Understanding the Varieties of Chinese Management

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Understanding the Varieties of Chinese Management

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Title: Understanding the Varieties of Chinese Management
The ABCD Framework
Author: Li, Xin
Abstract: In this paper, I critique the convergence thesis proposed by S. Pope and J. W. Meyer who envisage the rise of a universalistic corporate organization that tends to supersede national business contexts or at least renders the national institutional environment as less consequential. My counterargument is that while there are forces for convergence of management practices worldwide, there are simultaneous other forces for divergence, and therefore, management practices of businesses across the world will go through a crossvergence rather than a pure convergence process. To explicate this counterargument, I use management practices in China as an illustrative case. Instead of one ‘Chinese model of management’, there are actually varieties of Chinese management. To understand these diversities, I propose an analytical framework that is based on four traditional Chinese philosophies, i.e., Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism, and Mohism. I posit, the actually management practices in China can be understood as diverse configurations of the four basic mode of management, i.e., autocracy, bureaucracy, chrismacracy, and democracy (ABCD for short).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/9322
Date: 2016-06-27
Notes: This paper has been presented at the International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR) Seventh Biennial Conference held in Hangzhou, China on June 15-19, 2016 (conference paper ID: 16EMi0047).

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