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					                                   Kolumne                                        1

            An International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research

            Volume 28, 2011

            China’s Modernization I

                   Edited by Georg Peter and Reuß-Markus Krauße


© ProtoSociology                             Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I
2                                         Contents

© 2011 Gerhard Preyer
Frankfurt am Main

Erste Auflage / first published 2011
ISSN 1611–1281

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Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                               © ProtoSociology
                                            Kolumne                                               3

An International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research

Volume 28, 2011

    China’s Modernization I


                   Changing China: Dealing with Diversity

Class, Citizenship and Individualization in China’s Modernization ........                        7
Björn Alpermann
Chinese Nation­Building as, Instead of, and Before Globalization ..........                      25
Andrew Kipnis
Principles for Cosmopolitan Societies:
Values for Cosmopolitan Places .............................................................. 49
John R. Gibbins

      On Modernization: Law, Business, and Economy in China

Modernizing Chinese Law:
The Protection of Private Property in China ...........................................          73
Sanzhu Zhu
Chinese Organizations as Groups of People – Towards a Chinese
Business Administration ......................................................................... 87
Peter J. Peverelli
Income Gaps in Economic Development: Differences among
Regions, Occupational Groups and Ethnic Groups ................................ 101
Ma Rong

© ProtoSociology                                            Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I
4                                               Contents

                           Thinking Differentiations:
                      Chinese Origin and the Western Culture

Signs and Wonders: Christianity and Hybrid Modernity in China ......... 133
Richard Madsen
Confucianism, Puritanism, and the Transcendental:
China and America ................................................................................ 153
Thorsten Botz-Bornstein
China and the Town Square Test ........................................................... 173
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
Metaphor, Poetry and Cultural Implicature ............................................ 187
Ying Zhang

                             On Contemporary Philosophy

Can Science Change our Notion of Existence? ....................................... 201
Jody Azzouni
The Epistemological Significance of Practices ......................................... 213
Alan Millar
On Cappelen and Hawthrone’s “Relativism and Monadic Truth” ........... 231
J. Adam Carter

Contributors .......................................................................................... 243
Impressum ............................................................................................. 245
On ProtoSociology ................................................................................. 246
Published Volumes ................................................................................. 247
Digital Volumes available ....................................................................... 251
Bookpublications of the Project .............................................................. 252

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                       Chinese Organizations as Groups of People                          87

Chinese Organizations as Groups of People
– Towards a Chinese Business Administration
    Peter J. Peverelli

Business is booming in China and so are Business Administration courses. However, these
courses do not always seem to prepare their students for the job of managing Chinese orga-
nizations. In order to design better courses, we first need to look deeper into the nature of
Chinese organizations. A number of Chinese scholars have realized this and started looking
at Chinese intellectual traditions, in particular Confucian thought, to discern the diffe-
rences between Western organizations (for which most globally used MBA courses have been
designed) and their Chinese counterparts. This has already led to interesting new insights.
However, predicates like ‘Chinese’ or ‘Confucian’ make it difficult to apply the new finding,
more generally. This paper acknowledges the findings, but proposes an alternative organiza-
tion theory that can not only find and explain the Chinese-ness of Chinese organizations,
but can be applied globally, to determine local modes of organizing


This is an exploratory paper. As someone who advises European companies in
their long term relations with Chinese partners in practice, and is simultane­
ously involved in academic business administration programs in Europe and
China, or more precisely, adapting such courses developed in Europe for a Chi­
nese audience, I am regularly exposed to the differences between European and
Chinese organizations and the consequences of those differences for academic
research and teaching of business processes.
   In Europe, we have been debating the existence of an indigenous Euro­
pean business administration, as opposed to the US dominated MBA type of
courses, and seem still quite far from drawing conclusions (Calori & de Woot
1994, Boone & van den Bosch 1997, Pudelko & Harzing 2007).
   In fact, on the global level, the divergence—convergence debate, i.e. the
debate whether the trend in the global business world is towards the develop­
ment of multiple local business models, or towards one unified global model,
is still going on as well (see Ohmae (1990) and Whitley (1993) as proponents
for the convergence and divergence points of view respectively, and Chan &
Peverelli (2010) for an alternative point of view).
   On one hand, this may make us less than ideal teachers for our Chinese
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colleagues in designing indigenous business studies, but on the other hand it
enables us to share our own experience with seeking what it is that makes us
different and what we share with others, and how those findings can be em­
ployed to define indigenous management studies.


Only recently, Chinese researchers have started to look into what makes Chi­
nese organizations ‘Chinese.’ The economic reforms that were launched in
the 1980s created a huge need for managers trained to perform in the new
economic environment. Such people were hardly available and to fill that gap,
management studies started booming in China. The vast majority of manage­
ment courses established in China at that time were not using academic busi­
ness administration programs as their models, but were set up according to the
relatively standard model of the MBA training programs popular all over the
world. The contents were very practical, including the typical MBA program,
with standard courses like: Organization Behaviour, Marketing, Management
Accounting, etc. The objectives were also identical to the Western models:
equipping people with a few years of practical work experience with the basic
academic skills in 1 year (full time) or 2 years (part time).
  Apart from being short and very practical, most of the programs were also
very ‘foreign’ in nature. Textbooks were mainly of American and European
origin, the more expensive courses were taught by foreign instructors. For a
while, MBA, in Latin letters became the vernacular term for business studies
in Chinese.
  These initial efforts in developing instruction in business administration in
China have been successful in their own terms. They have indeed created a
pool of people better equipped to deal with the challenges of the economic
reforms. A particularly interesting example is the story of Mr Niu Gensheng,
the founder and CEO of one of China’s top dairy companies, Mengniu. An
orphan, he was adopted and raised by a farmer. He made a career in Yili, a
state owned dairy company in Huhhot (the capital of Inner Mongolia), starting
out as a bottle washer all the way to member of the board. In the course of the
economic reforms, his fellow board members apparently deemed him too un­
polished to be a member of their team. He was sent away with the strong advice
to get an education on the company’s expense. Mr Niu, probably unexpectedly,
took that advice literally and signed on to an MBA course at Peking University’s
Guanghua School of Management. After returning to his hometown, with his
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fresh MBA diploma in his pocket, his old company did not take him back.
He then set up his own dairy company, attracting a considerable number of
his former colleagues. This company ranked among the top 3 dairy companies
within only a few years (Peverelli, 2005, 111–137). Obviously, Mr Niu’s success
is also based on his experience, and other skills, but the MBA course enabled
him to turn the experience and skills into business acumen.
   Now that China has earned its place in the global market and has been
pronounced the world’s second largest economy, these Western style MBA­
like courses are becoming less satisfactory for the Chinese academic world.
Moreover, the freshly trained Chinese MBA graduates soon found out that
putting everything they had learned into practice literally did not always do
the trick. When a pre­reform era ‘factory’ is reorganized into a ‘company.’ and
the leader has changed his title from ‘Director’ into ‘General Manager,’ as an
organization it is still a Chinese organization, with employees doing things in
a Chinese fashion.
   Some Chinese scholars have started studying this Chinese­ness. A major
objective for these efforts is to adapt the Western concept of business studies
as taught in China and make it more ‘Chinese,’ thus more applicable to the
management of Chinese organizations.
   An important source for these Chinese researchers is traditional Chinese
philosophy. Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, etc., have all been re­analysed
for aspects useful for management, but Confucianism with its emphasis on hi­
erarchy and knowing your place in it, is cited most frequently as a major influ­
ence on Chinese managerial behaviour. The website of the China International
Management Science Association (also incorporating the symbolic term MBA
in its URL:­ has a special page on the influence of traditional
Chinese thinking. Visitors can choose between sections for: Daoism, Bud­
dhism, Confucianism, the Legal School, The Master Sun School (the strategies
of Master Sun), etc. There is even a special section for ‘farmers’ wisdom,’ taking
into account that China is traditionally an agricultural nation.
   The development of Western business administration is embedded in the
socio­cultural history of Europe and its main ex­colonies. It therefore makes
sense that efforts to search for aspects of Chinese organizations and Chinese
management in Chinese socio­cultural history as well. As this is a rather broad
theme, I would like to restrict this introductory paper to one research ques­
tion: what are the differences between Western and Chinese organizations. A
derived question will be: do these difference mean that we need to let go of a
global standard for business studies, or does it call for rethinking that standard?
   I will begin with the emergence of the notion of ‘organization’ as an entity
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separate from the people that interact in it, in Western thinking, and how this
was instrumental in the development of management science in the early 20th
century. I will then proceed showing that a different socio­cultural develop­
ment in China has resulted in different perception of the relationship between
organizations and their actors in China, requiring a different view on manage­
ment. I will continue introducing recent Chinese research trying to find aspects
of an indigenous Chinese management by trying to find ‘management’ think­
ing in traditional Chinese philosophy. Finally, I will point at a major problem
in following that indigenous route, and offer a research method that enables
researchers to identify local modes of organizing, but which can be employed
globally, without a need to ‘go back to ones roots’ for each region.
   I thus hope that this preliminary study into the nature of Chinese organiza­
tions can facilitate the development of organization studies without cultural

