Finding a New Narrative of Chinese Business Leadership by Giving Voice to Chinese Millennials


  • Suvi Kurki


China, post-heroic leadership, empathy-based stories, Millenials, Chinese business


In this article, I study Chinese business leadership from the postheroic perspective, as I try to understand the culture that creates power dynamics in China. I challenge the dominating narrative of Chinese leadership, namely the Confucian style autocratic leadership, giving special attention to the power distance dimension of Hofstede’s cultural studies in both the theoretical and empirical work in order to understand the construction of hierarchies in the Chinese context. Using empathy-based stories as the method of inquiry with 111 respondents from three diff erent Chinese universities, I give voice to the Chinese Millennials. The data suggests that Chinese Millennials prefer low power distance to high power distance. Chinese Millennials have a pragmatic and logical approach to leadership; they want to create orga nizations that have good co-operation between all organization levels; the opinions of subordinates are important in decision-making process; big diff erences in salaries and other benefits are not accepted by Chinese Millennials. Chinese Millennials have a humble attitude and they believe in continuous improvement within organizations. Similar to their counterparts in other countries, Chinese Millennials are ethically and socially conscious and show a high-degree of compassion towards people in weaker positions.




How to Cite

Kurki, S. (2019). Finding a New Narrative of Chinese Business Leadership by Giving Voice to Chinese Millennials. Asia in Focus, 7, 34–44. Retrieved from