CKGSB Knowledge - China Business and Economy

Chinese Corporations’ Understanding of Leadership

The Leadership and Incentive Research Center of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business recently published its first study on the leadership characteristics of top-level management in Chinese enterprises. The report, Research Report on the Leadership of Top Management of Chinese Enterprises in the Transition Period, was based on evidence from 1,906 respondents collected from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business’ EMBA and Executive Education programs. Participants came from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and consisted of leaders of private enterprises, state-owned enterprises and non-profit organizations. It is the first research of its kind to study the leadership of Chinese corporate executives.

Leadership behavior theory was used to analyze the characteristics of the leaders, dividing participants into basically two categories—task-oriented leaders and relationship-oriented leaders.

Task-oriented leaders prefer to focus on the planning, scheduling and achievement of a task, provide guidance to their employees and set high but realistic performance goals.

Relationship-oriented leaders, on the other hand, show trust and confidence in their employees, provide support for their team and ensure that employees feel valued.

“Situational leadership” is a management tool which looks at how effective leaders are, not only in prioritizing the completion of a task, but also with regards to

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