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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Applicability of some organizational behavior theories in the People's Republic of China Jiang, Shougang


The recent economic and political developments in China, as a result of the open-door policy and commitment by Chinese leaders to attaining the national goals, have made it inevitable for Western theories of management to be introduced to Chinese managers. Transferability of these theories has become an important concern of the managers and scholars in management. The current study was thus intended to serve as a preliminary attempt to look into the applicability of some management theories in China's industries. The focal attention has been given to evaluation of theories in the areas of motivatoin and leadership. The selected theories of motivation include Maslow's need hierarchy theory, equity theory, and expectancy theory. Vroom and Yetton decision tree and Hollander's idiosyncracy credit theory of leadership have been chosen to provide discussion on leader behaviors. The basic assumptions and boundary conditions have been identified and examined in the context of Chinese cultural, social, and political systems. It was found that most theories evaluated are not applicable in China their preconditions for application are not met to the extent that managerial implications derived from them can create effects intended to enhance managerial effectiveness. Such inapplicability is the result of a wide range of differences in perception of man's role in society, value systems, and the corresponding organizational processes between Western and Chinese cultures.

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