There has been wide interest in the study of management styles and the effects of
culture and other contextual factors in shaping them within and across nations. The
Hong Kong manufacturing industry is mainly managed by local Chinese with some
managers from Mainland China and Western countries. It provides a unique site for
studying the differences in management style between the three groups of managers
and how their management styles are shaped in the industry.
The objectives of this study areas follows: Firstly to study and compare the attributes
oftop management and their management styles together with the organizational
context and organizational structure of the companies they manage in Hong Kong.
Secondly, the effects of the aforementioned factors on their management style are
investigated and a model is proposed to depict their relationships. Lastly, the future
trends in the development of management style and organizational structure of firms
in the industry are studied. An approach is developed to describe relationships
between groupings of factors.
As regards the three groups, the Hong Kong and the mainland Chinese managers
appear to belong to the same cultural group compared to the Westerners here despite
that the societal background in which they are raised is quite different. Also managers
clearly expect management styles in manufacturing industry to develop further though
little change is expected in the structure of manufacturing organizations.
The cultural attributes of the managers including Hofstede's constructs are found to
affect their style of managing people, managing operations and the structure of their
organization. The organizational context and structure also have effects on their style
of managing operations. The Aston Study's findings about relationships between
organizational context and organizational structure are also validated.
It can be concluded that all the three aspects studied are necessary to model influences
on management styles in Hong Kong but with some aspects being more influential
than others are. It is also clear that a methodology can be developed to look at
relationships between groups of factors as well as simply pairs of factors.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University