Business Leadership in the Chinese Context: Trends, Findings, and Implications (中国情境下的企业领导力:趋势、研究发现与含义)

23 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2014

See all articles by Zhi‐Xue Zhang

Zhi‐Xue Zhang

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

(George) Zhen Xiong Chen

Australian National University (ANU)

Ya‐Ru Chen

Cornell University

Date Written: July 2014


English Abstract: Business leaders constitute a powerful driving force for the miraculous growth of the Chinese economy in the past few decades. However, scholars have not developed theories accounting for the unique leadership phenomenon in the Chinese context, characterized by high uncertainty, intense market competition, and constant changes in government regulations and policies. This special issue aims at offering insights regarding business leadership in China. In this paper, we first introduce the three streams of Chinese leadership research, varying in the degree of Chinese context being considered in theory development. We then discuss how Chinese leadership has co‐evolved with the transformation of firms and the institutional environment in China. The new values of young employees, born after 1980, are driving the need for leaders to adjust their leadership practices once again. After that, we present a summary of the four papers in this special issue, and the insights they provide to our understanding of leadership and its effectiveness in the Chinese context. Finally, we suggest future research directions for Chinese leadership research.

Chinese Abstract: 企业领导者是推动中国经济在过去几十年取得惊人成就的重要力量,但学者并没有建立理论来解释具有高不确定性、激烈市场竞争以及政府管制和政策不断变化特性的中国情境中的企业领导力。这期特刊旨在提供有关中国企业领导力的见解。本文首先介绍三种关于中国领导力的研究,它们在理论构建上与中国情境相融合的深度是有区别的。随后,我们讨论了中国领导力随着企业的转型和宏观的社会体制的变化而发生演化。近些年来,出生于1980年和1990年后的年轻员工新的价值观,正在促使领导者再次改变他们的领导实践。接下来,我们总结了本期特刊中四篇文章的观点,以及每篇文章对于我们理解中国情境下的领导力及其有效性所提供的见解。最后,我们对于未来中国领导力的研究方向提出了一些建议。

Keywords: Chinese context, evolution, institutional transformation, leadership, young employees, 领导力, 中国情境, 进化, 制度转型, 新生代员工

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Zhi-Xue and Chen, Zhenxiong and Chen, Ya‐Ru, Business Leadership in the Chinese Context: Trends, Findings, and Implications (中国情境下的企业领导力:趋势、研究发现与含义) (July 2014). Management and Organization Review, Vol. 10, Issue 2, pp. 199-221, 2014. Available at SSRN: or

Zhi-Xue Zhang (Contact Author)

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871

Zhenxiong Chen

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Ya‐Ru Chen

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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