Chinese managers are better trained, educated and more commercially-aware than Western managers

Western managers are falling behind their Chinese counterparts in education and training, research has warned.

China has the fastest growing global economy and – according to a study by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) – also boasts a highly ambitious, sophisticated and commercially astute management population that poses a challenge to managers and businesses in the West.

The Global Management Challenge, which surveyed 327 managers in the UK, US, France and China, reveals that Chinese managers are underestimated by their Western counterparts and are launching a serious challenge to established Western business and management practices.

On the issue of management training, Western managers are falling behind their Eastern counterparts not only were Chinese managers better educated to begin with, they also received more in-house training than their peers in the West.

Penny de Valk, ILM chief executive, said: “Messages we traditionally receive about China portray an authoritarian, sweat shop economy that has scant regard for the environment or concepts such as corporate social responsibility.

“In contrast, our report reveals a more sophisticated picture of Chinese managers. They see themselves as having a high regard for rules, customer focus and their impact on the environment. They value wisdom and knowledge, and while willing to acknowledge weaknesses, are also determined to correct them.”

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