On becoming a leader in Asia and America: Empirical evidence from women managers


  • Claudia Peus


Asia, United States, Leadership, Women managers


In concordance with recent calls for cross-cultural leadership research as well as research on women leaders, this study investigated how women in Asia and the U.S. become leaders and how they enact their leadership. In-depth interviews with 76 mid- to upper-level female managers in Asia (China, India, Singapore) and the U.S. were conducted. Analyses revealed that a simple dichotomy of “Asian” versus “Western” leadership did not appropriately describe the data. Rather, factors such as achievement orientation, learning orientation, and role models emerged as crucial success factors for advancement to leadership positions across continents. However, the particular meaning differed between countries. Furthermore, with regard to women's leadership style differences between Asian countries were more salient than between Asia and the U.S. Implications for leadership theory and practice are discussed.