The Western Organization as Separate From the People

Looking back on the beginnings of human history using modern organization
theory, we cannot but conclude that Homo sapiens has been organizing since
the beginning of its existence. The ability to form groups of people to work
jointly towards the completion on a specific task, thus accomplishing that goal
in a more efficient way than all group members trying to do so individually
may very well be one of the most important traits defining Homo sapiens.
However, modern organization theory usually links the emergence of those
groups of people that we are used to refer to with the term organizations to
the rapid industrial development in Europe and North America in the 19th
century. ‘Organizations in the form that we know them emerged during the
19th century in Europe and America, during the period of economic expansion
by the industrial revolution’ (Scott, 2003: 4).
   This development had a large impact on the role of the individual in the
industrial process. Goods that were previously produced by individual artisans,
who exercised total control over the production process, were now manufac­
tured in factories, by a number of people specialised in a one particular step of
that process. As a result, an individual worker became less involved with the
final product. Jaffee, an organization theorist with a sociological background,
even speaks of the subordination of labour (Jaffee, 2001, 43), a perception akin
to Marx’s notion of alienation, the uncoupling of workers from the product
of their labour. The main difference between Jaffee’s term subordination and
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Marx’s alienation is that the former also refers to the relationship between the
workers and the factory owners. Jaffee continues his line of reasoning explain­
ing that while this specialisation of labour considerably increased the efficiency
of the production process, it also created the need for the factory owners to
control this expanding workforce (op. cit, 45 ff).
   The late 19th century and early 20th century then saw the appearance of a
number of theories on managing people in large organizations. As this history
can be found in most organization theory text books (see in particular Hatch &
Cunliffe (2006)), I will only mention a couple that are most significant for the
theme of this paper. French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1893) expanded the
notion of division of labour as set forth by Adam Smith in 1776 by adding the
concepts of hierarchy and the interrelatedness between various work tasks. He
also distinguished between informal and formal organization, i.e. the workers’
social needs versus their work related activities.
   The second theory formative of modern Western organization theory was
that of the German sociologist Max Weber (1924). Weber enriched our vocabu­
lary with the notion of bureaucracy. However, Weber never intended this word
to have the rather negative connotation it has in the current parlance. Major
themes in Weber’s theory of the bureaucracy were rationality and authority.
He saw the bureaucracy with its formalised rules as a way to ‘rationalize social
order in a manner similar to technology’s rationalizing of economic order’
(Hatch & Cunliffe, 2006, 31).
   This is a good point in my discussion to summarise the emergence of the
Western notions of organization and management. In the course of what is
known as the Industrial Revolution, the manufacturing of many goods changed
from production by a single artisan in charge of the entire process to produc­
tion in factories in which goods were manufactured by a number of people
specialised in one step of the process. From an economic point of view this
division of labour increased efficiency, but from a social perspective also cre­
ated a discrepancy between the workers and the owners of the factories. Those
owners not only needed to control the technical process, but also became faced
with controlling the workforce. These needs were addressed by a number of
academics who introduced the notions of relationships between functions in
organizations in terms of hierarchy, authority, formal and informal organiza­
tion, etc. By the beginning of the 1930s, organizations and the people working
in organizations were generally regarded as, linked, but different entities. The
activities of a person employed by a certain organization were divided into
actions related to that employment (formal organization) and other activities.
The former activities needed to be dealt with by the owners of the organization,
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while the others were considered to be not of their concern, even though they
sometimes could influence the former activities (informal organization). As a
result, the function of the professional manager was created, a person specially
trained in business administration.

The Chinese Organization as a Group of People

This section of my paper heavily draws from Sun Jinghua (2005). Sun observes
that in China the separation of the organization and the people who are part of
that organization has never really taken place. China developed factories and
later modern corporations as well. However, the people in charge of the enter­
prises still regard them as ‘groups of living people.’ rather than as inanimate
organizations (Sun, 2005, 3–5). As a result, managing an organization in China
equals managing a group of people. Managers themselves are people and as
such are people among their own people. A primary personal skill is appeasing
people (an ren). A condition for developing this skill is the ability to cultivate
oneself (xiu ji). Managers are first of all examples for their subordinates (Op.
cit., 5; a similar view is held by Zeng Shiqiang (Zeng, 2005, 3)). This perspective
on management is directly inspired on the Confucian belief in the beneficial
effects of education. People are good by nature, but this good nature needs to
be developed through education.
   This by itself would not deviate principally from the Western definition of
management. However, Chinese have a propensity to form small groups of
people interacting around a specific topic, or a common property. Within the
larger ‘group of people’, which is the organization, there will smaller groups
of people. Whenever the interests of such a smaller group conflicts with the
interests of the larger group, the members of the smaller group will be inclined
to let those of the smaller group prevail. The bases for forming such smaller
groups are manifold; the more popular include: kinship, place of birth, marital
relationship, friendship, mutual benefits, etc. When a manager has a choice
to promote a family member among his employees to a certain position, or a
better qualified other person, who has no family relationship with the manager,
the manager will be faced with a difficult choice. In a Western organization,
the interests of the abstract organization will usually be given priority, but in
a Chinese situation the choice of the manager will be more complicated. His
family will pressure him to select the family member, but if the other candidate
is a member of an influential small group, the members of that group will in
turn pressure him to promote the non­family candidate. There is no convenient
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formula, or ‘decision tree,’ available to calculate the best choice. Small group
affiliation often links employees of Chinese organizations to the outside world.
A Chinese manager can be put under pressure from close relatives outside his
organization to create a position for a family member (Sun, 2005, 13).
   This difference has far reaching consequences for virtually all aspects of the
operation of enterprises. In table 1, I have listed four aspects analysed by Sun.
The table is divided into columns for the aspect, the Western (organization
centred) view, the Chinese (person centred view) and the location in Sun for
easy reference.

Table 1: major differences between Western and Chinese organizations.
 Aspect         Western/                            Chinese/                              Sun
                organization centred                person centred
 Source of      Organizational ability to produce   Personal ability to discern and use   45–47
 profit         goods/services that satisfy         opportunities
                customer needs
 Base for ef-   Division of labour; teamwork        Harmonious relationship between       63–65
 fectiveness    combined with competition           employees; everyone does his/her
                between team members                best; care for others
 Continuity     CEO is a temporary position; the    Organizational continuity is based    81–83
                continuity of the organization      on the continuity of the CEO; CEO
                prevails over that of the CEO       as omniscient leader
 Values         Organizational values and           Organizational values and perso-      105–110
                personal values are separated;      nal values are intertwined; perso-
                organizational values prevail       nal and small group values prevail
                over personal values                over organizational values

These are not absolute discrepancies. Person centred processes take place in
Western organizations as well, and vice versa. The difference between the or­
ganization centred and the people centred approaches is the that in the first
perception the organization and its members are regarded as separate, while
in the latter they are considered to be essentially identical; the members ARE
the organization.
   I have attempted to translate Sun’s ideas to the external relations of organiza­
tions as well. Organizations are open systems. The are not systems operating
independently from their ennvironment, but but ‘collectives that depend on
and are influenced by environmental factors’ (Scott 2003, 23). We can expect
that the differences between the organization centred and people centred per­
ceptions of organizations will have repercussions for the external relations of
organizations as well. To characterize the basic differences, I want to introduce
the term ‘legal person’ that is closely linked with the Western concept of the
organization as an entity separate from the people in it, and is also a product of
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the industrial revolution (Dewey 1926). This term reinforces the independent
status of the organization in the Western perspective, and also points out legal
relationships (like those laid down in sign contracts) prevail over personal
relationships. I have placed my findings in table 2.

Table 2: main differences between the external relationships of Western and Chinese
 Aspect                 Western/                                 Chinese/
                        Law based                                Relationship based
 Trust based on         Universally applied laws                 Good personal relations bet-
                                                                 ween the managers
 Nature of relations    Interorganizational relations based on   Interorganizational relations
                        agreements between organizations         based on personal relations
                                                                 between managers
 Continuity             Managers have a temporary position;      The continuity of a relations is
                        the continuity of a relation prevails    based on the continuity of the
                        over that of managers                    relevant manager
 Primary value          Protecting the interests of the own      Maintaining relations with
                        organization                             other organizations
 Competition            Matter of life and death                 Never let a competitor go
                                                                 down completely

Chinese Organizing in Practice

Although the core theme of this paper is establishing a model of Chinese or­
ganizations, it will be useful to apply them to a few examples. Westerners are
often confused by the propensity for small group affiliation by their Chinese
counterparts; as is witnessed by the following example (from my own consult­
ing practice):

     A Belgian company started contacts with a company in Guangzhou to
     explore possibilities for setting up a joint venture. The Chinese team
     consisted of three people, one from the Finance and Production de­
     partments each, and one from the General Manager’s Office, with the
     person from Production as the main contact. The first discussion in
     Guangzhou seemed very productive, but for some reason no progress
     was made afterwards. It was later found out that all three members of
     the Chinese negotiation team were from Hunan province. The Belgians
     were recommended to that company by a contact in Hunan. Their Hu­
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    nan friend had introduced them to a Hunan group in the organization.
    Apparently this group was unable to win the interest of other people in
    their organization in cooperation with the Belgians. While the Belgians
    believed that they were negotiating with the company (the organiza­
    tion), they were in fact talking to a group within the organization.

Although Chinese are used to live and work in a society based on multiple small
group membership, this does not preclude that they as well can be occasionally
annoyed by the behaviour of groups of which they are not members themselves.
The following example originates from a field study conducted in Shenzhen
by researchers of the Hong Kong Baptist University (private communication):

    A Taiwanese company has set up a joint venture in Shenzhen for the
    production of electronic appliances. To ensure the quality of the prod­
    ucts, the company tries to buy its components from the same Taiwanese
    suppliers as it does in its home region. The Purchasing Department of
    the joint venture is headed by a person from Taiwan. The Taiwanese
    suppliers directly contact him for all aspects of their business. The local
    employees of the Purchasing Department feel a little detached from
    their work. They regard the day­to­day operation of their department
    ‘a matter that is handled between the Taiwanese.’

In the organization of this case, the joint venture, we can observe a small group
of Taiwanese. They are expatriates sent to the venture for a number of years.
They all have management functions. They use their continue inclusions origi­
nating from their work in the Taiwanese mother company in their work in the
joint venture. Within the Purchasing Department, there is a small group of
local employees who feel alienated from much of the typical purchasing activi­
ties, because the Taiwanese do not allow them access to their group.
   In the first example, we can observe a small group formed on the basis of a
shared home province. This group included members who were still living in
that home province. The latter introduced a potential foreign partner to the
organization using their Hunan group membership as channel. The introduc­
tion was successful, but the formation of a partnership between the foreign
company and the organization failed, apparently because the Hunan group was
unable to achieve a sufficient critical mass.
   In the second example, the small group of Taiwanese managers is again based
on a common descent. This group has considerable influence on the opera­
tion of the organization, as all group members hold management positions.
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The problem in this case is that they exclude local employees from some of
the basic processes in the company (this is the case in at least the Purchasing
Department). This exclusion causes a feeling of alienation among the local
employees. If this feeling is not contained in time, it can lead to a decrease
in loyalty towards the organization and in turn strengthen the loyalty for the
small group (local employees).

