The Leader–Member Exchange Theory in the Chinese Context and the Ethical Challenge of Guanxi
Nie, D., & Lämsä, A.-M. (2015). The Leader–Member Exchange Theory in the Chinese Context and the Ethical Challenge of Guanxi. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(4), 851-861. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1983-9
Published inJournal of Business Ethics
DisciplineBasic or discovery scholarshipJohtaminenBasic or discovery scholarshipManagement and Leadership
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Springer. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
The leader–member relationship has been identified as a key determinant of successful working relationships and business outcomes in China. A high-quality leader–member relationship helps managers and employees to meet the demands they face and gives them the opportunity to develop socially, emotionally and morally. Such relationships form the basis of the overall well-being and success of the organisation. This article contributes to relationally oriented leadership theories and more specifically to the leader–member exchange (LMX) theory by examining the theory in the context of Western expatriate managers and Chinese employees in China. The first aim of the study is to analyse the similarities and differences between the LMX theory, which owes its origins to Western corporate experience, and the social and moral norms of guanxi, a crucial element in the Chinese value system. Since Westerners and Chinese people can give different interpretations to guanxi, the second aim of the article is to discuss the ethical challenges to the Western manager arising from guanxi. The findings of this study have implications not only for China, but also for other Chinese communities (Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore) where guanxi is endorsed and practised. ...
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