The discriminative thinking that Chinese entrepreneurs are weak in innovations is widespread. But market competition, which is the main drive for innovations, has been introduced to post‐planning‐economy China for only 30 years or so, and China has only ten years' experience in modern global competition after her entry into the WTO in 2001. Who can say China will not be as innovative as today's advanced counterparts? The purpose of this paper is to explore the possible internal consistencies between one traditional Chinese philosophy, I Ching and modern Western innovation management science. The authors also empirically test the relations between I Ching tradition and innovation performances using cross country data.
First, the authors textually analyzed the consistencies between the book of I Ching and Western innovation management principles, then with that in mind collected cross‐country panel data and tested the hypotheses empirically.
It is found that the philosophies embedded in I Ching could be applied to Western innovation management practices, and cross‐country empirical analysis shows that countries with I Ching tradition achieve better innovation performances, ceteris paribus.
Macro country‐level data were used to test the hypotheses instead of using micro firm‐level survey data. Because the macro data were not collected purposefully for this research, i.e. the authors only borrowed rather than collected the data, perhaps the persuasiveness of the empirical results will be weakened. The authors' future researches in this regard will be based on survey data.
Chinese entrepreneurs should have the confidence that Chinese ancient wisdoms are their strength rather than weakness in innovation activities.
The paper is pioneering in consciously combining I Ching philosophy with Western innovation management sciences. With this kind of synthesis, the paper constitutes a Chinese friendly road map for entrepreneurs to build innovation organizations.
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