Traits of a Successful Leader & Entrepreneur: a Comparison of Western & Asian Styles

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Research has shown that major cultural differences exist between Western and Asian cultures and this essay seeks to show that adapting a leadership style preferred by that culture will attract the greatest number of followers. This essay will also demonstrate that the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are consistent amongst Western and Asian entrepreneurs. Firstly culture will be defined using the four dimensions as detailed by Geert Hofstede. These will be illustrated using a comparison of Asian and Western cultures. Secondly, a discussion of leadership and the way it is affected by culture will be presented. To support this view, a comparison between Chinese and US leadership styles is used. The case study of Lenovo and…show more content…
Leadership can be defined as the process of influencing people to direct their efforts toward the achievement of some particular goal or goals (Hodgetts, 2002)

In the US the participative leadership style which is the use of both work-centred and people-centred approaches is most commonly employed. Participative leaders typically encourage their subordinates to play an active role in assuming control of their work, and authority is highly decentralised. This strategy is most likely influenced by Western culture which as previously discussed, has a low power distance. Similarly, the highly individualistic culture of the west is shadowed in the common practice of individual manager decision making. Leaders typically assign responsibility roles to individuals and management is concerned basically with the individual’s work life only (Ouchi, 1981). This highlights the impact of an individualistic culture on the leadership style employed by managers.

Asian leadership is more collectivist and harmony is sought in relationships. To illustrate the low individualistic dimension of culture, Chinese leaders typically try to construct and present several alternatives in a way that eventually brings everyone in support of the same situation. However, today there is a new breed of leaders in China whose styles are different from the styles of leaders of the past. Current and older generation groups proved more
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