Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Prof. Dean Tjosvold
Prof. Robin Snell
This study empirically examines the impact of goal interdependence and leader-member relationship on cross-cultural leadership in joint ventures in China. Its two research questions are how to facilitate leader-member relationships between foreign managers and Chinese employees in joint ventures in China, and how foreign managers and Chinese employees can develop cooperative goals in Chinese contexts.
Four hypotheses were generated. Hypothesis 1 examined the effects of leader-member relationship between foreign managers and Chinese employees on cross-cultural leadership. Hypothesis 2 studied the impacts of different goal interdependence on the leader-member relationship between foreign managers and Chinese employees. Hypothesis 3 and 4 investigated how foreign managers can make use of the basic elements of Chinese guanxi value to develop cooperative goal interdependence with Chinese employees.
This study applies the theory of cooperation and competition and the theory of LMX to develop responses to the research questions. We used different methods for different research questions. To answer the first research question, we used a survey to collect data for the first two hypotheses. Completed survey questionnaires were analyzed on a valid sample of 199. To answer the second research question, we conducted a 2x3 experiment with 120 participants to test hypothesis 3 and 4.
Results of our survey study supported the theorizing that cooperative goals between managers and employees can strengthen their leader-member relationships, which in turn facilitate cross-cultural leadership. Our results also extended this theorizing to cross-cultural settings. Findings suggested that although the theory of cooperation and competition and the theory of LMX were developed in the West, they could be useful in Chinese contexts for understanding cross-cultural leadership. Results of our experiment indicated that communicating warm-heartedness rather than indifference, and structuring mutual rather than independent or comparative rewards, helped foreign managers develop cooperative goals, strong leader-member relationships with their Chinese employees and facilitated their leadership.
In summary, this study demonstrates that cooperative goals and strong leader-member relationship promote productive cross-cultural leadership in joint ventures in China. Foreign managers can use basic elements of Chinese guanxi value to develop cooperative goals and quality leader-member relationship for effective cross-cultural leadership in Chinese contexts.
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Chen, Y. F. N. (2005). Goal interdependence and leader-member relationship for cross-cultural leadership in foreign ventures in China (Doctoral dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.14793/mgt_etd.21