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Shaomin Li, professor of management in Old Dominion University's College of Business and Public Administration, has published an article in the prestigious Harvard Business Review. The article, "Mao's Pervasive Influence on Chinese CEOs," is an exploration of the influence the late Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong continues to have on the professional tactics employed by top Chinese business leaders.

Li and his co-authors, Kuang S. Yeh, of National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan and Garry D. Bruton of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, studied high-level business executives in China who utilize management tactics that emulate the methods used by Chairman Mao to consolidate his power, subjugate his subordinates and maintain the support of the public.

"Our research on the practices and attitudes of Chinese CEOs offers abundant evidence that Mao's principles continue to influence top executives: All but one of 15 CEOs we interviewed told us they often turned to Mao's teachings for management ideas," the team wrote.

The team's research could prove particularly valuable to multinational firms seeking to create joint ventures with Chinese companies. Li and his colleagues suggest multinational that firms familiarize themselves with the culture of their Chinese business partners. They also recommend establishing a clearly defined management structure. "A multinational that chooses to work with a CEO who uses those tactics needs to have effective procedures-both formal and informal-in place for monitoring the Chinese leadership," the team wrote.

To view the full article in the Harvard Business Review, click here:


This article was posted on: December 3, 2007

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