“Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom”: Variation of Leadership Styles Among Chinese CEOs

Anne S. Tsui (First Author), Katherine R. Xin (Participant Author), P.P. Fu (Participant Author), Lihua Zhang (Participant Author), Hui Wang (Participant Author)

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73 Citations (Web of Science)


Witness China today: economic reform, WTO membership, restructuring of state-owned enterprises, traditional Confucian values, Communist ideologies, modern MBA education, return of Chinese "haigui" (sea-turtles, used as a pun to describe those returned from overseas), and much more. Chinese business executives are living in both challenging and exciting times. In such a dynamic and complex context, we expect to see great variations in management models and leadership styles. The current paper reports a study of leadership styles among Chinese business executives, using several samples and a variety of methods, including cross-sectional surveys, public documents, and expert judgments. We found six behavioral dimensions of leader behavior and four styles with different combination of leader behavior on the six dimensions. The results show the presence of all the styles in different types of firms and also in successful firms, living up to Mao's ideal of "Let a thousand flowers bloom".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
JournalOrganizational Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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