Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Antonio Jiménez-Luque, PhD, Chair Hans Peter Schmitz, PhD, Member Juan F. Roche, PhD, Member


organizational change, organizational culture, collective identity, intercultural leadership, Chinese indigenous leadership, leadership as a process


In 2021, a policy aimed at addressing educational inequality triggered a significant upheaval in the private tutoring sector of China by fundamentally transforming prevailing business models and financial viability within the industry. New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (New Oriental Education), one of the preeminent private tutoring enterprises in China, attracted considerable attention for its subsequent organizational change. This study explored the leadership dynamics and organizational change efforts implemented by New Oriental after the policy enactment.

The theoretical framework synthesized organizational change theory, organizational culture, and transformative leadership approaches from both Western and Chinese perspectives. It elucidated effective practices for guiding organizational change under external shocks and examined how the interplay between Chinese and Western leadership philosophies shapes leaders’ strategies for change management. The study employed a mixed-method parallel convergent design as a case study methodology, comprising a survey of employees and interviews with the leaders at New Oriental Education Xi’an School.

The study yielded five key findings: 1) The overarching impact of policy as external shocks; 2) The pivotal role of organizational culture and collective identity during the change process; 3) A comparative assessment of Chinese leadership vis-à-vis Western leadership paradigms; 4) Chinese conceptualizations of leadership; 5) Practices of the Chinese leadership and its features. These findings highlighted contextual factors, organizational culture, and collective identity in organizational development and leadership and offered an overview of leadership concepts in diverse epistemologies.

The study contributed to leadership studies by emphasizing that organizational culture is the foundation when navigating external disruptions, while collective identity reinforces employees’ sense of belonging, commitment, and adaptability. An organizational culture prioritizing communication, trust-building, authorization, and perceiving leadership as an ongoing process bolsters its resilience, vitality, and organizational change.

Furthermore, this study highlights that cultural integration facilitates innovation and creativity. Reflecting on indigenous Chinese leadership through an intercultural lens contributed to a general understanding of organizational change and leadership development within global contexts and cultural intersections. Crossing cultural boundaries of the mind empowers leaders to meet personal and collective leadership expectations, rise to a diversified leadership style, adapt to various cultures and foster collective success.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies