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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Chunfang Cao, Fansheng Jia, Xiaowei Zhang and Kam C. Chan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relation between Buddhism/Taoism and dividend payout decisions among Chinese listed firms during 2003-2013.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relation between Buddhism/Taoism and dividend payout decisions among Chinese listed firms during 2003-2013.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors include all Chinese A-share listed stocks in their sample during 2003-2013 and use a multiple regression method to conduct their analyses.

Findings

Their findings suggest that firms in regions with high influence of Buddhism and Taoism lean toward having high dividend payouts. The results are robust to a battery of alternative specifications in dividend payout, religiosity measures, research methods and dividend regulation regimes.

Originality/value

They show that the religions of Buddhism/Taoism play a role in determining dividend payout, complementing other informal institution studies of dividend policy. They complement the literature by providing insights into the impact of Buddhism and Taoism on corporate behaviors beyond immoral or unethical practices. They are able to relate specific doctrinal tenets of Buddhism and Taoism to corporate behavior rather than using only the general moral and ethical guidelines of religiosity.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Xuezhu Bai and William Roberts

This paper aims at building up a comprehensive framework for integrating existing leadership theories from the perspective of Taoism, the well‐known oriental philosophy…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at building up a comprehensive framework for integrating existing leadership theories from the perspective of Taoism, the well‐known oriental philosophy, characterized by a dialectic thinking system. With sufficient evidence demonstrated, it argues that a Taoism‐oriented model of leadership offers a complementary lens, through which leadership insights can be deepened, and may serve as an effective tool for adaptive leaders in a world where change is the only constant.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an in‐depth analysis of the principles of Taoism, and the concepts of leadership studies, it establishes a Taoism‐oriented model of leadership to integrate the current major schools of leadership studies.

Findings

The model of traits of successful leaders based on Taoism has satisfactorily solved the conflicts between different perspectives of leadership studies and provided a dynamic framework to guide leaders to keep up with the organizational changes.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is only a rudimentary one that needs further exploration: for example, when external contexts of leadership are introduced, the current model would appear, in different patterns, to accommodate greater contextual complexities.

Practical implications

The model of traits of successful leaders based on Taoism will contribute to a greater understanding of an organization for different leadership styles. It will potentially serve as an effective tool for the selection of appropriate leaders for an organization and for building up an effective leadership team to accommodate the rapid changes of the organization.

Originality/value

This paper is an initial attempt to bridge leadership studies of east and west via the perspective of Taoism, which contributes to an integrating framework to accommodate different schools of leadership studies.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 30 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Andrew Man Joe Ma and Bramwell Osula

This paper seeks to examine an emerging synergetic model of organizational leadership that is founded on Chinese Taoism and complex adaptive system (CAS).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine an emerging synergetic model of organizational leadership that is founded on Chinese Taoism and complex adaptive system (CAS).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is formed around a comparative analysis of two conceptual models – the CAS model that is founded on what is known as the new science and a more ancient model that is based on Chinese Taoism.

Findings

While the two models were developed more than 2,500 years apart, this paper shows a degree of alignment between Eastern wisdom and the latest Western scientific theory. The essence of what is characterized as Taoistic leadership emphasizes alignment with “The Way” and is based on the interplay of “Yin/Yang.” This is similar to the core elements of CAS that emphasizes the importance of “the Attractor” and the interplay of “Order/Disorder.”

Research limitations/implications

This paper points out the promise of a convergence of ancient wisdom from China, with the latest new science view on organizational behavior. The outcome is a complementary leadership model that is undergirded by both ethical values and scientific support.

Practical implications

This paper goes one step beyond traditional analyzes by dissecting the two key streams of Chinese philosophy, comparing and contrasting these with CAS.

Originality/value

Chinese leaders today tend to be influenced by a leadership style that can be broadly characterized as reflecting principles of Confucianism. These principles support a more hierarchical formulation of leadership and organizations that are more centralized and less adaptive to today's dynamic environment. This paper offers an alternative leadership model, grounded in the Tao philosophy that is said to be more accommodating of the complexities of organizational behavior today. It also offers value to Western leaders in appreciation of the ancient wisdom and values in Taoism relating to today's organizational behavior and leadership.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Longwei Tian, Yucheng Ma, Wei Hu and Yuan Li

This paper aims to, from a Taoism perspective, one of Chinese inveterate cultures and mindsets, add knowledge into how Chinese indigenous cultures and mindsets will affect…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to, from a Taoism perspective, one of Chinese inveterate cultures and mindsets, add knowledge into how Chinese indigenous cultures and mindsets will affect the way of Chinese people perceive and process guanxi. Specifically, this paper outlines the mechanism of guanxi from a culture perspective. Cultures significantly affect local people behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods survey (Study 1) – analyzed with one-way ANOVA – and interview (Study 2) – analyzed with grounded theory – were used to answer the research questions. In total, 248 surveys were collected for Study 1, and 34 interviews for Study 2 that were transcribed into a word file, which consists of 609 pages with 327,463 Chinese characters, were processed.

