Aligning Business Education with Ancient Chinese and Greek Philosophy: The Andrews University’s Leadership Program

  • Silas M. Oliveira


The Leadership Program at Andrews University is a 15-year experiment in graduate leadership education. It allows participants to create their own individualized course of studies to develop and demonstrate competency in specific areas associated with leadership. Undergirded by a philosophy that favors holistic learning by experience, the program embraces the paradoxical unity of theory and practice creating a rich environment for exchange of ideas, cultural values and perspectives, experiences and practices. A central feature of the program is the development and presentation of the 15 competency-based portfolio related to the every-day workplace of the participant. In this paper, dominant values and principles of ancient Chinese and Greek leadership philosophies were identified and compared with the Leadership program’s philosophical underpinnings and structure. The results indicate that the Program strongly reflects Chinese and Greek philosophical values, such as, self-cultivation and transformation through learning, reflection and practice, servant leadership, collectivism and love and inclusive care.


Core Competency Chinese Philosophy Servant Leadership Leadership Program Greek Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aristotle. (1894). Ethica Nicomachea (Oxford Classical Texts). Midsomer Norton: Bookcraft.Google Scholar
  2. Barbuto, J. E., Jr., & Wheeler, D. W. (2006). Scale development and construct clarification of servant leadership. Group & Organization Management, 31(4), 300–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baskin, K. (2007). Evert the twain shall meet. Chinese Management Studies, 1, 57–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourantas, D. (1988). Leadership styles, need satisfaction, and the organizational commitment of Greek managers. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 4(3/4), 121–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brewer, M. B., & Chen, Y.-R. (2007). Where (who) are collectives in collectivism?: Toward conceptual clarification of individualism and collectivism. Psychological Review, 144(1), 133–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, C.-C., & Lee, Y.-T. (2008). Introduction: the diversity and dynamism of Chinese philosophies on leadership. In C. C. Chen & Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and management in China (pp. 1–27). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheung, C.-K., & Chan, A. C.-F. (2008). Benefits of Hong Kong Chinese CEO’s Confucian and Daoist leadership styles. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 29(6), 474–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Donkin, R. (2003, Feb 27). Ancient Greeks bear gifts to management. Financial Times, p. 16.Google Scholar
  9. Fan, X. (1995). The Chinese cultural system: Implications for cross-cultural management. SAM Advanced Management Journal.
  10. Fan, C., Huang, F., & Guo, X. (2008). A review of Chinese management pattern innovation. International Journal of Business and Management, 3, 83–87.Google Scholar
  11. Fernandez, J. A. (2004). The gentleman’s code of Confucius: Leadership by values. Organizational Dynamics, 33, 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Paulist.Google Scholar
  13. Hean-Tatt, O. (1998). Two major qualities of Lung the great ruler.
  14. Hean-Tatt, O. (2000). Practical Confucian empowerment of men for organizational excellence.
  15. Ho, J., & Nesbit, P. L. (2009). A refinement and extension of the self-leadership scale for the Chinese context. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24, 450–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knoblock, J. (1998). Xunzi: A translation and study of the complete works (3 vols). Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 241.Google Scholar
  17. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  18. Korac-Kacabadse, N., Korac-Kacabadse, A., & Kouzmin, A. (2001). Leadership renewal: towards the philosophy of wisdom. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 67, 207–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee, Y.-T., Han, A.-G., Byron, T. K., & Fan, H.-X. (2008). Daoist leadership: Theory and application. In C. C. Chen & Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and management in China (pp. 83–107). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lin, C. (2008). Demystifying the chameleonic nature of Chinese leadership (Survey). Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 14, 303–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu, J., & Mackinnon, A. (2002). Comparative management practices and training: China and Europe. Journal of Management Development, 21(2), 118–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Manville, B., & Ober, J. (2003). Beyond empowerment: building a company of citizens. Harvard Business Review, 68(4), 79–93.Google Scholar
  23. Manz, C. C. (1998). Leadership Wisdom of Jesus: Practical lessons for today. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  24. Munro, D. (Ed.). (1985). Individualism and holism: Studies in Confucian and taoist values. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  25. New World Encyclopedia. (a). Chinese Philosophy.
  26. Papalexandris, N. (1992). Human resource management in Greece. Employee Relations, 14(4), 38–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parnell, J. A., Shwiff, S., Yalin, L., & Langford, H. (2003). American and Chinese entrepreneurial and managerial orientations: a management education perspective. International Journal of Management, 20(2), 125–137.Google Scholar
  28. Pashiardis, P. (2009). Educational leadership and management: Blending Greek philosophy, myth and current thinking. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 12(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Peng, Y.-Q., Chen, C.-C., & Yang, X.-H. (2008). Bridging Confucianism and Legalism: Xunzi’s philosophy of sage-kingship. In C. C. Chen & Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and management in China (pp. 51–79). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rämö, H. (2004). Moments of trust: Temporal and spatial factors of trust in organizations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 19(8), 760–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the profession. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. School of Education, Andrews University. (2010). Leadership: A platform for service. Handbook: 2010–2011.
  33. Sun, H.-F., Chen, C.-C., & Zhang, S.-H. (2008). Strategic leadership of Sunzi in the art of war. In C. C. Chen & Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and management in China (pp. 143–168). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tsui, A. S., Wamg, H., Xin, K., Zhang, L., & Fu, P. P. (2004). Variation of leadership styles among Chinese CEOs. Organizational Dynamics, 33, 4–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tsui, A. S., Zhang, Z. X., Wang, H., Xin, K., & Wu, J. B. (2006). Unpacking the relationship between CEO leadership behavior and organizational culture. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(2), 113–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. University, A. (2007). A new Andrews for a new century: strategic plan, 2007–2012. Berrien Springs: Andrews University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Wah, S. S. (2001). Chinese cultural values and their implication to Chinese management. Singapore Management Review, 23(2), 75–83.Google Scholar
  38. Wah, S. S. (2010). Confucianism and Chinese leadership. Chinese Management Studies, 4(3), 280–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. White, E. G. (1925). Christian service. Washington, DC: Review & Herald.Google Scholar
  40. Yang, B. J. (1958). Lunyu yi zahu. In Annotations and translations of Confucian analects. Beijing: China Press.Google Scholar
  41. Yang, X. H., Peng, Y.-Q., & Lee, Y.-T. (2008). Bridging confucianism and legalism: Xunzi’s philosophy of sage-kingship. In C. C. Chen & Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and management in China (pp. 5–79). Cambridge: Cambridge Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership and Higher Education Administration, and James White LibraryAndrews UniversityBerrien SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations