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Jinghao Chen

DBA Graduate - 2020

Thesis title

CEO’s Leadership and Firm Performance in an Emerging Economy: Evidence from Chinese Private Enterprises

Supervisor(s)

Pierre-Yves Sanseau
Purpose This study attends to investigate whether and how CEO’s leadership influences firm performance in emerging economies. Design/methodology/approach We first measure CEO’s leadership from three dimensions: CEO’s strategic thinking capability, management innovation capability and resource integration ability. Then, this paper constructs a theoretical model to examine the effect of CEO’s leadership on firm performance, and test its influence mechanisms form the perspective of firm innovation decisions and firm resource integration decisions. Findings (1) We find two dimensions of CEO’s leadership (strategic thinking capability and resource integration capability) have a significantly positive impact on firm performance. (2) Two dimensions of CEO’s leadership (strategic thinking ability and resource integration ability) plays a significantly positive role in firm innovation capability and firm resource integration capability. (3) Results further show that firm strategic capability and firm resource integration have a partial mediation effect on the relationship between two dimensions of CEO’s leadership (strategic thinking capability and resource integration capability) and firm performance. Research limitations/implications All these efforts are intended to make sure that the research process is objective, accurate and scientific. However, there are inevitably some limitations in this study, such as sample selection bias and research methodology. Practical implications The findings will provide theoretical basis and guidance for Chinese private enterprises to improve firm performance and competitive strengths through strengthening of leadership. Originality/value This study contribute to existing literature on the influencing factors firm leadership and are conducive to deepening the understanding of the financial outcomes of CEO's leadership. In addition, this study reveals the path by which CEO’s leadership influences firm performance, which is also original in terms of research contents. Thirdly, the findings of existing studies on firm CEO's leadership are based on samples from western developed countries, particularly the U.S.A, while there are relatively a limited number of theoretical and empirical studies on leadership in emerging and developing countries. This study have certain practical significance for China's management theory and practice, and also are valuable to other emerging and developing countries. Keywords Leadership; Organizational Performance; Private Enterprise; China’s Transitional Economy