The global trade across multiple countries has greatly increased in the last few decades. Nationalist organizations are focusing on global trade (Rhinesmith, Williamson, Ehlen, & Maxwell, 1989). China and Japan are the driving forces in Asian global trade; but countries like Thailand are developing their global economies as well. The volume of western based leadership research benefits global businesses entering the U.S. market place compared to Japanese or Chinese culture. The lack of leadership research on Thailand creates challenges for large corporations wanting to outsource or manufacture in Thailand. Large multinational companies can enter Thailand but understanding how the culture affects all aspect of life there is crucial for success. The purpose of this study was to determine the leadership characteristics of successful Thai leaders in their global organizations. This descriptive phenomenological study utilized 15 selected leaders who met the research criteria. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews. The interviews included ten open ended questions that followed the interview protocol. The results found two notable findings. The first is that the Thai leaders were benevolent in their leadership. This included their concern for subordinate’s happiness and growth. Adaptability was the other finding. These Thai leaders were very adaptable with their work force having to adapt to the foreign workers, global challenges and changing business environment in Thailand. The study examined these two notable findings to identify what characteristics make a successful Thai leader in global business. Utilizing the data charts and the key findings may assist organizations which want to operate in Thailand.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Thailand -- Economic conditions; Leadership -- Thailand -- Case studies; International economic relations

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;