Findings

The findings show that guanxi is determined by positive and negative forces between instrumental and affective components. Further, two essential conditions – fitness of personality and clear contract, which would determine when a positive or negative force would emerge in a guanxi – were identified.

Originality/value

The main contribution is that this paper clarifies the guanxi mechanism based upon one of the most significant Chinese cultures and mindsets. Or guanxi is viewed from a new perspective – how Taoism affects Chinese people’s perception and evaluation of guanxi. This paper also finds evidence for the main arguments based upon the two studies.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 February 2018

Li Lin, Peter Ping Li and Hein Roelfsema

As the global presence of Chinese firms grows, increasing numbers of Chinese managers are working abroad as expatriates. However, little attention has been paid to such…

Abstract

Purpose

As the global presence of Chinese firms grows, increasing numbers of Chinese managers are working abroad as expatriates. However, little attention has been paid to such Chinese expatriate managers and their leadership challenges in an inter-cultural context, especially across a large cultural distance. To fill the gap in the literature concerning the leadership challenges for expatriate managers in an inter-cultural context, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the leadership styles of Chinese expatriate managers from the perspectives of three traditional Chinese philosophies (i.e. Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism) in the inter-cultural context of the Netherlands.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this qualitative study were collected via semi-structured, open-ended, narrative interviews with 30 Chinese expatriate managers in the Netherlands.

Findings

The results clearly show that the leadership style of Chinese expatriate managers is deeply rooted in the three traditional Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, even in an inter-cultural context. Specifically, the study reveals two salient aspects of how Chinese expatriate managers frame and interact with a foreign cultural context from the perspectives of traditional Chinese philosophies. First, the Chinese expatriate managers reported an initial cultural shock related to frictions between the foreign cultural context and Confucianism or Taoism, but less so in the case of Legalism. Second, the Chinese expatriate managers also reported that their interactions with the Dutch culture are best described as a balance between partial conflict and partial complementarity (thus, a duality). In this sense, the leadership style of Chinese expatriate managers is influenced jointly by the three traditional Chinese philosophies and certain elements of the foreign cultural context. This is consistent with the Chinese perspective of yin-yang balancing.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to offer a more nuanced and highly contextualized understanding of leadership in the unique case of expatriate managers from an emerging market (e.g. China) in an advanced economy (e.g. the Netherlands). The authors call for more research to apply the unique perspective of yin-yang balancing in an inter-cultural context. The authors posit that this approach represents the most salient implication of this study. For practical implications, the authors argue that expatriate leaders should carefully manage the interplay between their deep-rooted home-country philosophies and their salient host-country culture. Reflecting on traditional philosophies in another culture can facilitate inter-cultural leadership training for Chinese expatriates.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

JinHyo Joseph Yun, KyungBae Park, JeongHo Yang and WooYoung Jung

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ideological foundation of open innovation strategies and the open business model, which are appearing as new industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ideological foundation of open innovation strategies and the open business model, which are appearing as new industrial paradigms based on information technology (IT).

Design/methodology/approach

First, this paper examined the ideological foundation of Deleuze, Whitehead, and Popper. Next, Taoism was scrutinized to discover concrete bases for open innovation.

Findings

Here, it was found that Taoism completely coincides with the logical basis of open innovation. The theory “the supreme good is like water” of Taoism means to vacate oneself and fill the space with others to create paradoxes, thereby filling oneself with a more creative method.

Originality/value

Taoism provides a way to present paradoxes through the idea of vacating and opening to reach a creative stage of leaving nature as it is.

Details

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4620

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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.

