABCs. Shes
the one who was a ftiend as I was going through high school and had all
of those ideas and became involved in Shakespeare and all of those
things. She was the one that I shared plays with. She had already gone
on, graduated from college. She had become a teacher.. .and she has
been a continual friend and mentor and support for my life on a daily
Dr. Guaj ardo-Lucero indicated that because of the impact that her older siblings
had on her life, she was much more assertive and willing to take risks. This, coupled
with the fact that her parents were primarily Spanish-speaking, gave her a certain
amount of independence because she was responsible for translating much of the
information from English to Spanish. It seemed that her mother would defer to the
wishes as expressed by Dr. Guajardo-Lucero; whether it was to go to a different junior
high school; or wanting to become an exchange student and go to Brazil; or wanting to
visit an all-girls prep school in the East. Her mother would tell her. Lo que tu quieres,
which means what you want to do. When asked to reflect on the impact that her family
had on the person she has become Dr. Guajardo-Lucero stated:
What shaped me were the earlier building blocks of my life; having
grown up in a very traditional Mexican family; being the daughter of
immigrant parents. Spanish was my first language and I didnt leam
English fluently until I was in the second grade. So, those seven years of
life shaped me. My growing up in Fresno like I did provided me some
very defining experiences because of the cultural values that were shared
with me. These values that were communicated to me about hard work,
about strength in my culture and belief in my beginnings have a greater
importance to me now. I can see how all of these experiences shaped
me the way a sculptor carves a stone piece.
Senator Martinez stressed the importance of bringing pride to his family and
avoiding shame, dishonor and disgrace through any type of negative behaviors. He
raised the concept of verguenza, which means shame and stated that it most certainly
was a cultural value that his family embedded in his life. Adherence to this concept is
very strong cultural value among Latinos. Senator Martinez indicated that part of his
early successes can probably be attributed to his growing up in the small rural town of
Holly, Colorado, where there were fewer opportunities to do wrong and few social
avenues existed besides attending school. He also indicated that his parents encouraged
him to work harder in order that he might present a positive image of Mexicans. There
were few Mexicans living in the town at that time. He stated:
To this day I continually try to impress upon my young son and young
people in general that they need to work harder than others because
Chicanos present such a negative image to many in the majority society
and as a result, Anglos tend to scrutinize their accomplishments even