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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

China has been steadily integrating into the world economy, exerting as well as receiving influence over these last few decades. There have been abundant writings on leadership, government, and management in Chinese social, philosophical, and political classics. Chinese leadership theory and empirical research has taken leaps and bounds over this same time period. Leadership in Chinese organizations is a complex phenomenon, which includes both culturally universal (etic) and culturally specific (emic) aspects. This article seeks to take stock of the developments and progress in Chinese leadership theory and research approaching it from both etic and emic perspectives. It starts with some indigenous Chinese thoughts on leadership and analyzes how these foundational thoughts get elaborated into theoretical models of leadership and how these models fare from the perspectives of other Chinese and Western leadership theories that have been employed to study Chinese leadership phenomena.

Keywords: Chinese leadership, etic aspects, emic perspective, indigenous concept of paternalism, Chinese leadership phenomena

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