What Would Confucius Do? – Confucian Ethics and Self-Regulation in Management

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Title What Would Confucius Do? – Confucian Ethics and Self-Regulation in Management
Author Woods, Peter Robert; Lamond, David A.
Journal Name Journal of Business Ethics
Year Published 2011
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Abstract We examined Confucian moral philosophy, primarily the Analects, to determine how Confucian ethics could help managers regulate their own behavior (self-regulation) to maintain an ethical standard of practice. We found that some Confucian virtues relevant to self-regulation are common to Western concepts of management ethics such as benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Some are relatively unique, such as ritual propriety and filial piety. We identify seven Confucian principles and discuss how they apply to achieving ethical self-regulation in management. In addition, we examined some of the more unique Confucian practices to achieve self-regulation including ritual and music. We balanced the framework by exploring the potential problems in applying Confucian principles to develop ethical self-regulation including whistle blowing. Confucian moral philosophy offers an indigenous Chinese theoretical framework for developing ethical self- regulation in managers. This is relevant for Confucian oriented societies, such as China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore for those who relate to managers in Confucian oriented societies. We recommend further research to examine if the application of the Confucian practices out-lined here actually work in regulating the ethical behavior of managers in modern organizations.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0838-5
Volume 102
Issue Number 4
Page from 669
Page to 683
ISSN 0167-4544
Date Accessioned 2011-06-24
Date Available 2011-11-09T07:22:32Z
Language en_AU
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Business and Management
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/41476
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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