Why Chinese and Japanese are different from other Asians? 

Comparison of Cultural Dimensions (US, China, S. Korea, Japan, and Taiwan)

In general, far eastern Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are known for their collectivistic, hierarchical, and uncertainty avoidant national culture that are contrasting to individualistic, horizontal, and uncertainty tolerate culture of the United States. 

National culture theorist Hofstede introduced five cultural dimensions: power distance, individualism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation, and his studies have specified national cultures with multidimensional indices: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation (Hofstede, 1994, 2001). Figure 1 presents comparisons of five cultural indices of the U.S., China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.  

Figure 1. Comparisons of Hoftede's Cultural Dimensions of the U.S., China, S. Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Note: Adapted from Hofestede’s cultural dimension indices (http://geert-hofstede.com/, Retrieved on Oct. 2012)

PDI: Power distance

IDV: Individualism

MAS: Masculinity / Femininity

UAI: Uncertainty avoidance

LTO: Long term orientation

According to Hofstede’s contemporary cultural dimension indices, China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan have high power distance and low individualism that are contrast to the U.S. culture. This fact may indicate that employees in those Asian countries accept a hierarchical order and live in a collectivistic society that emphasizes strong work interactions or social relationships. 

However, Chinese culture has a contrasting dimension to other Asian countries: much lower uncertainty avoidance than any other Asian countries, and even than the U.S. Hofstede explains that China’s very low uncertainty avoidance may come from the fact that the majority (70–80 percent) of Chinese businesses tend to be small to medium-sized and family-owned, which contributes to being adaptable and entrepreneurial (see http://geert-hofstede.com/china.html).

On the individualism dimension, Japan scores 46 that is lower than the U.S. but much higher than any other Asian countries. This may indicate that Japanese employees are experienced as collectivistic by Western standards and experienced as individualistic by Asian standard. The most popular explanation for this is that Japanese more emphasizes their individual choice of in-group relationship than inherent situations such as family or their local community   (see http://geert-hofstede.com/japan.html).


Hofstede, G. (1994). The business of international business is culture. International Business Review, 3(1), 1-14.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations: Sage Pubns.



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Why do people resist a new HR practice for the change? 

Photo Source: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effects-group-cohesiveness-21587.html

In general, resistance to change such as introduction or application of a new HR practice is a universal phenomenon in all types of organizations (Swanson & Holton, 2009). Launching an HR practice in business organization may not be exceptional. 

Resistance to a new HR practice can occur due to technical, political, and cultural causes in the organization level (Tichy, 1982). In technical perspective, an organization cannot continually support a new HR practice if it organization fails to draw desirable outcomes from the investment of the HR practice (Tichy, 1982) because of poor fit between organizational resources and organizational performances (Kuchinke, 2003)

Second, the introduction and implementation of a new HR practice causes a restructuring of power relationships and resource accessibilities (Tichy, 1982), and consequently it draws power competitions in searching for stability (Leana & Barry, 2000) and psychological safety (Edmondson, 2004). For example, an innovation initiative that was driven by grass root level employees was met with resistance at corporate top management not because of technical reasons but because of potential risk to disrupt power structure that were already in place within the organization (Dörrenbächer & Geppert, 2006)

Finally, the cultural view to resistance against a new HR practice focuses on the disconfirmation of shared belief, shared value, and social norms in the organization. For example, cynicism of employees toward a new HR practice can be fortified through consecutive failures in application of new HR practices and strategies such as ‘program of the month,’ and this cynical culture can an organization to resist against any kinds of new HR practices for change (Reichers, Wanous, & Austin, 1997).

Individual employee’s resistance toward a new HR practice for change has been shown to be a multidimensional phenomenon. Piderit (2000) proposed that individual employee’s resistance to proposed new HR practice consists of at least three dimensions: emotional, cognitive, and intentional (behavioral). Within this Piderit’s multidimensional perspective, resistance to a new HR practice for change was represented by “the set of responses to change that are negative along all three dimensions” whereas support for a new HR practice for change is represented by “the set of responses that are positive along all three dimensions” (Piderit, 2000, p. 783).

However, individual employee’s attitude toward a proposed new HR practice for change is more complicated than acknowledged (Swanson & Holton, 2009). For example, an employee may believe change is needed (cognitive) for improving organizational performance but fear it (emotional) for losing autonomy power over his or her work. The incongruence of personal attitude toward a new HR practice can occur even in the same dimension. An empirical study indicated that employees could have conflicted emotions such as excitement and anxiety at the same time when an organizational change intervention was introduced (Vince & Broussine, 1996). These “ambivalent attitudes” of employees is defined as two alternative perspectives are both strongly experienced (Piderit, 2000, p. 787).   

Taken all things into consideration, business organizations’ mechanistic replication or emulation of so-called best HR practices cannot reap the benefits of those innovative HR practices but will encounter a significant resistance when organizational leaders, HR professionals, and frontline managers do not have further understandings about the dynamics of employee perceptions of work environment and employee personal characteristics. 



