Masters of Business in Asia

ASIA’S RISING economic power is remaking the world. Chinese corporate champions like Alibaba and Tencent are challenging their Western counterparts. Are they bringing with them a specifically Asian management style? Bartleby visited two highly rated business schools in Hong Kong in an attempt to find out.

First, temperament. Yuk-fai Fong is a professor of management, strategy and economics. During a stint at the Kellogg School of Management in Illinois, he recalls, his Asian students tended to be quiet. On arriving at Hong Kong University (HKU), he discovered that students there were not diffident at all but instead stereotypical, opinionated MBAs. Mr Fong concludes that, in America, Asian students were unfamiliar with corporate culture and even company names. They may have been more self-conscious about speaking in a second language in a second country. In Hong Kong they felt, naturally, more at home.

Where Mr Fong did find a difference was in the attitudes of MBA students towards leadership styles. He conducted a survey of MBA alumni and current and past students on HKU’s executive MBA course (which, like other such courses, is part-time and aimed at people already involved in running companies). It asked respondents about their views of behaviours that are broadly...



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