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Compassion: Chinese and western perspectives on practical wisdom in management

Hendrik Opdebeeck (Centre for Ethics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium)
, and
André Habisch (Ingolstadt Business School, Catholic University of Eichstätt‐Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt, Germany)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The notion of compassion is a cornerstone in Chinese as well as western orientations for business practice. Spiritual and religious traditions, philosophical approaches and historical and present business practices outline this notion in a comparative perspective. This paper seeks to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Interdisciplinary paper, summarizing social science, philosophical and business literature.

Findings

With its focus on compassion, business ethics in the Chinese tradition highlights a notion, which variously resonates within western traditions. Based on this, multiple lines or thought consequences for management development are derived.

Practical implications

In terms of management development the call for compassionate management can be held as a common denominator of different traditions. Therefore, it will be important to include this aspect in our management development, cultural management as well as international strategy courses.

Originality/value

In a broad interreligious and intercultural overview some basic characteristics of compassionate management can be identified.

Keywords

Citation

Opdebeeck, H. and Habisch, A. (2011), "Compassion: Chinese and western perspectives on practical wisdom in management", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 30 No. 7/8, pp. 778-788. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621711111150272

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited