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A comparison between I‐Ching's early management decision‐making model and western management decision‐making models

Mu‐Lan Hsu (Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Kuan‐Yao Chiu (Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 11 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to determine the value of I‐Ching (also called Book of Changes), the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, which has been used for thousands of years to help people make decisions in daily life. Recently, eastern and western scholars have begun discussing how to apply the wisdom of I‐Ching to the field of business administration, particularly decision‐making practices.


A content analysis method was adopted to uncover possible modern management decision‐making constructs. The single words approach did not find frequently appearing words that integrated decision‐making constructs in the context of I‐Ching. Further uncovering I‐Ching's administrative decision‐making approach, the managerial decision‐making model of I‐Ching is explained, including the premises, the decision contingencies, and the decision process.


By using an academic comparative analysis method, as it applies to managerial decision making, I‐Ching's early management decision‐making model is subsequently compared with western management decision models, which include rational decision making, bounded‐rationality decision making, intuitive decision making, implicit favorite decision making, and garbage‐can decision making.

Research limitations/implications

The majority of scholars that study I‐Ching focus on “practice divination” research, paying attention to the interpretation or critique of the text only. Unfortunately, related literature based upon a social science research foundation is limited.


The value of I‐Ching was determined to lie in allowing flexibility in the decision‐making process.



Hsu, M. and Chiu, K. (2008), "A comparison between I‐Ching's early management decision‐making model and western management decision‐making models", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 52-75.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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