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Editorial 8.4: What Chinese Management Studies Wants II
Article Type: Editorial From: Chinese Management Studies, Volume 8, Issue 4
This is the final thematic issue for 2014. And so far Chinese Management Studies (CMS) has been very successful in producing in a timely fashion, a series of thematic issues of critical importance to management. Take a look at the poster for 4th Global Chinese Management Studies Conference (Figure 1):
Figure 1. 2014 Global Chinese Management Studies
Here, Professor Wang Xiao Hui has finalized the final selection of manuscripts on Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics. His introduction of papers is in his Guest Editorial, and I am taking this opportunity to continue on with part II of what Chinese Management Studies wants. Part I was inspired by title of The Economist, the British newspaper as “What China Wants”. The graphic depicted on The Economist’s cover is most intriguing: it reflects a typical Westerner’s fascination with Chinese culture. The picture implies, however, a predatory dragon (China) eyeing and intending to grasp with one claw a pearly earth. The dragon is the best illustration of the symbolic contrast being China and the West (Plate 1).
Plate 1. The Dragon as Emperor (Temple), Hua Shan (华山), Shaanxi Province, China
From deep within European folklore and mythology, the dragon is associated with evil, hence a predator. For Chinese, the dragon is always benevolent, the imperial motif. Most intriguingly, the Celts (now, Welsh) too shared this veneration of the dragon as being associated with leadership and wisdom. Clearly with such a contrasting divide on perspectives between East and West, there is a greater need for exchanges of cultural understandings. Thus, an urgent want of CMS as a journal is for integration of China and USA through fostering flows of ideas, values, philosophies and beliefs.
At this juncture, I like to introduce to the Chinese vocabulary a new character (see Figure 2) zhong with exactly the same intonation as 中 in character for China. That is for China to be the center of the world, there is a need for integration with the USA, the current dominant global superpower (see Figure 3). As reflected in the new character, metaphorically of China crossing over the waters (Pacific Ocean), absorbing aspects of American values, systems and practices. As part of the process, Chinese thinking becomes transformed.
Figure 2. © 2014 Calligraphy of FOO Check Teck
Figure 3. Concept of integration with USA is implied etymologically in zhong
Yes, as happened to Indian Buddhism, centuries later, Buddhism later becomes deeply rooted in Chinese culture. This process of transformational change is already foreseen by one of the most remarkable Chinese leaders, Deng Xiaopeng who added the qualifier of “[…] with Chinese characteristics” to China’s market socialism.
Finally, Pierre Ryckmans a sinologist was featured in the obituary of The Economist. This prompts my thinking: “What about having a Zhong Wen CMS?” That is a related, independent CMS but in Potong Hua (Chinese language). With rising China, there too must be a growing numbers of Western scholars mastering the Chinese language. If so, we should tap this source of scholarship as well. Indeed, of sinologists from anywhere in the world, to participate in the activities of CMS. For a familiarity with the language, Chinese management does matter.
Is CMS sustainable?
Certainly, China is so massive when compared with say, Japan. I had asked Sarah Roughley, publisher of CMS to benchmark us against, another regional journal in Asia, say Japanese Management Studies: there is none, only one with addition of “[…] International Studies.” Surprisingly to both us, there is not one devoted to Japanese management per se that is in existence! With rapidly rising number of young, energetic and imaginative Chinese professors mastering English, we could do with more journals.
Check Teck Foo