Title: Gender and paternalistic leadership in a Chinese cultural context, a critical review, and future research trajectories

Authors: Martin Sposato

Addresses: Middlesex University, Dubai Knowledge Village, Block 17, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: This article critically reviews paternalistic leadership in Chinese cultural societies. This paper highlights the omission of gender elements in the conceptualisation, consequently leading to a male bias understanding of leadership in a Chinese cultural context. A critical review of the literature is presented, based on historical developments of the indigenous Chinese model of paternalistic leadership, a conceptualisation with roots in Confucian doctrine, and on the traditional gender roles in society but that ultimately does not account for social changes. This review summarises the main contributions to the literature and its findings, critically analysing its limitations. Research trajectories are suggested as a way to further research on paternalistic leadership, most notable being the gender bias problems that the paternalism has and its need for a modern update. A post-colonial feminist approach is suggested as a complement for the limitations of paternalistic leadership, as well as for its contextualisation in non-western societies.

Keywords: paternalistic leadership; China; leadership; post-colonial feminism; female leadership.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2021.10035649

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2021 Vol.27 No.3, pp.438 - 449

Received: 26 Nov 2018
Accepted: 04 Jan 2019

Published online: 15 Feb 2021 *

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