Regional differences in managerial leader behaviour preferences in China

Romie F. Littrell, Ilan Alon, Ka Wai Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose - This study demonstrates the complexities of analyzing determinants of leader behaviour preference dimension differences between and within national cultures. Culture is firmly established as important and influential effects in the international business environment. However, intra-country regional cultural differences are relatively neglected. The purpose of this paper is to help fill this gap. Design/methodology/approach - Field survey research, the Leadership Behaviour Description Questionnaire XII (LBDQ XII) was administered to people working in business organizations in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province; Hangzhou City, Jiangsu Province; Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province; and in the Macau Special Administrative Region, in the People's Republic of China. Findings - Significant differences were found amongst the samples for each of the 12 leader behaviour dimensions of the LBDQ XII, with the exception that the nearby regions of Guangzhou and Macau exhibited no differences. The results indicate that "culture areas" exist in China, distinctly different from one another. Practical implications - The results are based upon differences in mean of leader behaviour preference dimension scores amongst businesspeople in specific geographic regions; the usual level of analysis caveats apply: preferences of individuals will not conform perfectly to the means of the groups of which they are members. Social implications - As interactions with businesspeople pervade life, knowledge of regional differences in expectations of their behaviour can facilitate more successful transactions. Originality/value - The study provides the first multi-regional empirical study of preferred leader behaviour of businesspeople in China, indicating preferences for managerial leader behaviour vary across regions. The findings can be used to develop awareness of differences managerial leader education, training, and development programmes for expatriate and local businesspeople.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-335
Number of pages21
JournalCross Cultural Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Regional differences


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional differences in managerial leader behaviour preferences in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this