Competencies of Global Leaders: Case Studies of Expatriates Working in China

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1270 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Mar 3, 2020

Words: 1270|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Mar 3, 2020

China is considered as the one of the most attractive location for foreign direct investment (FDI). Since 1978, Deng Xiaoping opened up China to foreign trade and investment. In early 1980, the major foreign investment is from Hong Kong, and followed by Japan and Taiwan. In 2001, China joined World Trade Organization (WTO), which promoted China to the top position for foreign direct investment. By 2007, FDI has been reached a record of US$74.8 billion which is almost 40% growth compared 2001.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

With the rapid growth of economy, China becomes the fourth largest exporter and the third largest importer since 2003. This leads by an influx of expatriate managers. In the early stage, positions of expatriates are very senior such as General Manager, Chief Finance Officer or operational head who are required for managing joint ventures or subsidiaries. As China continues to grow rapidly, its GDP has grown by more than 50% since 1997.

Many China companies become big enough to focus to be global which requires a lot of different skills; such as Huawei. It is the local Chinese Company and now is the world-leading telecom solution providers. It hires a lot of software skill talents from India. Many different professional skills are required accordingly since 2004. Talent has been one of the headaches of the multinational companies in China.According to China Daily, the number of expatriates legally employed in China has been reached a record of 150,000 in 2005. In Shanghai alone, an estimated 40,000 foreigners are working in half of the global top 500 multinationals. There are many studies focus on key leadership competences; such as innovation, passion for business, communication skill, strategic risk taking, decision making, earning trust, enabling performance and growth, collaborative influence.

Among this leadership, Earnhardt found that the key successful expatriate leader in China must consider cultural dimension. Deng indicated that cross-cultural capabilities impact the leadership effectiveness in her paper in the fifth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in organization in 2005.In my companies, I have been working with many expatriates from different countries. Some were very effective and some may not be able to complete the assignments and then return to their home country. In this project, the key components are investigated. Through a series of in-depth interviews of the expatriates and local managers, in-depth of the key competences can be identified.

The need for cross-cultural leadership effectiveness is a major challenge for multinational companies in China. The research hypothesis is that there is relationship of the cross-cultural leadership and their culture, national experience and other personal skill. It also varies among the employees’ culture. A series of in-depth interviews will be conducted with 4 expatriate managers from different countries (those who need to live in Shenzhen or Shanghai) and 10 Chinese local managers working in multinational companies operating in 2008 and 2009. Thus the key components of cross-cultural leadership will be investigated in the new environments of China.

There were many studies about the global leadership skill and China is one of the fastest growing countries, where a lot of expatriates are working. Many existing studies suggest the key leadership success of expatriates working in China. The cross-cultural leadership effectiveness has been identified as the most important factor and impacts their leadership. However, cross-cultural leadership effectiveness is very complex issue and this is also the major challenge of the expatriates working in China. Case study is chosen to study the insights of the context of Western-Chinese cultural difference and also its effectiveness in the leadership skill.

Based on the experiences of the expatriates working in China, the actual issues can be shared and how this contributes to the success of the effective expatriate leaders working in China. The case study approach works best because it can provide in-depth analysis on the challenges and experience of these expatriates working in China and how these related to their cultural differences. In this project, different cultures of expatriates will be chosen because the relationship of cultural differences will be investigated with their cross-cultural leadership capabilities. The case study approach can also provide other factors impacting their cultural awareness and thus their leadership effectiveness in the real situation.

As the cultural differences are very complex, 4 expatriates from different countries will be chosen. This allows comparison of Western-Chinese cultural differences which may impact their cross-cultural leadership capabilities. The strategy of selecting of expatriates from the different countries is typically chosen because the relationship of different cultures against their cross-cultural capability needs to be observed. However, they all are living in Shenzhen and working in the multinational company between 2007 and 2009.Years of experiences are different. Their family stress and cultural background are very different. This will provide more data to be analyzed. At the same time, 10 Chinese local managers who have been reporting to their expatriate leaders will be interviewed in order to understand more insights from their expatriate leadership. I have been working in a multinational company for more than 10 years. As my company is a global company and China is considered as low cost country to be focused from Human Resource for global integration program.

There are many foreign leaders sent to China for assignments and some could not complete their assignments and left. The in-depth interviews of the expatriates and the Chinese local managers of my company will be conducted. More insights are known based on my working experience. The chances of the selection of these expatriates are more practical and the data should be rather valid for analysis because I understand the interviewees’ background. The chances of the respondents providing open and honest responses should be very high since I am working in the same company and I have good relationship with my colleagues. The case study approach produces the type of context dependent knowledge and provides the type of role play situation knowledge. This may not be repeated easily as this relies on each situation and the factors contributed. However, these interviews will help to analyze the cultural dimension and how it can impact cross-cultural leadership capabilities and thus significantly impact their success leadership effectiveness.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Based on the information and insights gathered through a series of in-depth interviews with western expatriates and Chinese local managers, the key components of cross-cultural leadership capability can be investigated in more details; such as how this relates to Western-Chinese Culture difference and how it impacts to the cultural intelligence and thus impact the leadership skill.


  1. Denscombe, M. (2007) The Good Research Guide. 3rd edn. McGraw Hill : Open University Press
  2. Gallo, F. (2008) Business Leadership in China. John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
  3. Fernandez , J. and Liu, S. (2007) China CEO. John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
  4. DDI. (2009) Leadership Success in China: An Expatriate’s Guide. [online] Available from:: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  5. Earnhardt, M. (2009) ‘The Successful Expatriate leader in China’. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  6. Deng, L. (2005) ‘Understanding effective expatriate leadership in foreign business in China: The role of emotional cultural intelligence’. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  7. Economist Intelligence Unit. (June 2004) Coming of age Multinational companies in China. An Economist Intelligence Unite white paper In co-operation with KPMG. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  8. Economy of the People’s Republic of China. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  9. Chinability (2008) Foreign Direct Investment Data. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 10 April 2009
  10. Wikipedia. (2009) Case Study. [online] Available from: Accessed on: 25 April 2009
  11. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006) ‘Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research’ [online] Available from: Accessed on: 25 April 2009
Image of Prof. Linda Burke
This essay was reviewed by
Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Competencies of Global Leaders: Case Studies of Expatriates Working in China. (2020, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“Competencies of Global Leaders: Case Studies of Expatriates Working in China.” GradesFixer, 27 Feb. 2020,
Competencies of Global Leaders: Case Studies of Expatriates Working in China. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Competencies of Global Leaders: Case Studies of Expatriates Working in China [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Feb 27 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now