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It is generally understood that some effective leadership behaviors of Chinese managers differ from those of Western managers. It has also been debated controversially whether Chinese learners can benefit from Western learning approaches. Taking these two aspects into consideration, Jingjing Wang examines whether a global leadership development program from Western countries has as much impact on Chinese managers as on Western managers. She conducts the empirical study within one global corporation originating from Germany and the data were collected from Germany and China. Based on the core results of the study, implications for the globalization of leadership development are discussed.



1. Introduction

1.Putting China into perspective
The Chinese economy is becoming increasingly indispensable. Since the beginning of the 21st century, as international business ebbs, flows and changes directions, China’s industrial growth has been influencing the entire global economy (Meckl, 2010; Littrell, 2002; Seitz, 2000). In 2001, China replaced the United States of America (USA) as the leading recipient of foreign investment with an estimated value of 52 billion U.S. dollars (House, 2004). By the end of the year 2009, China’s passenger vehicle market surpassed that of the United States as the world’s largest auto market. Considering the facts above, the role of the Chinese market will continue to remain a major issue (Meier, 2008).
Jingjing Wang

2. Effective Leadership and Cross-Cultural Variation

Leadership as a universal human phenomenon has been discussed since ancient times. For instance, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians tried to define the qualities of leaders (Bass, 1981, 1990). The legendary Greek hero Odysseus is exemplified as one of the great leaders in Homer’s Iliad on account of his shrewdness (Bass, 1990; Peterson and Hunt, 1997).
Jingjing Wang

3. Learning Approaches for Leadership Development Programs

Learning approaches play a very important role in leadership training and they have a dramatic impact on the transfer of training content. Therefore, the learning method is an indispensable factor of leadership training design (refer to Figure 1.2 regarding the four relevant aspects of global leadership development programs).
Jingjing Wang

4. Impact of Leadership Development Programs

Development training provides learning experiences that help individuals to gain new knowledge and skills, to make positive changes and to improve their performance (Arthur, Bennett, Edens & Bell, 2003). Leadership development training could be reasonably expected to enhance leadership knowledge and skills, to improve and optimize the leadership performance of the participants and/or to meet a higher ratio of return on leadership development investment (RODI) (Brungardt, 1996; Kozlowski and Sales, 1997; Yamnill and McLean, 2001; Avolio, Avey & Quisenberry, 2010).
Jingjing Wang

5. Multi-Perspective Rating

Since Baldwin and Ford (1988) criticized the “single-source data” used to synthesize transfer outcomes (ibid: 286), an increasing number of researchers have measured transfer through “multisource feedback”, such as superior, peer, and self-reports (Burke and Hutchins, 2007).
Jingjing Wang

6. A Global Leadership Development Program and Research Assumptions

After reviewing the literature relevant for evaluating leadership development programs, an empirical evaluation study was conducted. This chapter will introduce the research object, a leadership development program which is applied worldwide. This program was designed in the Western world but also takes into account the universality of the training contents. To ensure that this leadership training meets the needs of Chinese leaders, a needs analysis revealing the practices of Chinese leaders was also conducted in addition. This step acted as a preliminary test before the leadership training courses were applied in China. The results of this needs analysis will be presented in this chapter. At the end of the chapter, the research assumptions will be identified.
Jingjing Wang

7. Methods of the Study

After defining the research topics and hypotheses, this chapter will deal with the methods used for testing the hypotheses. First, an integrated quasi-experimental research design will be introduced (Shadish, Cook & Campbell, 2002; Wottawa and Thierau, 1998; Bortz, 2005). Second, the sample size estimation, procedure and research subjects as well as demographic information about the research subjects will be revealed. Third, three standardized instruments and a knowledge test employed in this study will be summarized. Finally, the measures for each category of assumptions will be presented. In sum, the corresponding information of the entire empirical process will be reported in this chapter.
Jingjing Wang

8. Cross-Cultural Equivalences

During the past three decades, the use of comparative studies has experienced a steady increase in many areas such as psychology, management, education and political sciences (Van de Vijver and Leung, 1997a). Most research was undertaken to make comparisons based on national cultures or ethno-cultures. In cross-cultural research, the subjects are not assigned randomly to a cultural group like in true experimental designs, where the independent variable (treatment) is fully manipulated by the researcher. Hence, cross-cultural studies are seen as quasi-experiments and culture is regarded as an independent variable (Van de Vijver and Leung, 1997a,b, 2011).
Jingjing Wang

9. Core Results

In this chapter, the empirical results of the assumptions in the four categories will be reported.
Jingjing Wang

10. Discussion and Implication

This research strives to compare the cultural values of German and Chinese leaders of an MNC, to measure the impact of a Global Leadership Development Program for German and Chinese leaders and to identify the influencing factors of the learning transfer process.
Jingjing Wang


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