Abstract

Purpose

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

Design/methodology/approach

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

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2016

Yadong Luo and Qinqin Zheng

This article is a commentary on The “Global Implications of the Indigenous Epistemological System from the East: How to Apply Yin-Yang Balancing to Paradox Management”…

Abstract

Purpose

This article is a commentary on The “Global Implications of the Indigenous Epistemological System from the East: How to Apply Yin-Yang Balancing to Paradox Management” (Li, 2016), which is a timely and important piece. Li (2016) offers epistemological insights into what Yin-Yang is, why Yin-Yang can serve as a guiding frame of thinking, and how to apply this frame of thinking to paradoxical issues to organizations that compete in a complex cross cultural world. Western management philosophies and perspectives have dominated the mainstream theories in organization and management around the world over the past five decades, paying very limited attention and appreciation to Eastern philosophies that exist already for over 2500 years (e.g., 551–479 BC’s Confucianism). In this commentary, we added more explanations, suggesting that given intensified complex and competing needs to fulfil for today’s businesses, the indigenous Eastern epistemological wisdom of Yin-Yang balancing is an important guide to understand paradoxes and tensions. Yin-Yang balancing provides a holistic comprehension concerning our complex reality. It treats two opposite elements of any paradox as partial trade-off as well as partial synergy within a spectrum of holistic and dynamic balancing. We reinforce that the duality perspective has good potential to help us better understand the process of a multitude of conflictual and competing needs organizations must simultaneously accomplish. This potential is deemed to work not merely for firms competing in the East or other developing countries but can extend to organizations, large or small, in the West or developed countries as well.

Design/methodology/approach

This commentary echoes Li’s point (2016) that Yin-Yang balancing has significant and extensive applications when a growing number of organizations, local and foreign, are compelled to become ambidextrous when facing complex new business realities and having to deal with intensified competing needs they have to simultaneously, interactively and dynamically satisfy. This commentary discusses some distinctive characteristics of Eastern philosophies, followed by articulation of some critical lacuna, we think, concerning the Yin-Yang duality that should be answered. In this commentary, we amplify Li’s main points, along with our suggested agenda for future research that can further develop Yin-Yang balancing to a theory of managing paradox.

Findings

Eastern philosophies have long been dominated by five pillars or five schools of mastery thoughts originating mainly from China – Confucianism (Ru Jia), Taoism (Tao Jia), Legalism (Fa Jia), Militarism (Bing Jia), and Buddhism (Fu Jia). The Yin-Yang philosophy is one of the central notions of Taoism which teaches us how to act in accordance with nature. Founded by Laozi and Zhuangzhi, Taoism is rooted in an understanding of the “way” (i.e., Tao), which is the shapeless force that brings all things into existence and then nurtures them. That is, Tao means the natural course, which is spontaneous, eternal, nameless, and indescribable. Unlike Confucianism, Taoism favors philosophical anarchism and pluralism. Tao manifests itself through natural principles or philosophies, including Yin-Yang duality, circular nature of changes, wu-wei (natural course of action), and harmony with internal and external environments.

Research limitations/implications

We endorse Li's view (2016) that Western and Eastern management philosophies have their respective strengths and weaknesses, neither one alone is sufficient to manage all types of problems. Thus, a better solution is the one that can integrate Eastern and Western epistemological systems into a geocentric meta-system. The world is entering into a globally-interconnected era, requiring both the organic complexity and ambiguity and the mechanistic simplicity and clarity. Increased global interconnectivity accentuates complexity and interdependence while increased competition fortifies dynamism and uncertainty. This will cause more, not less, paradoxes than before. To this end, Yin-Yang balancing is an audacious and judicious frame of thinking toward paradoxes because this philosophy embodies a unique ability to address the key challenges of ambiguity, complexity, and uncertainty and embraces multiplicity, diversity and inter-penetrability.

Practical implications

After centuries of Western economic dominance, China, India and the rest of the East, alongside emerging economies more broadly, are beginning to challenge the West for positions of global industry leadership. At a deeper level, the transformation from “West Leads East” to “West Meets East” heralds the need for ambidextrous or ambicultural thinking: making simultaneous use of opposites, or simultaneously balancing seemingly contradictory forces and needs, such as efficiency and flexibility, competition and cooperation, stability and adaptation, exploitation and exploration, global and local, privatization and state-ownership, market-based and relationship-based strategies, individualism and collectivism, and long-term and short-term

