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Understanding Chinese students’ values – insights for tomorrow’s managers

Ziying Cao (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Verl Anderson (College of Business, Dixie State University, Saint George, Utah, USA)
Feng Xu (School of Business Administration, Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus, Georgia, USA)
Cam Caldwell (Dixie State University, Saint George, Utah, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 8 February 2018

Issue publication date: 25 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to examine the values of Chinese university students as future leaders and employees in a global economy. Despite the fact that China’s role in the world economy has become increasingly important, little has been done to examine the nature of tomorrow’s Chinese business leaders.


A values survey was administered to business major students at a Tier 1 Chinese university and data were collected from 984 respondents to test five hypotheses relevant to values for Chinese youths.


This study suggests that today’s Chinese business students view traditional Chinese values through a lens influenced by western cultural and economic thinking as well as positive and negative impacts from rapid economic development.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is an empirical study based on a survey being administered to Chinese university students in two major cities in China. A limitation would be that all Chinese youth of the same age may not have the same values as this set of university students, or even those of Chinese students from a different region of China.


This paper is among the first to identify the current cultural values of the younger Chinese of university age population.



Cao, Z., Anderson, V., Xu, F. and Caldwell, C. (2018), "Understanding Chinese students’ values – insights for tomorrow’s managers", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 119-136.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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