Dörrenbächer, C., & Geppert, M. (2006). Micro-politics and conflicts in multinational corporations: Current debates, re-framing, and contributions of this special issue. Journal of International Management, 12(3), 251-265.

Edmondson, A. C. (2004). Psychological safety, trust, and learning in organizations: A group-level lens. In R. M. Kramer & K. S. Cook (Eds.), Trust and distrust in organizations: Dilemmas and approaches (pp. 239-272): Russell Sage Foundation.

Kuchinke, K. P. (2003). Contingent HRD: Toward a theory of variation and differentiation in formal human resource development. Human Resource Development Review, 2(3), 294-309.

Leana, C. R., & Barry, B. (2000). Stability and change as simultaneous experiences in organizational life. Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 753-759.

Piderit, S. K. (2000). Rethinking Resistance and Recognizing Ambivalence: A Multidimensional View of Attitudes Toward an Organizational Change. Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 783-795.

Reichers, A. E., Wanous, J. P., & Austin, J. T. (1997). Understanding and managing cynicism about organizational change. The Academy of Management Executive, 11(1), 48-59.

Swanson, R. A., & Holton, E. F. (2009). Foundations of human resource development: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Tichy, N. M. (1982). Managing Change Strategically: The Technical, Political, and Cultural Keys. [Article]. Organizational dynamics, 11(2), 59-80.

Vince, R., & Broussine, M. (1996). Paradox, defense and attachment: Accessing and working with emotions and relations underlying organizational change. Organization Studies, 17(1), 1-21.


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  1. fff 2017.10.18 10:54  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    resist to a new ~ 가 아니라
    resist a new ~ 아닌가요.
    to가 필요없는 타동사인데요.

  2. Favicon of https://leadershipcenter.tistory.com BlogIcon Jeonghwan Choi 2017.10.18 17:21 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    아.... 그러네요... Resist 에는 to 가 필요없는데, 제가 실수했네요. 고쳤습니다. 감사합니다.^^

Dr. Peter Northouse's Leadership Lecture at UIUC

On Sept. 26 2012, Illinois Leadership Center (contact: Mr. Heath Harding, Associate Director) hosted a special lecture of Dr. Peter Northouse - the prominent leadership scholar in the world. Dr. Peter Northouse is well-known his seminal textbook of "Leadership: Theory & Practice - http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book235117). Dr. Peter Northouse presented his insights about leadership. 

Place: Levis Faculty Center

Time: Sept. 26, 2012, Noon ~ 1PM

Contributions from the Theories

  • Trait approach: intuitively appealing/meager results
  • Skills approach: expansive/ general and less precise
  • Style approach: task/process powerful constructs
  • Situational approach: pragmatic/weak research
  • Contingency approach: abstruse but good data
  • Path goal : expectancy approach/pragmatic appeal
  • LMX: in & ut groups real/how to begin groupness
  • Transformational approach: the moral issue / factors
  • Authentic leadership: developmental / untested
  • Psychodynamic approach: deals with authority issue

What's Hot - What's not


Not hot 

Civic responsibility / ethics

Character / values/ strengths

Servant leadership

Complexity theory

Emotional intelligence

Leader centricity / followers / context

Trait theory



Situational leadership
Leadership / management
Contingency theory 

* The follower centric approach is not much addressed, but it is getting hotter and hotter as information flourish. 

* As information flourish, followers challenge leadership authority and legitimacy. 

The role of Stories and Leadership (narrative)

* President Barack Obama

- Harvard Lawyer, Community organizer, First African American President...more

* Former governor Mitt Romney

- Harvard Lawyer, Mormon bishop, Massachusetts Health Care Plan... more

Importance of LIfe Stories: 

"Life-stories are a major source of leader authenticity"

(Shamir & Eilam (2005: Leadership Quartely, 16, 295-417. 

- LIfe stories provide a meaning system

- Life stories provide information about clarifies the leader's values and convictions.

- Life stories help leaders establish an identity. 

Trait Leadership is Alive

"Must Great Leaders Be Gregarious?"

* Susan Cain - Author of The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking

Resources in Leadership



Internatioanl Leadership Association

Center for Creative Leadership

National Clearninghouse for Leadership Programs

Regent University

Leadership quarterly, and many other journals


  • Theory exists and it can inform practice
  • We can all learn to improve our leadership
  • Effective leadership builds community and enhances the common ground


Q: Why does situational leadership is not hot anymore? 

A: Situational leadership did not get many academic supports. 

Q: What's your current research? 

A: Ethical leadership style; Calvinistic approach; Feministic approach 

Q: What is ethical leadership?

A: Distribute common goods. How way of ethic behaviors of leadership make different consequences? 

