Best book

Winner: Dr Chin-Ju Tsai Phd


This article is taken from the 2024 Awards supplement in the Summer 2024 issue of Think Global People magazine

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In the Best Book category, the judges recognised Dr Chin-Ju Tsai for her ten-year research into western management styles in China. Dr Chin-Ju Tsai is a senior lecturer in Human Resource Management at Royal Holloway, University of London, and over the past decade, her research has focused on understanding the experiences of expatriate managers leading teams in a different culture.

The book offers insights into Chinese cultural values, employee expectations, experiences of expatriate managers, and strategies for overcoming challenges in leading Chinese staff, based on extensive research involving 391 expatriate senior managers and over 350 Chinese employees.

It addresses the perspectives of both expatriate managers and Chinese employees, providing a comprehensive view of cross-cultural leadership in China.

The judges said “the book provides a clear contribution to knowledge. It advances both practical and theoretical approaches, as well as our understanding of global people management, and the promotion of flexibility and choice in cross-cultural leadership.”

Advancing understanding

China is a strategic destination for many multinational corporations (MNCs), with at least 500,000 expats working in the country. By bridging theory with practical insights, the book helps advance the understanding of global people management in the context of leading and managing Chinese employees, crucial for expatriates and MNCs operating in China.

Thanking all the nearly 400 expat managers who took part in the research and all those involved in the process, Dr Chin-Ju Tsai said she was deeply honoured to receive the award. “The journey of writing the book was very long from collecting data, analysing it, writing it to finishing the proofreading process. I would like to thank all the judges and Relocate Global for this great award recognising my achievements and hard work.”

Practical insights

The judges praised the practical benefit of the book, which offers 12 actionable tips for managing Chinese employees, providing valuable guidance for expatriate managers and consultants navigating cross-cultural complexities in Chinese workplaces. The book discusses four key leadership styles adopted in contemporary China: paternalistic, communal, market and hybrid.

The book is targeted at expatriate business managers currently working or planning to work in China, management consultants studying cross-cultural management and researchers in this field. The research findings emphasise the importance of cross-cultural leadership adjustment in both expatriates' own behaviours and influencing subordinates, indicating the need for flexibility and adaptability in managing global teams.

The judges said: “This book provides exceptionally valuable information on how expatriate managers can be effective working in a difficult cultural environment. It demonstrates new knowledge and significant practical implications, which are of immense value to any business wishing to set up in China.”

See the Winners Announced Page

The award was collected by Dr Chin-Ju Tsai, senior lecturer in Human Resource Management, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Expatriate Managers and Cross-Cultural Leadership in China

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Read about award-winning global mobility, leadership and education in the upcoming Summer issue of Think Global People magazine, with the teams and organisations being celebrated in the Relocate Think Global People Awards 2024. Secure your copy here.


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