PROFESSOR STEVEN DEKREY
In a remarkably short period of just over 30 years, China has transformed itself from a poor undeveloped nation into one of the most powerful economies in the world and there is little end in sight to its forward progress. In 2007, it overtook Germany to claim the third spot (in term of size of economy) and very quickly leaped to number two, outpacing Japan in 2009. While the United States remains a prodigiously bigger economy, and will hold the number one position for some time to come, China's rise has become an essential focus of study when considering how one nation can rise from seeming obscurity to global economic player. One thing is certain: this did not happen by accident.
While circumstance and opportunity have undoubtedly helped in China's transformation, a key factor of success has been effective leadership in all phases of the country's development and across multiple sectors. Decisions have been taken with clear goals in mind and an eye to the next step in the development path. These decisions have been driven not only by the leaders in Beijing, but by many other people in leadership roles in the Chinese government, state-owned enterprises, global companies doing business in China and start-up ventures, as well as leaders outside business circles.
Just what has made this leadership so effective? Many observers have searched for clues in China's unique history and cultural background. However, ...