I had a chance to ask a question. "There is a big tension between managers and employees from my interviews at a subsidiary MNC in Korea. Managers demands more self-directed employee behavior while employees want more autonomy. In business literature, there is a self-leadership concept. Do you think the self-leadership is one of 'leadership' theory or it is self-directed behavior stuff?" 

Dr. Peter Northouse replied that "it sounds like a 'self-directed behavior' rather than self-leadership' because self-leadership has no 'leader-follower' relationship. He suggested me to look on 'Robert House's GLOBE study' to address cultural difference in MNC. 

I really thanked his kind and insightful comments. In addition, I am very honored that he gave me a signature with the best wish.

Jeonghwan Choi

Sept 26, 2012


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The business and management field is too important to be taken solely by business experts such as MBAs. We need multiple perspectives and multiple paradigms to address current business and management problems. Learning, teaching, education, and human development perspectives are essential fields of scholarship that provide more human centered values to business and management. 

- Dr. K. Peter Kuchinke (Collaborative Seminar Serieces at UIUC, Sept. 18, 2012)

Dr. K. Peter Kuchinke's Lecture: But is it Education? Situating Training and Development in the Canon of Education Research and Practice. 

Series: UIUC Higher Education Collaborative Seminar Series

Date: Sept. 18, 2012

Place: EDU 242, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Opportunity of Merging EPOL department: 

1. New conversations among three departments of Educational Policy, Education Organizational Leadership, and Human Resource Development. 

2. Learning and development for Economic Discourse for the U.S. and developing countries. 

3. Stretching of educator's role.  

... But is it education? 

Contesting HRD. 

Debate: What is the role of educators in business settings? 

Meaning of work: Individual well-being: Human development paradigm: Connection with Education & Labor e.g. AOMLE

Summary of the Seminar: 

1. Teaching/Learning/Development in work contexts as ubiquitous educational practice

2. Wide range of educational provisions and approaches. 

3. Extensive area of professional commitment by educators. 

4. Shares with school-based education core challenges, concerns, and processes. 

5. Focus on practice (practical purposes). 

6. Subject to institutional constrains and opportunities (over emphasis on organizational goal, underestimate personal development). 

Contours of 'HRD'

- Academia: 

1) Growth of professional fiels in knowledge based societies (Academic Profession, Clark, 1986)

2) Limits to growth: Hard to have "distinctiveness, legitimacy, mobilization, and resource". 

3) Three pathways of HRD in the US [Demands from Government(Georgia Univ.), Academic programs (vocational Ed.: Minnesota Univ.), and business]. 

4) HRD Domains: T&D, C&D, OD, Workforce/Technical education, Adult education, Professional/continuing education/ Instructional technology. 

5) HRD professional demand (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012): TD experts (15%), HR experts (22%), Management experts (21%). Independent consultant (?). 

6) Trends: Moving learning function to line supervisors and managers.  

- Practice: 

1) Investing employees (ASTD, 2010), $ 220 bil.

2) HRD professionals - Learning and change experts: 

TD, OD, Organizational effectiveness, Organizational learning, Leadership development, Professional education, Quality/process improvement, Talent management, Knowledge management. 

3) Formal learning / Informal-incidental learning / Structural initiatives (OD, CD, HPWS).  


- Scope and Boundaries:

1) HRD as "multi-paradigm, multi-disciplinary, open-ended, and complex (Kuchinke, 2007)"

2) Adresses change/development at 'multiple levels operates within competing goals/objecties/needs" 

3) HRD Scholarship

- Martin Maurer: Dialogue in healthcare process improvement teams

- Rosa Muraguri-Mwolo: Performance management in UN reforestation program.

- Sujin Son: Mentoring in Korean corporations

- Torrence sparkman: Leadership development in an African American Church

- Kevin Gitonga: College to career transition in Kenya

- Goals & Objectives: 

1) Learning as means to end: Effectiveness; efficiency; customer service, employer of choice, capacity building.

2) Balance the demand from organization and employee. 

3) Student motivation: 'people orientation and social value development through learning and development' 

- Adequacy and Effectiveness: 

1) Transfer of training problem - Lack of evidences

2) Dominance of classroom format

3) Low integration and application of educational research to address 'real problems'. 


- VET/CTE: George Copa - Education for, at about, and through "Work". 

- Education in the Professions: Engineering, Medicine etc. 

- Education outside of formal employment: Volunteer work, work after retirement, work at public entities. 

- Education Policy, Higher Education, History/Philosophy, Curriculum Studies, Teacher preparation, Ed. Tech., Global studies, Special needs, Access/Equity/Diversity:  

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  1. 유선주 2012.09.19 08:00  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    좋은 내용 감사드립니다. ;-)

Chief Vitality Officer (CVO) is a top executive who takes actions of vitalizing (such as encouraging, inspiring, and energizing) individuals, teams, and whole organizational structures to draw the best results throughout unleashing human capabilities basing on positivity. 

Photo courtesy of 

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