Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Li Feng
Title:Same Kentucky Chicken, Different Taste: Cross-cultural Leadership Studies at KFC in Beijing
Degree:Master's of Science
Committee Chair: William E. Snizek
Committee Members:Michael Hughes
Wanda J. Smith
Keywords:leadership behavior, effectiveness
Date of defense:June 26, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


Same Kentucky Chicken, Different Taste: Cross-cultural Leadership Studies at KFC in Beijing Li Feng (ABSTRACT) This study is designed to explore a three dimensional Chinese leadership behavior model—Initiation, Consideration, and Guanxi. The Initiation-Consideration model has dominated leadership behavior research in Western literature (e.g., Yukl 1994), whereas this study recognizes that Guanxi behavior is an important concept in Chinese values and that it should be employed to develop a model of Chinese leadership behavior. This study also examines whether Guanxi is the most frequently exhibited leadership behavior, as perceived by Chinese employees, and how this type of leadership behavior, along with Initiation and Consideration, contributes to leadership effectiveness within the Chinese culture. Data is collected from 166 subordinates at 15 KFC restaurants in Beijing. The empirical data collected demonstrates that Initiation, Consideration, and Guanxi are not distinctive leadership behaviors. Instead, they are highly correlated with each other. Other main findings related to the study’s hypotheses are: 1) among Initiation, Consideration, and Guanxi, Initiation is the most frequently used leadership behavior, as perceived by subordinates at those restaurants; and 2) subordinates perceive that all these three forms of leadership behavior are positively related to leadership effectiveness. However, this thesis does not have enough confidence to make any conclusion based on the above findings because of the sample’s response bias and a multicollinearity problem in the empirical data.

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