Cultural dimensions in leadership development in joint ventures: the case of Vietnam
Cao, Thi Dieu Quy
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Vietnam is an emerging economy that has received multi-billion dollar foreign investments from corporations within both developed and developing countries. For the last fifteen years, many companies have developed joint ventures in Vietnam to lower costs and participate in the Southeast Asian marketplace. The joint venture enterprises, along with Vietnamese companies, whether private or state-owned enterprises, all need effective leaders. In this context, developing leadership has been viewed as a strategic initiative in improving the individual skills and capabilities and achieving organizational goals. The long term success of joint ventures which are formed by a foreign investor and a Vietnamese enterprise also needs an understanding of culture. While Asian management research has reviewed leadership development theories and practices, the understanding of cultural dimensions on leadership development in Vietnam is limited. Based on reviewing Hofstede (1980)’s dimensions of individualism or collectivism and power distance, this dissertation provides a literature review and case studies about the impact of dimensions of culture on the emerging leadership development in the selected country of Vietnam. This dissertation focuses on key areas of leadership development theories and leadership development in the Vietnamese context. By analyzing leadership development activities from a perspective of a joint venture enterprise and a leadership development program provider, it is seen that leadership development activities in Vietnam are still in the early stages of development. Although there is a recent trend in researching human resource development in Vietnam, there has been a lack of attention to leadership development. Additionally, the review of Vietnamese cultural dimensions indicates the impact of both dimensions of collectivism and power distance on the leadership perceptions and processes of developing leaders in Vietnam. Thus, this dissertation contributes to the Vietnamese management literature and it calls for human resource development scholars to push current research frontiers in the scholarship on leadership development in emerging economies.