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Confucianism and education/business: What the literature says
Confucian & Taoist values
Application to leadership
Leadership quality
Issue Date: 
Zhang, Y. (1994, November). Confucianism and education/business: What the literature says. Paper presented at the Eightieth Annual Conference of the Educational Research Association, Singapore.
This paper addresses some predominant cultural values in Eastern philosophies, especially in Confucianism and in Taoism, and their application to modern organizational leadership in Asian societies like China, Singapore and Japan. Confucianism is found to be responsible for the cultural characteristics in this region. Tu Wei-ming points out that "[A]s a philosophy of life, Confucianism has developed not only an art of living but also a science of managing the world." (1989) Apart from Confucianism, researchers point out that Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. as response to the challenge of the modern West can make contributions to the rise of industrial East Asia, creating their own unique form of modernity (1992). The following cultural values are most commonly identified by researchers from numerous Confucian and Taoist concepts as most effective elements in leadership qualities: "Collectivism", "thriftiness and industriousness", "exemplary leadership", "propriety", "self-confidence", "benevolence", "impartiality", "humility, humanity and harmony". This paper stresses the significance of inheriting these cultural values by organizational leaders and managers who aim at strong leadership attributes and strive for leadership effectiveness.
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