Leadership and Management in China: Philosophies, Theories, and Practices

Leadership and Management in China: Philosophies, Theories, and Practices

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 0521705436

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With the rise of China in the global economy, it has never been more important for business leaders to understand Chinese leadership philosophies and practices. This is the first book to explain how ancient Chinese thinking and Western ideas have shaped the development of leadership styles in China. Leadership theories associated with Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, the Arts of War, and the writings of Mao and Deng are analysed by both Chinese and Western experts. To set this in a modern business context, the book includes interviews with top executives, who reflect on how their business values are affected by ancient Chinese philosophers, modern Chinese leaders, and Western management writers and thinkers. The book also includes research on paternalistic leadership as practised by business leaders in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

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philosophy 35 Benevolence as the virtue of all virtues As described above, the Chinese character for benevolence means ‘‘two interconnected people.’’ According to Confucius, benevolence means loving others (see Legge, 1971: 167). In this narrower conception, benevolence represents one of the six major Confucian values and virtues, namely, benevolence (ren), morality or righteousness (yi), ritual propriety (li), wisdom (zhi), trustworthiness (xin), and filial piety (xiao). Righteousness refers

Spring and Autumn’’1 and ‘‘utilizing Legalism as an instrument to consolidate the Confucian social system.’’ (Chu, 1961). Rulers of China began to use Legalist methods to defend their power and position and to control people, but retained Confucian doctrine to educate and discipline people. Chinese society became characterized by the feature of ‘‘Confucianism in public and Legalism in private.’’ Strictly speaking, there were neither pure Confucian scholars nor pure Legalists after the Han

should be able to teach and to explain details of the law to the people, and make them understand the importance of following the law. Objectivity According to Hanfei, laws must be objective and fair to everybody. They must be consistent with the gong-dao or principle of fairness, and can be used as standards of behavior for the masses, with intellectuals enjoying no special privileges. Unifying the standards of the people, nothing can compare to law. (Having regulations)19 He argued that the

penalties should not be applied to high officials of state, and rites should not be used by ordinary people (Li Chi, Chu Li),26 Hanfei argued that once the law was announced, it should be applicable to everybody in the state without any exceptions: The law no more makes exceptions for men of high position than the plumb line bends to accommodate a crooked place in the wood. What the law has decreed the wise man cannot dispute nor the brave man venture to contest. When faults are to be punished,

individual main effects? Although Farh and Cheng (2000) were mute on the three-way interactions, they did point out that high authoritarianism in conjunction with high benevolence represents an ideal type of leadership widely accepted in traditional Paternalistic leadership in Chinese organizations 179 Chinese culture. Given the importance of moral leadership, it is conceivable that the leader’s morality may further reinforce the effects of high authoritarianism–high benevolence leadership to

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