Originality/value

Enlightened by Yin-Yang balancing, there is a great potential of co-evolution, convergence and co-reinforcement of different philosophies. It will not be easy for any single study to reveal a roadmap for this, but it is feasible for the management research community to finally make the trip with our continuous and collective efforts. Some Western management theories, such as organizational ambidexterity, loose coupling, collaborative competitive advantage, co-opetition, transnational solution (integrated global integration and local responsiveness), to name a few, share some core values of Yin-Yang balancing, even though such sharing has never been articulated explicitly. Similar to the same difficulty facing any other philosophies to be transformed into actionable theories, we have a long journey to navigate in quest for extending Yin-Yang balancing to a universally accepted theory of managing paradoxes. Li’s article (2016) sheds much light for us to forge ahead to this direction.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Chris Baumann, Hume Winzar and Tony Fang

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, the paper demonstrates how inter-ocular testing (looking at the data) of Schwartz values from world values study (WVS…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, the paper demonstrates how inter-ocular testing (looking at the data) of Schwartz values from world values study (WVS) provides a surprisingly different picture to what the authors would expect from traditional mean comparison testing (t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA)). Second, the authors suggest that the ReVaMB model can be applied to an East Asian philosophical perspective. Relativity, the authors argue, is a factor when East Asian wisdom, philosophies and ideologies (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Legalism) “drive” outcomes such as work ethic. Third, the paper serves as an editorial to a special issue in CCSM on East Asian wisdom and its impact on business culture and performance in a cross-cultural context. Common themes are Yin Yang, how different cultures deal with paradox, and Zhong Yong, with accompanying concerns of how to conceptualise and deal with balance of opposites.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted ten variables of the Schwartz values scales used in the WVS and subjected them to principle components analysis to reduce the number of variables. The authors found a two-factor solution: one relating to personal material success and adventure and excitement; another relating to success and personal recognition. The authors labelled these factors as Altruism and Hedonism. The analysis is based on an overall sample of 84,692 respondents in 60 countries. In addition to traditional statistical testing, the authors conduct inter-ocular testing. The authors also suggest that the ReVaMB model can be applied to East Asian wisdom.

Findings

Three recommendations help to arrive at more accurate conclusions when comparing groups: the authors recommend to aspire to “consistent look and statistic”. If the data distribution does not agree with the statistics, then the researcher should take a closer look. To avoid misinterpreting statistics and other analysis, the authors recommend inter-ocular testing, i.e. eyeballing data in a scientific fashion. The authors provide specific examples how to do that. The authors recommend to test for common-language effect size (CLE), and also recommend a new rule of thumb, i.e. a split of 60/40 as minimum difference to make any generalisation; 70/30 is worth considering. The rule of thumb contributes to better differentiation between real and “not real” differences.

Originality/value

The authors introduce two concepts: the “inter-ocular test”, which simply means to “look at your data”, and the Chinese word, 错觉 (Cuòjué) which roughly translates to “illusion”, “wrong impression”, or “misconception”. This study argues against accepting simplistic averages for data analysis. The authors provide evidence that an inter-ocular test provides a more comprehensive picture of data when comparing groups rather than simply relying on traditional statistical mean comparison testing. The “word of caution” is to avoid premature conclusions on group comparisons with statistical testing alone. The authors also propose an extension of the original ReVaMB model from a confucian orientation to a broad East Asian philosophical perspective. Culture does determine attitudes and behaviour which in turn contribute to the shaping of cultures, depending on situation, context, location and time. The “context” for a situation to occur should be tested as moderators, for example, between East Asian wisdom (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Legalism) and behavioural or attitudinal dimensions such as work ethic.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2021

Wenkai Zhou, Zhilin Yang and Michael R. Hyman

This study aims to summarize the important contextual influences East Asian philosophy may have on marketing strategy and consumerism.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to summarize the important contextual influences East Asian philosophy may have on marketing strategy and consumerism.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach is used to deconstruct (1) the literature on marketing as a contextual discipline, (2) East Asian philosophical underpinnings and their personal and institutional manifestations in East Asian marketing contexts, and (3) the implications for non-East Asian marketers. This essay includes a brief introduction to the manuscripts in this special issue.

Findings

Ancient philosophical wisdom shared by East Asian societies can shed light on how marketing activities and consumer behavior intertwine within East Asia and beyond. Three ancient philosophies (i.e. Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism) heavily influence East Asian societies through personal and institutional-level cultural manifestations in marketing contexts.

Research limitations/implications

Although the three discussed East Asian philosophical schools are not exhaustive, they lay a foundation for future discussions about how alternative marketing-related theories and frameworks may complement ones grounded in western historical and cultural contexts.

Originality/value

This essay initiates an overdue academic discussion about relying on non-western historical and cultural contexts to globalize the marketing discipline further.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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