Asian Business & Management

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 227–246 | Cite as

Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucian school: An organizational studies reading

  • John A MathewsEmail author
  • Hao Tan
Research Article


Although Asian business and management sees itself as derivative of Western concepts and methods, Eastern traditions do offer sources of organizational scholarship. We argue that the neo-Confucian synthesis executed by Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi) in the twelfth century provides a starting point when seeking sources for a broader perspective encompassing organizational efficacy among both human artefacts and natural systems. Responding to calls for Asian business research to draw more deeply on its own cultural traditions, and in the spirit of modern organization science, we rescue Zhu Xi’s insights and offer free renditions of some of his most important formulations, which we believe to be fertile ground for meaningful indigenous research in the region.


Zhu Xi neo-Confucian Chinese philosophy holonic view complexity self-organization emergence 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, University of NewcastleAustralia

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