New perspectives on East Asian leadership in the age of globalization: local grounding and historical comparisons in the Asia Pacific region

Chris Rowley, Ingyu Oh, Wonho Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many management and leadership studies have traditionally been dominated by Western theories, perspectives and cases. Non-Western leadership requires additional caveats in arriving at generalizations. The theoretical trap of conceiving Asian corporations either as irrelevant concerning leadership effectiveness or as maintaining only culturally determined leadership derives from the lack of historical understanding of Asian cases. Our collection used both historical and contemporary cases of Japan, South Korea and China to show that these Asian economies have tried to some extent balance their traditional norms and values of leadership with those from the West. A key to understanding Asia is that all three countries have historically pursued leadership mandates in running both public and private corporations, although ‘corrupt’ leadership practices were also rampant during different historical periods. Further studies of leadership in non-Western cases are necessary to devise methodological and theoretical alternatives to Western-centric perspectives. In our collection, we analysed how a dynamic and evolutionary view of leadership fared in its attempt to clarify some of the conundrums surrounding East Asian leadership. From our results, it is indicated that historical and comparative methods must accompany any analysis of leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalAsia Pacific Business Review
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • comparative methods
  • cultural determinism
  • historical methods
  • leadership
  • leadership styles

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