To read this content please select one of the options below:

The harmony of business: Balancing stakeholder value and social responsibility using Eastern philosophy

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.


This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.


Whilst Eastern philosophy, and in particular, Taoism, offers rich depths for academic study, it rarely figures in the world of business in the West. Yet the work of Fish and Wood (2017) suggests that much can be learned from Taoism and adopted into Western business practices in the pursuit of balance and harmony. Current Western practices revolve around strong key leadership teams that seek competitive advantage to the detriment of their corporate social responsibility. With the focus forever on winning to the disadvantage of the competition, there are increasing instances where a lose/lose eventuality has arisen where it could have been avoided. In recent cases, the lose/lose outcome has financially hurt companies, as well as instigating legal and criminal investigations. Yet there is reason to believe that the principles of Taoism could help mediate situations, allowing a win/win outcome to be achieved.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.


The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.



(2017), "The harmony of business: Balancing stakeholder value and social responsibility using Eastern philosophy", Strategic Direction, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 17-19.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles