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Asian vs. western leadership styles

Leadership and associated research have occurred since the beginning of humanity. By the middle of the twentieth century, leadership has been one of the most popular subjects tried by many prominent researchers to describe and examine its characteristics through a range of approaches. There are several interpretations of leadership, as the essence is slightly nuanced.

 Reality has proven that leadership styles established in the West never work when adapted to Asian situations and vice versa. Since Asia is a vast region with complex principles and traditions, it is impossible to define traditional leadership for Asia as a whole. As a consequence, Asian leadership is split into East Asian leadership and South Asian leadership in this article. 

Western leadership 

In the West, leaders are supposed to have a prominent position. In other words, they lead from the front and can reflect their desire to do anything. One of the most critical aspects of Western leaders 'roles is to express and promote the organization's positive behaviors, principles, and convictions, such as equity, confidence, fairness, accountability, and ability to accept errors, corporate responsibilities, performance, consistency, customer care, and staff. 

Moreover, Western transformational leadership seeks to create consensus between organizations by maintaining trustworthiness as well as predictability of employee reactions and growing the need for oversight and regulation. In comparison, the concept of workplace goals and corporate strategies are specific decisions taken by Western transformational executives to empower and energize their employees to achieve defined objectives successfully. 

In comparison, cooperation, authorization, success control, logic, recognition, communication, and understanding are widely respected by modern Western leadership. In general, a positive, dependent compensation, as well as retribution, participatory, empowering, confidence, transparency, respect for cooperation, and the ability to accept risk leaders, have a massive effect on their Western workers. 

East Asian leadership

Meanwhile, in East Asia, the authority and approval of leaders are typically not contingent on the functional competence of leaders, as they generally rely on the arrangement of both internal and external organizations rather than on the acknowledgment of employees. 

Hierarchical influence is perceived to be the center of East Asia's social ties. The power and legitimacy of the members are thus acknowledged as being fair and correct. It is also unacceptable and inappropriate for adherents to publicly criticize members. 

One of the most critical aspects of East Asian leaders 'function is to preserve the unity of the community and to do it seamlessly, like the culture. The institution is well organized together with the government and is unequally split into various social statuses. Generally, East Asian leadership is fundamentally based on dependency, the system of the patriarchy of power ownership, as well as on peace. 

South Asian leadership 

Since India is the largest country in South Asia and India's culture has a tremendous impact on nations in the region, India's leadership is chosen as a traditional model for South Asia. 

Indian leaders are supposed to have the capacity to foresee the future and to mobilize the assistance of followers. Leaders are evaluated for their achievement in building teams, establishing clear objectives, recognizing small successes, setting an example, and ensuring that certain principles are adhered to within the organization. 

Therefore, it is believed that the quest for incentives, creativity, and risk-taking are the prerequisite characteristics of Indian leaders. Thus, facilitating a leader's performance in preparation, mobilization, and collaboration and creating confidence has a considerable effect on South Asian leadership. In comparison to Western politics, South Asian leaders are not strongly regarded as an acknowledgment of their commitment, coupled with a celebration of accomplishments. 

Besides, there is a propensity in India to see a leader as educated, loving, and trustworthy parent rather than an ordinary person. Overall, the characteristics of Indian leadership are demanding, empowering, motivating, and modeling relative to Western leadership; nevertheless, Indian leadership is seen as ineffective in promoting men. 

Practical examples of Western and Asian leadership

- Steve Jobs, longtime CEO of Apple, a robust Western leadership. 

Apple, the most revered and imitated company on earth, is a perfect illustration of Western influence in action. Former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, as well as his replacement, Timothy D. Cook, who are renowned for setting creative goals, empowering and encouraging supporters, are traditional Western leaders. 

The leadership of Steve Jobs in Apple is considered to be a dynamic leadership. A leadership established in the West, under which the followers are impressed by the extraordinary abilities and dreams of the leaders. Steve Jobs is thus regarded as an outstanding leader by Apple's employees and Apple's consumers, who are all charmed by its creative ideas and unorthodox leadership. 

A flat management framework, that is, a low hierarchical method, which is one of the central features of Western leadership, has been introduced to Apple to increase the productivity of staff and minimize oversight. While there are ample critiques about the dark side of Steve Jobs's visionary leadership, such as autocrats, physical attacks, and foul languages, he is indeed one of the most respected Western business leaders in the world. 

- South Korean leadership

Over the last 50 years, South Korea's government, which is characteristic of South Korea's Asia, has seen extraordinary changes from one of the poorest rural countries to a developing nation with an esteemed degree of manufacturing and technology. At a glance, it is simple to realize that the South Korean leadership and bureaucratic institutions are strongly dominated by the Chaebol system, which is exclusively consanguinity-based.

The first and second-largest South Korean companies (Samsung and Hyundai) have selected the sons of former presidents to become current members. Solidarity and unity are considered to be one of the main success factors among Korean companies. In South Korea, under the leadership of Confucianism, employees should focus on acting following their social roles and expectations, as well as on maintaining good relations with their leaders, rather than focusing on personal interests. Moreover, reverence for others is considered to be one of the most fundamental concepts of governance by South Korean companies. Generally, the impact of Eastern culture on South Korean leadership is relatively stable relative to other Asian countries. 


Ultimately, the drastic variations between the Asian leadership model and the Western leadership model may be extracted from the contrast between the two distinct communities. According to Hofstede's cultural five measurements, the critical cultural variables that affect these disparities are the significant disparity in the Power Distance Index, the imbalance in the Individualism Index, and the substantial discrepancy in the Long-Term Orientation Index between the two societies. 

Western leadership models, such as successful, inspirational, and transformational leadership, concentrate more on inspiration, Asian leadership models tend to preserve harmony within organizations. Nevertheless, when the current global-born businesses dominate, and globalization has become an unavoidable phenomenonAsian vs western leadership, there is a strategic necessity for politicians and academics across the world to develop a paradigm that can be implemented effectively in every culture and area.


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