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Management: The Case of Cheung Kong Group


A few businesses have endured success as Li Ka-Shing’s companies. The paper analyzes Mr. Li’s management and how he’s managed to rack colossal success in his businesses. Currently, Li Ka-Shing is the manager of Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, a juggernaut in the realm of the retail sector globally (Cheong, 2020). Mr. Li has an excellent work record, and his vast success is evident. In several instances, Mr. Li showed exemplary leadership in the business sector through innovative ways to instill Motivation in the workers and perform ambitious decisions to boost business growth. Therefore, the report evaluates these qualities that have enabled him to endure so much success over the years, such as establishing industries like Cheung Kong Group and others.

Background Information

Mr. Li is one of the most powerful magnates in Asia and worldwide due to his collection of well-established successful businesses. He is the chairperson of Cheung Kong Group and Hutchinson Whampoa Limited (Cheong, 2020). Predominantly, the enterprises deal with the container terminus and transport and health and beauty retail across the world. The genesis of Mr. Ka-shings’ magnate journey was establishing Cheung Kong Holdings company as a plastic manufacturer before entering the profitable real estate market (Petronio et al., 2021). Currently, Cheung Kong Group is a conglomerate of business investments in various sectors, including satellite, TV, banking, retail outlets, real estate, and plastics to shipping (Cheong, 2020). According to (Chong & Richards (2021), Mr. Li’s success was not established by premature production but by incorporating outstanding management skills to manage both capital and labor of the company hence vast growth.

Furthermore, to improve his workforce, he initiated a program that socially helps other people along their education, medical or economic lines to become better workers. Also, Mr. Li’s reference to workers as the key to business success and employing the managers indicates exceptional management skills. The evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Mr. Ka-shing as a manager is into three areas as follows;


Motivation involves the process where one is stimulated towards a desired objective or goal through driving a sense of purpose and reason to carry out an action or adopt a behavior. For instance, it may be success or money that may move a worker towards a particular objective. Mr. Li’s management will be evaluated according to various management theories.

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

According to Maslow, accomplishing a human’s needs instills energy and sustenance towards a particular objective. He postulated that human necessities have an order, and for complete fulfillment, the charge is to be followed. The lower tier needs on Maslow’s pyramid are fundamental and should be fulfilled first. The needs range from physiological conditions, which are basic needs for survival, such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. Then, there are safety needs that encompass danger protection (Anderman, 2020). The following tier is the social needs which entail the need to associate with other people.

Consequently, the need for recognition and respect rises. These needs are covered in the esteem needs. Finally, there are self-actualization needs, which comprise the need for self-development and accomplishments.

Li Ka-Shing’s Instance on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory

Mr. Li’s approach to fulfilling the worker’s needs was well good, given an instance when his plastic factory closed down. Mr. Ka-shing transferred his plastic mill workforce to other companies he owned, like real estate, to keep them employed until the plastic business improved. The subsequent hiring helped the worker have an income, thus managing most of the needs falling into the lower tiers of Maslow’s pyramids. Therefore, the workers’ most crucial basic needs were met, improving Motivation (Anderman, 2020).

  1. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

The motivational theory suggested by McGregor is that management is two sides. Theory X type of management is where the leader assumes that the team of workers is lazy, dislikes work, and avoids responsibility hence a need for constant supervision. On the contrary, theory Y considers that the workers enjoy work, like responsibility, and take pride in their job, thus no need for constant supervision.

Li Ka-Shing’s example of McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Since McGregor’s theory Y benefits are several, Mr. Li adopts it in his managerial role by impacting the sense of responsibility in the workers. One of the ways he uses is to focus on developing positive relationships between the management and the employees. The employees feel appreciated and know that their work input makes a difference in the company hence boosting morale (Anderman, 2020). Also, the establishment of the Li Ka-Shing Foundation (LKSF) offers the platform for workers and other people a chance to participate in community-building charity work, thus improving their sense of pride in their job.

  1. Hertzberg Two-factor Theory

The two factors categorized by Hertzberg that affect Motivation are hygiene and motivating factors. The hygiene factors deprive job satisfaction and Motivation while motivating factors increase job satisfaction and morale (Van der Kolk et al., 2019).

Mr. Li’s example of Hertzberg’s Two-factor Theory

One crucial asset Li Ka-Shing uses is the recognition of workers through various forms of appreciation such as grants and bonuses for objectives achievement. Besides, he recognizes that the workers are the ones who employ him rather than vice versa (Chong & Richards, 2021). The democratic leadership of Mr. Li enables the enhancement of job satisfaction through responsibility.

  1. McClelland’s Theory of Needs

According to McClelland, a human being has three motivating drivers: achievement, affiliation, and power. The need for achievement enhances the drive to perform better than the set standards. Moreover, affiliation fuels the need for love and relationships, while the need for power drives the desire to be in control of one or others’ work.

