01 July 2011

Why Chinese Make Bad Managers

Why Chinese Make Bad Managers
By Jiang Xueqin

In his New York magazine article ‘Paper Tigers,’ the Korean-American writer Wesley Yang argues that the Asian parenting model and cultural values mean that Asians will excel in schools, and only in schools: ‘According to a recent study, Asian-­Americans represent roughly 5 percent of the population but only 0.3 percent of corporate officers, less than 1 percent of corporate board members, and around 2 percent of college presidents.’


To ease their own violent paranoia, Chinese managers instil and augment violent paranoia in their staff. To maintain absolute control, they will practice divide-and-conquer by constantly changing favourites, spreading innuendoes and rumours and lies, and acting arbitrarily and violently to induce terror. They won’t compose memos or read financial statements, but they’ll probably have watched ‘The Godfather’ dozens of times, and have memorized The Art of War. China’s management problem isn’t that there aren’t enough alpha males—it’s that there are too many.


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