The cross-cultural leader: a comparative study of leadership behaviours in China and New Zealand

Ao, Xiang
Littrell, Romie
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Master of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

National cultures play a critical role in effective leadership and organisational success in international businesses. Contemporary organisations are therefore challenged by cross-cultural leadership needs to address increasing diversity. In the past decades, there has been a growing interest in studies of non-Western leadership. Recent papers have focused particularly on leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper compares leadership in China and New Zealand, based on the data collected by using the GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness) project leadership questionnaire. In addition, the paper reviews the main findings of previous research in order to investigate the similarities and differences in preferred leadership behaviours/characteristics in both cultures, while attempting to examine the consistency of current findings against the previous GLOBE studies. Significant differences of leadership behaviours between China and New Zealand have been identified. This paper generally supports the findings of previous GLOBE studies that charismatic/value-based leadership is the universally contributing factor towards outstanding leadership and self-protective leadership is the universally negative factor against leadership excellence. Findings in this paper may contribute to further understanding of leadership practice in these two countries. Future research should be undertaken to examine the effects of cultural differences on organisational practice by a more comprehensive research method.

Cross-cultural leadership , GLOBE , Cultural expectation , Etic and emic approach , Multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA , International business
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