thesis_access.pdf (1.57 MB)
Download file

Exploring Female Leadership Advancement in Chinese Corporations:   Selection for Senior Positions through Headhunting

Download (1.57 MB)
posted on 09.12.2021, 09:33 by Yan, Li

Leadership diversity has evoked tremendous debate for decades. This includes the profitability and creativity of organizations and the realization of social capital. In this regard, governments have initiated numerous programs to increase gender equality in leadership positions. A wealth of academic research has also been conducted to investigate factors influencing the paucity of women in the elite leadership group. One noticeable element at the organizational level is the way in which female leaders are selected. Given the increasing proportion of leadership selection conducted through headhunters, this thesis aims at investigating how headhunting influences female leadership progression in the Chinese context.  Because the research focuses on meanings and interpretations of female headhunting practices, it employed a qualitative methodology. Consequently, 13 in-depth interviews were carried out in China. In order to make the results more representative, the diverse sample was dispersed not only in Mainland China but in Taiwan. The semi-structured interviews enabled the researcher to gain a deep understanding of how females are selected as well as the underlying elements that can exert influence on the selection results.  The findings revealed that the headhunting of female leaders is not a simple or straightforward process. It is influenced by contextual constraints, the recruitment and selections used by headhunters, and no doubt, headhunters’ competency. Also, these issues are influenced by cultural beliefs, economic, and political factors in the Chinese context. Among them, political factors are powerful and interact with cultural and economic factors. They produce gendered results.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Human Resource Management

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Commerce

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Management : Te Kura Whakahaere


Plimmer, Geoff