Degree Granting Department
Carol Stoak Saunders, Ph.D.
Troy A. Montgomery, D.B.A
Jung C. Park, Ph.D.
Gaole Chen, Ph.D.
Cross-cultural management, Global, Immigration, Multicultural, Workforce diversity
Cultural identity and resource availability aspects in traditional leadership development literature remain understudied, especially among minority populations like Asian immigrants.
This study explores the leadership journeys of 24 United States immigrants from China, India and the Philippines using a phenomenological approach, primarily with semi-structured interviews. Experiences of 18 additional immigrant leaders published in popular media were also analyzed.
Data from the study reveals that Asian migrants’ roads to leadership in U.S. organizations are heterogeneous and characterized by either linear or nonlinear, overlapping phases of leader development where migrant leaders overcome assimilation challenges and leverage their unique, individual human capital to intersect with organizational level capital in order to enhance their chances of success. Findings suggestive of a relationship between leveraged or suppressed cultural traits and leadership styles are also explored.
Drawing from theories rooted in behavioral economics and psychology, the study demonstrates that Asian leader pathways reflect an adaptation process that appears to interact in complex ways with individual, organizational, and societal resources available to them. Theoretical and practical implications are drawn and future research directions are recommended.
Scholar Commons Citation
Cabela, Ramil L., "Asian Immigrants in Leadership Roles in the United States: Exploration for Leader Development" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.