Instances Where Li Ka-Shing uses McClelland’s Theory to Drive Motivation into workers

The establishment of the foundation LKSF by Mr. Li created social interaction, thus helping people develop their ability to succeed (Coccia, 2018). Additionally, his emphasis on teamwork is essential to maintaining a solid relationship between the management and the workforce. Finally, a strong focus on people’s needs and values creates a new source of Motivation that the workers can use to boost themselves.

Decision Making

Mr. Li has demonstrated several times the practice of decision making, that is, choosing from a selection of alternatives (Mahrinasari et al., 2021). As the plastic flower business and other plastic-related goods trade boomed, Li increased his workforce to improve production. But, the collapse of the plastic flower market led to the temporary shutdown of the industry, making his crew jobless. Unlike many managers, Li Ka-Shing had a fantastic relationship with his labor and also did not want to leave the company due to Li’s exemplary leadership. Therefore, Mr. Li was put in a difficult situation regarding what to do with the workforce. In this instance, it defines the problem (a problem is a difficulty that needs a solution) (Abubakar et al., 2019). The next step in decision-making after identifying the problem is the identification of decision criteria.

The criteria incorporated into Mr. Li’s idea were re-employment into his other businesses like the real estate or temporary suspension of the workforce without pay until the plastic business resumes. The latter did not favor his leadership style and his social relationship with the people, one of compassion and love. Therefore, the first option born all the weight in the allocation of weight criteria. Although Li Ka-Shing lacked multiple alternatives in this scenario, the steps of developing, analyzing, and selecting options weren’t very elaborate according to the decision-making steps.

Consequently, Mr. Li implemented the alternative of absorption of the workforce into his real estate development, where they would help other employees. Finally, the last step, the evaluation of decision effectiveness, had surprising effects. The level of morale of the entire workforce improved since they felt strong compassion towards their leader after the act. Furthermore, the sense of increased job security had positive implications as they developed strong love and responsibility towards their jobs.


One key asset Li Ka-Shing has sharpened over the years is the art of passing information and understanding from one person to another. The art of democratic leadership he’s developed compared to the autocratic one employed by most managers is heavily dependent on the efficient transfer of information and meaning to employees. One of the critical functions of communication is the building of relationships. The courteous nature of Mr. Li’s address to his workers has helped build a positive relationship with a sense of ownership where the workforce feels appreciated (Petronio et al., 2021). For example, his address of the labor as the employers of the manager helps bolster a sense of belonging and pride in one’s duties, hence improving morale and outcomes. Also, his proficiency in passing job commitments and expectations without deterring Motivation is a skillful art that Mr. Li has perfected as a manager. Finally, the simplification of the communication process reduces the chances of misinterpretation, thus increasing communication efficiency and effectiveness. The method may entail the following procedures: sender, encoding, channel, decoding, and receiver (Jakubiec, 2019).

Lessons Learnt from Li as a Manager

Mr. Li can study several things as a manager. First, there is a difference between a leader and a boss. Mr. Li as a corporate manager is a leader who leads from the front, while a boss rules by use of authority and power. One of the critical assets that Li Ka-Shing has treasured most is the workforce. To most managers, labor is just a means to get things done, but Li views the workforce as the core to any business success. He incorporates a people-oriented management style, which essentially boosts the workers’ morale, for they appreciate the job they do (Kovach, 2019). Therefore, the Motivation of the workers is crucial to ensure business objectives are met.

Another lesson learned from Li Ka-Shing’s management is the importance of efficient communication. Any wrong translation of the message from the management can have adverse effects on the workers and heavily affect their Motivation of the workers. Consequently, it may lead to failure to meet business objectives. Also, communication is an essential tool to ensure a good relationship between workers and managers is built (Petronio et al., 2021). Finally, a company’s decision-making requires a shrewd manager to have positive results. The extreme that Li Ka-Shing goes to protect the welfare of his labor force may seem wayward until one makes a proper evaluation of the strategy to realize its primary significance. Therefore, management of the human resource in a business in a respectful and dignified manner is vital to ensure the business goals are met since it builds on morale and responsibility.


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Coccia, M. (2018). Motivation and theory of self-determination: Some management implications in organizations. Journal of Economics Bibliography5(4), 223-230.

Cheong, M. (2020). Asian Philanthropy in 2020: An Analysis of the Li Ka Shing Foundation as a Positive Force for Good. Asian Journal of Business and Management8(4).

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Kovach, M. (2019). Transformational leadership produces higher achievement outcomes: A review in education and military contexts. AURCO Journal25, 137-147.

Mahrinasari, M. S., Hussain, S., Yapanto, L. M., Esquivel-Infantes, S. M., Untari, D. T., Yusriadi, Y., & Diah, A. (2021). The impact of decision-making models and knowledge management practices on performance. Academy of Strategic Management Journal20, 1-13.

Petronio, S., Child, J. T., & Hall, R. D. (2021). Communication privacy management theory: Significance for interpersonal communication. In Engaging theories in interpersonal communication (pp. 314-327). Routledge.

Van der Kolk, B., Van Veen-Dirks, P. M., & Ter Bogt, H. J. (2019). The impact of management control on employee motivation and performance in the public sector. European Accounting Review28(5), 901-928.


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