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Profiling the Chinese manager: exploring dimensions that relate to leadership

Christopher Selvarajah (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Australia)
Denny Meyer (Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Australia)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




This paper explores the leadership profile of managers in China and in so doing identifies demographics factors that shape perceptions of what makes an excellent Chinese leader.


Summated scales for the importance of Excellent Leader (EL), Personal Qualities (PQ), Managerial Behaviour (MB), Organisational Demands (OD) and Environmental Influences (EI) were developed using most of the items categorised by Selvarajah et al. and several other items rated highly in this study. A structural model was constructed to explain the relationship in excellence in leadership.


The structural model confirmed that managerial behaviour was the most important construct determining leadership in China and that even with the changes in the political and social systems in the last 60 years, the Chinese belief in Confucianism is highly valued.

Practical implications

China is undergoing dramatic changes and understanding China within a changing cultural context is important to international participants entering the country.


This paper contextualises leadership within societal‐cultural change



Selvarajah, C. and Meyer, D. (2008), "Profiling the Chinese manager: exploring dimensions that relate to leadership", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 359-375.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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