East-Asian Wisdom in Cross Cultural & Strategic Management
East Asian Wisdom and its impact on business culture and performance in a cross-cultural context
Chris Baumann, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia, and Seoul National University (SNU), Korea
Hume Winzar, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Tony Fang, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Sweden
There is growing recognition that we can learn a lot from the East to inspire and enrich our mainstream theory and practice (Chen, 2010a, 2010b). Can we make good use of East Asian wisdom in cross-cultural and strategic management? For example, the teachings of Confucius have allegedly contributed to remarkable economic growth across East Asia, and Western researchers have struggled for decades on what it means and how to leverage Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Yin Yang thinking into the generation of fresh theoretical and practical insights on research and business practices, respectively. It is not clear among commentators whether such perspectives are pure philosophy, religion, or ideology (Fingarette, 1972) or a combination thereof. In the context of cross-cultural management and strategy, how do these questions affect business culture and performance?
Hofstede and Bond’s study (1988) showed that countries in the Confucian orbit have experienced the fastest rate of growth since the 1950-60s. Winzar (2015) pointed out from the 1970s, Individualist economies (Europe and the US) outperformed Collectivist economies (China and Korea), and commentators argued that Collectivism holds Asian countries back. But by the 2000s similar commentators argued that Collectivism was responsible for the growth of the Tiger Economies. The situation has changed again as Chinese, Japanese and Korean technology (including innovation and, to a degree, brand building and management) now equal or exceed European and US companies on many measures. It has also been found that East Asia performs ahead of Europe, the rest of Asia, and South/Central America both academically (in terms of PISA) and in competitiveness (Baumann and Winzar, 2016). Much of our understanding of East-Asian cultures has been framed with Western-designed instruments (Fang, 2003), and too often we make broad conclusions along the lines of, for example, “Chinese managers are different from US managers, so Confucianism, and other orientations, must be responsible”. We make such broad inferences about the role of East Asian wisdom without attempting to “deconstruct” the construct. We can do better.
The discussion of the role of East Asian wisdom on management and related disciplines is not new. In this journal, several publications have paid attention to these issues, including Li’s (2016) theoretical explication of the Eastern Yin Yang frame and its application to paradox management, Fang’s (2012) conceptualization of culture in the age of globalization, as well as HR implications of Eastern values (Jiang, Gollan & Brooks, 2015; Chin, 2014), Western explorations of acculturation of expatriates and migrant managers in Asia (Selmer and Lauring, 2014), cultural differences and the aesthetics of product design (Shin, 2012), and ethical perspectives of Chinese and American managers (Pan et al. 2010). Elsewhere, we have seen seminal contributions on management practice in Confucian societies (Yeung and Tung, 1996), and important work on changing cultural values, behaviour and ethical conduct (Faure and Fang, 2008; Tung and Verbeke, 2010; Woods and Lamond 2011), along with valuable critical reviews highlighting the paradoxical nature of culture (Fang, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2012), the influence of Confucian perspectives on Western leadership and management education (Manarungsan and Tang, 2012), the implication of strategic thought in East Asian for business and management (Fang, 1999; Tung, 1994), and the evolution of institutional approaches to education more broadly (Baumann, Hamin and Yang, 2016). Further afield, in other disciplines, we see very comprehensive perspectives on the role of East Asian wisdom on political philosophy (Rozman, 1993), competitiveness and economic growth (Hofstede and Bond, 1988) and influences on Western philosophy generally (Wilhelm, 1972). Confucianism and countries in the ‘Confucian Orbit’ (Baumann, Hamin, Tung and Hoadley, 2016) have a new found focus in scholarly work on competitiveness, but equally so, scholars in multiple fields are curious about the roles of Daoism (Woolley, 2016), Buddhism (Vallabh and Singhal (2014) and Yin Yang (Fang, 2012).
For the purposes of cross-cultural and strategic management, is East Asian wisdom a social and psychological framework that may vary across different cultural groups, or is it a constant that is manifested in different ways according to economic and social conditions? For example, does it make sense to say that one group is “more Confucian” than another? Or on one dimension or another? If so, then how do we derive empirical measures of the various facets of Confucianism?
These and many other questions niggle at Western (and Eastern) scholars as they try to understand how to better communicate, conduct business and formulate strategies across countries.
We are interested in any and all articles, so long as they address issues relating to East Asian Wisdom and cross-cultural management and strategy.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
- Conceptualisation and measurement of aspects of East Asian Wisdom, such as Confucianism, at the individual (micro), group (meso), and national (macro) levels.
- Historical interrelationships between East Asian Wisdom and PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) environments – antecedent or consequent relationships.
- Interrelationships between East Asian Wisdom and Management, Business, Performance and Competitiveness.
- Differences in East Asian Wisdom in the East Asia Region (e.g. China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam).
- Differences in East Asian Wisdom among members of the East Asian diaspora – Contribution to intra-national diversity.
- Mediating and/or moderating role of East Asian Wisdom in Cross-cultural research.
- The role of East Asian Wisdom in the provision of services, product design and development.
- The interplay between East Asian Wisdom and management and strategy.
- Role of East Asian Wisdom (e.g., Yin Yang) in cross-cultural innovation and in the formation of competitiveness and economic outcomes.
East Asian Wisdom is multi-faceted and multi-layered, and we are interested in papers which address areas and concepts not usually found in the literature, or areas that are severely undeveloped or inaccurate in our current understanding. We are living in an era that has transitioned from “West leads East” to “West meets East” (Chen, 2010a, 2010b). Our theories and practices need to be and can be inspired by this historical transition.
All manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review process. Submissions should be between 5,000-9,000 words, including references, figures and tables, and follow the manuscript requirement outlined on the journal’s website: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm. The submission deadline is January 1, 2017. Please direct queries to:
Associate Professor Chris Baumann, e mail: email@example.com;
Associate Professor Hume Winzar, e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; and
Professor Tony Fang, Stockholm Business School, e-mail: email@example.com
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