Aesthetic leadership in Chinese business: a philosophical perspective

Zhang, H. , Cone, M.H., Everett, A.M. and Elkin, G. (2011) Aesthetic leadership in Chinese business: a philosophical perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(3), pp. 475-491. (doi: 10.1007/s10551-011-0734-z)

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Confucian ethics play a pivotal role in guiding Chinese thinking and behaviour. Aesthetic leadership is emerging as a promising paradigm in leadership studies. This study investigates the practice of aesthetic leadership in Chinese organizations on the basis of Chinese philosophical foundations. We adopt a process perspective to access the aesthetic constellation of meanings present in the Chinese understanding of leadership, linking normative Confucian values to a pragmatic value rational world view, that rests on an ontology of vaguely defined norms that are malleable to different cultural contexts. Value rational pragmatism is explored in order to develop a deeper understanding of normative aesthetic leadership in China and to contrast it to instrumental aesthetic leadership. We empirically demonstrate the contextual specificity of aesthetic leadership in eight Chinese private- and state-owned enterprises (POEs and SOEs) through qualitative case studies. The findings provide a deeper insight into Chinese aesthetic leadership by proposing a dynamic leadership approach, from both ethical and instrumental perspectives, in the Chinese context.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zhang, Dr Haina
Authors: Zhang, H., Cone, M.H., Everett, A.M., and Elkin, G.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Business Ethics
ISSN (Online):1573-0697

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