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Participative Leadership by American and Chinese Managers in China: The Role of Relationships

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  • Yi Feng Chen
  • Dean Tjosvold

Abstract

Developing participative leadership may be particularly challenging when managers are working cross-culturally and in China. One hundred and sixty-three Chinese employees from various industries in mainland China were surveyed about their relationships and the effectiveness of their participation with American and Chinese managers. Results, including structural equation analyses, support the hypotheses that cooperative, but not competitive or independent, goals helped Chinese employees and their foreign and Chinese managers strengthen their quality relationships as measured by supervisor-subordinate guanxi and leader-membership exchange; quality relationships in turn enhanced effective participative leadership as measured by the opportunity for joint decision-making and the open-minded discussion of opposing views (constructive controversy). Results suggest that cooperative goals and the Chinese value of guanxi may be important for overcoming obstacles and developing participative leadership within and across cultural boundaries. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Yi Feng Chen & Dean Tjosvold, 2006. "Participative Leadership by American and Chinese Managers in China: The Role of Relationships," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(8), pages 1727-1752, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:8:p:1727-1752
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    Cited by:

    1. Jar-Der Luo & Meng-Yu Cheng & Tian Zhang, 2016. "Guanxi circle and organizational citizenship behavior: Context of a Chinese workplace," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 649-671, September.
    2. Nixon Kagutha Njue & Esther Wangithi Waiganjo & John M. Kihoro, 2016. "Influence of Coaching as a Leadership Development Practice on the Performance of Microfinance Institutions in Kenya," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(10), pages 206-217, October.
    3. Qingguo Zhai & Margaret Lindorff & Brian Cooper, 2013. "Workplace Guanxi: Its Dispositional Antecedents and Mediating Role in the Affectivity–Job Satisfaction Relationship," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 541-551, October.
    4. Cynthia Ho & Kylie Redfern, 2010. "Consideration of the Role of Guanxi in the Ethical Judgments of Chinese Managers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 207-221, October.
    5. repec:kap:asiapa:v:34:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10490-017-9511-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Raymond Loi & Hang-Yue Ngo, 2010. "Mobility norms, risk aversion, and career satisfaction of Chinese employees," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 237-255, June.
    7. Garry D. Bruton & Chung-Ming Lau, 2008. "Asian Management Research: Status Today and Future Outlook," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 636-659, May.
    8. Long Zhang & Yulin Deng, 2016. "Guanxi with Supervisor and Counterproductive Work Behavior: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 413-427, March.
    9. Millissa Cheung & Wei-Ping Wu & Allan Chan & May Wong, 2009. "Supervisor–Subordinate Guanxi and Employee Work Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 77-89, April.
    10. Wu, Long-Zeng & Ferris, D. Lance & Kwan, Ho Kwong & Chiang, Flora & Snape, Ed & Liang, Lindie H., 2015. "Breaking (or making) the silence: How goal interdependence and social skill predict being ostracized," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 51-66.
    11. Long Zhang & Yulin Deng & Qun Wang, 2014. "An Exploratory Study of Chinese Motives for Building Supervisor–Subordinate Guanxi," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(4), pages 659-675, November.
    12. Zhiming Cheng, 2014. "The Effects of Employee Involvement and Participation on Subjective Wellbeing: Evidence from Urban China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 457-483, September.
    13. Long Zhang & Yulin Deng & Xin Zhang & Enhua Hu, 2016. "Why do Chinese employees build supervisor-subordinate guanxi? A motivational analysis," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 617-648, September.
    14. Li-Qun Wei & Jun Liu & Yuan-Yi Chen & Long-Zeng Wu, 2010. "Political Skill, Supervisor-Subordinate "Guanxi" and Career Prospects in Chinese Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 437-454, May.
    15. Jun Liu & Chun Hui & Cynthia Lee & Zhen Xiong Chen, 2013. "Why Do I Feel Valued and Why Do I Contribute? A Relational Approach to Employee's Organization-Based Self-Esteem and Job Performance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(6), pages 1018-1040, September.
    16. Li, Shenxue & Easterby-Smith, Mark & Lyles, Marjorie A. & Clark, Timothy, 2016. "Tapping the power of local knowledge: A local-global interactive perspective," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 641-653.
    17. Cooke, Fang Lee & Saini, Debi S. & Wang, Jue, 2014. "Talent management in China and India: A comparison of management perceptions and human resource practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 225-235.

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