The unique cultural and historical background of Chinese firms makes it likely that Westernbased findings on the nature and effects of chief operating officer CEO leadership may not generalize to them. Recently, Tsui et al. 2004 have identified four distinct leadership styles among Chinese CEOs based on a set of leadership behaviors that reflect the Chinese cultural framework. They further inferred from an analysis of 25 successful firms that all four leadership styles can be effective in the current Chinese context. The objective of this study is to test the robustness of Tsui et al.'s 2004 findingsespecially their inference about leadership styles' effects. Survey data from mid to highlevel managers of 116 listed Chinese firms are combined with these firms' publicly available financial statements. The results strongly support the existence of Tsui et al.'s 2004 four CEO leadership styles. However, they also reveal that leadership style and environmental uncertainty have a significant interaction effect on firm performance. This finding implies that each leadership style's performance effects may be dampened or magnified by select firm characteristics.
Journal of Asia Business Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 21, 2010