Chinese and Western Leadership Models: A Literature Review

Peter King, Zhang Wei


Purpose: This study sought to examine how models of Western and Chinese leadership are changing and perhaps converging toward a notionally similar and possibly holistic concept of leadership.

Methodology: We reviewed and analyzed research on Western and Chinese leadership published over the past sixty years to develop a different perspective from which to consider the future development of leadership concepts.

Findings: We suggest that (1) since the middle of the twentieth century, paradigms of leadership have been changing; (2) Western and Chinese concepts of leadership, though historically different, are converging; and (3) leadership should be considered from a holistic rather than taxonomic perspective.

Implications: A holistic view of leadership helps us consider how leadership might evolve and affect future business practices in China and the West.

Originality: This paper presents a new perspective on Chinese and Western leadership that facilitates an understanding of how differences in leadership concepts could diminish and how business organizations might evolve in the future.

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