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

John A. Mathews*, Hao Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalAsian Business and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2015


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


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