Rethinking Organization Theory

The above discussion of discrepancies between Western and Chinese organiz­
ing processes is not meant to prove that ‘east is east and west is west and never
the twain will meet.’ Instead, we need to formulate an organization theory that
can account for both (and possible other) types of organizing. Here I propose
to use Social Integration (SI) theory as such an alternative model.
   SI theory has been developed on the basis of Weick’s organization theory
(1979, 1995), enriched with concepts from postmodern philosophy and psy­
cholinguistics (Peverelli, 2000; Peverelli & Verduyn, 2010). In this theory, or­
ganizing is defined as ‘the reduction of equivocality in ongoing social interac­
tion between actors to couple their behavior to perform a certain task more
efficiently’ (Peverelli & Verduyn, 2010, p. 5). One consequence of this process
is the emergence of groups of actors who frequently interact around a specific
theme and therefore make sense of that topic in a more or less similar way.
Those actors are said to be ‘included’ in such groups. Each actor is involved in
a large number of such groups, which is referred to as ‘multiple inclusion.’ Two
or more groups are connected by actors with inclusions in each of the groups.
As soon as two or more actors start interacting about a certain theme, they will
create a configuration consisting of the actors and the cognitive matter they
share (typical language, symbols, ways to do things, etc.).
   We can tentatively formulate ‘culture’ as ‘the way to cope with multiple
inclusions’. People are always included in a large number of social groups and
even when interacting about a specific issue, the key persons involved will make
sense of that issue from the point of view of different inclusions. People can
adopt different strategies to deal with this. One way is fixing oneself on the
perspective of a specific inclusion; another is trying to act in accordance with
(reconcile) the perspectives of at least a number of the most essential inclusions
(the other extreme of the scale). Westerners (that is, people from Northwest
Europe and Anglo­Saxon nations; people of different European regions seems
to vary as well in this respect) seem to position themselves on the first extreme
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of the scale, while Chinese end up at the latter end (Peverelli (2000, 52–61,
83–85 and 123–126), Chan & Peverelli (2010, 221).
   The above mentioned case of the Chinese manager faced with the task to
promote a family member or a more qualified alternative candidate is a good
example of a situation in which the average Western manager would find the
task easy and promote the most qualified person. The Chinese counterpart
would be facing a lengthy deliberation of the most relevant inclusions of the
candidates, as well as his own group memberships. Even if the Chinese man­
ager would select the relative, he would be inclined to make up to (the groups
of ) the other candidate as well, lest he would lose their support in future issues.
   The case of the founding of Mengniu Dairy by Mr Niu Gensheng intro­
duced in the beginning of this paper can also be better understood using the
SI model. Mr Niu had formed a large configuration of friends when he was a
manager at Yili. As soon as he registered Mengniu, that entire configuration
moved from Yili to the new company, while more or less continuing there
what they use to be doing at Yili. Moreover, according to SI theory, although
the relationship between Niu’s people an their former employer Yili changed,
they still remained to be included in Yili. Inclusions are cognitive in nature,
and the cognitive ties with former colleagues do not sever instantly after people
change jobs. The shared inclusion of so many key people in Mengniu with Yili
is still affecting the competition between these two companies (Peverelli, 2005,
   Applying SI theory to the Belgian mini­case, we can see that the Hunan peo­
ple in the company formed a configuration of ‘Hunan people in the company’.
This configuration was part of a larger group that also included people still
actually living in Hunan. The Belgian investor got first introduced (through
another shared inclusion) to the person in Hunan, who further introduced
him to his Hunan friends in the company. So far, that was a natural process
of surfing through social networks using people with multiple inclusions as
channels. However, the Belgian failed to assess the limited nature of the group
of people he was talking to, even though the three introduced themselves as a
group of people within the company sharing the same home region. The first
discussion was conducted smoothly, forming a new configuration including
the Belgian investor. However, for reasons unknown, the people in the Hu­
nan configuration failed to attract other colleagues into the negotiation. That
blocked further access to the company for the Belgian. The Belgian on the
other hand, also failed to try to access the potential partner company through
other channels. This can be explained by the fact that the Belgian, socialized
in Western culture, focused too much on one single inclusion. From a Western
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point of view, e.g., it would have been deemed inappropriate to simultaneously
contact other managers of the company.
   In the second example we see that the Taiwanese investors are trying to
continue an external configuration with a trusted supplier in their venture on
the Mainland. This is in accordance with what has been hypothesized in table
2: trust with external parties is based on good relationships. This explains why
the company prefers to let the Taiwanese manager of the Purchasing Depart­
ment handle the contacts with Taiwanese suppliers, even those who are also
producing on the Mainland. This is deemed to be the best guarantee that the
good relationship with those suppliers is continued. What the management
fails to see is that this practice de facto creates two purchasing departments,
one for the Taiwanese suppliers and one for the local suppliers.
   An interesting aspect of the point made in the previous paragraph is that
the Taiwanese managers, while not Mainland Chinese, still born and raised in
Chinese culture, were also unable to see all the consequences of their decisions.
In the Belgian case, we can still attribute the mistakes made to cultural differ­
ences, but the cultural differences between Taiwan and Mainland Chinese are
not large enough to use as an excuse for their management problems. It seems
that there is a need to adapt the teaching of business administration, to train
mangers better equipped to manage Chinese organizations.
   However, there is also no need for a ‘Chinese business administration’, or a
theory of ‘Confucian management’. This would deny the possibility that we
could formulate a general model of human organizing that can analyze organiz­
ing processing anywhere in the world. With a theory of Chinese management,
we could do not much more in Brazil than investigate the Chinese­ness of
Brazilian organization, etc.
   What really seems to be needed is rethinking the standard business adminis­
tration program taught all over the world today, in which most courses centre
on the notion of ‘management.’ When we redesign such programs with ‘or­
ganizing’, the company as organization, as the core notion, we should be able
to eliminate that need. The notion of management as currently used globally
in Business Administration programs is based on the Western presumption of
the separation of the organization and the people operating in its context. The
concept of organizing as defined in SI theory deals with people, their social
interaction and the consequences of that interacting. Management is but one
of those consequences. We can start using organization theory to understand
Chinese, or Brazilian, organizations and then formulate ways to manage orga­
nizations in those, and other, regions.

Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                           © ProtoSociology
                       Chinese Organizations as Groups of People                         99


I am indebted to the research team of Prof Chan Kwok Bun of Hong Kong
Baptist University for their fieldwork notes quoted in this paper.


Boone, P.F. & van den Bosch, F.A.J (1997). Discerning a Key Characteristic of a Euro­
    pean Style of Management Managing the Tension between Integration Opportuni­
    ties and the Constraining Diversity in Europe. In: Int. Studies of Mgt. & Org., Vol.
    26, No. 3, pp. 109–127
Calori, R & De Woot, P. (1994). A European Management Model—beyond diversity,
    New York: Prentice Hall.
Chan, K.B. & Peverelli, P.J. (2010). Cultural Hybridization: A Third Way Between Di­
    vergence and Convergence: in: World Futures Journal of General Evolution, Volume
    66 Issue 3, pp. 219–242.
Dewey, J. (1926). The Historic Background of Corporate Legal Personality. In: Yale
    Law Journal 35 (6): 655–73.
Durkheim, E. (1985). The division of labour in society (trans. W.D. Halls), New York:
    Free Press (first published in 1893).
Hatch, M.J & A.L. Cunliffe (2006). Organization Theory—modern, symbolic and post-
    modern perspectives, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jaffee, D. (2001). Organization Theory—Tension and Change, Singapore: McGraw­Hill.
Ohmae, K. (1990). The borderless world, power and strategy in the interlinked economy.
    London: Fontana
Peverelli, P.J. (2000). Cognitive Space - A social cognitive approach to Sino-Western coop-
    eration, Delft: Eburon.
Peverelli, P.J. (2005). Chinese Corporate Identity, London: Routledge.
Peverelli, P.J. & Verduyn, K. (2010) Understanding the basic dynamics of organizing,
    Delft: Eburon.
Pudelko, M. & Harzing, A.W. (2007). How European is management in Europe? An
    analysis of past, present and future management practices in Europe. In: European
    J. of International Management ­ Vol. 1, No.3 pp. 206 ­ 224
Scott, W.F. (2003)5. Organizations—Rational, Natural, and Open Systems, Upper Saddle
    River: Prentice Hall.
Sun Jinghua (2005). Chinese management logict (Zhongguoren de guanli luoji), Beijing:
    China Machine Press.
Weber, M. (1947). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (ed. A.H. Henderson
    and T. Parsons) Glencoe: Free Press (first published in 1924).
Weick, K. E. (1979). The social psychology of organizing. New York: McGraw
Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. London: Sage.
Whitley, R. (1993). Divergent capitalisms—The social structuring and changes of business

© ProtoSociology                                      Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I
100                                       Peter J. Peverelli

   systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zeng Shiqiang (2005). Chinese style management (Zhongguoshi guanli), Beijing: China
   Social Sciences Press.

Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                             © ProtoSociology
                                 Contributors                                     243


Prof. Jody Azzouni, Department of Philosophy , Tufts University, Medford,
MA, United States of America.

Prof. Dr. Björn Alpermann, Department of Chinese Studies, Würzburg Uni­
versity, Germany.

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Botz­Bornstein, Humanities and Social Science Depart­
ment, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait.

Dr. J. Adam Carter, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Dr. John R. Gibbins, Wolfson College, Cambridge, United States of America.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Kipnis, Senior Fellow, Department of Political & Social
Change, School of International, Political & Strategic Studies; Department
of Anthropology, School of Culture, History & Language, ANU College of
Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Prof. Dr. Richard Madsen, Department of Sociology, University of California,
San Diego, USA.

Prof. Alan Millar, Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling, Stirling
Scotland, United Kingdom.

Dr. Peter J. Peverelli, Deptartment of Economics & Business Administration
VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Prof. Dr. Ma Rong, Department of Sociology; Institute of Sociology and An­
thropology, Peking University, Beijing, China.

Prof. Dr. Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, History Department, University of Califor­
nia, Irvine, USA.

© ProtoSociology                                Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I

Dr. Ying Zhang, Center, Institute of Logic and Cognition, Sun Yat­sen Uni­
versity, Guangzhou, China.

Prof. Dr. Sanzhu Zhu, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of
London, London, GB.

Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                      © ProtoSociology
                                       Contributors                                      245

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Bookpublications of the Project (extract)

Sociology                                      Philosophy
Zur Aktualität von Shmuel N. Eisenstadt        Triangulation – From an Epistemological
– Eine Einleitung in sein Werk. Gerhard        Point of View. Maria Cristina Amoretti, Ger-
Preyer. VS Verlag 2011.                        hard Preyer (eds.). Ontos Publishers 2011.
Max Webers Religionssoziologie. Eine           Intention and Practical Thought. Gerhard
Neubewertung. Gerhard Preyer. Humanities       Preyer. Humanities Online 2011.
Online 2010.
                                               Contextualism in Philosophy. Knowledge,
Gesellschaft im Umbruch II – Jenseits von      Meaning an Truth. Gerhard Preyer, Georg
National- und Wohlfahrtsstaat. Gerhard         Peter (eds.). Oxford University Press 2005.
Preyer. Verlag Humanities Online 2009.
                                               Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Mini-
Borderlines in a Globalized World. New         malism – New Essays on Semantics and
Perspectives in a Sociology of the World       Pragmatics. Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter
System. Gerhard Preyer, Mathias Bös (eds.).    (eds.). Oxford University Press 2007.
Kluwer 2002.
                                               Concepts of Meaning. Framing an Integrat-
Neuer Mensch und kollektive Identität in       ed Theory of Linguistic Behavior. Gerhard
der Kommunikationsgesellschaft. Hrsg. von      Preyer, Georg Peter, Maria Ulkan (eds.).
Gerhard Preyer. VS Verlag für Sozialwissen-    Kluwer 2003. Rep. Springer Verlag, Wien.
schaft 2009.
                                               Analytische Ästhetik. Eine Untersuchung zu
Philosophy of Education in the Era of          Nelson Goodman und zur lit. Parodie. Georg
Globalization. Edited by Yvonne Raley and      Peter. ONTOS-Verlag 2002.
Gerhard Preyer. Routledge 2010.
                                               Logical Form and Language. Gerhard
Gesellschaft im Umbruch I. Politische          Preyer, Georg Peter (eds.). Oxford University
Soziologie im Zeitalter der Globalisierung.    Press 2002.
Jakob Schissler und Gerhard Preyer. Verlag
                                               Donald Davidson’s Philosophy. From Radi-
Humanities Online 2002.
                                               cal Interpretation to Radical Contextualism.
Lebenswelt – System – Gesellschaft.            Gerhard Preyer. Verlag Humanities Online,
Konstruktionsprobleme der „Theorie des         dt. 2001, engl. 2006.
kommunikativen Handelns“ von Jürgen
                                               The Contextualization of Rationality. Ger-
Habermas. Gerhard Preyer. Verlag Humani-
                                               hard Preyer, Georg Peter (eds.). Mentis 2000.
ties Online 2000.
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tem: Theorien, Sozialstruktur und evolution-
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                  Contextualism in Philosophy:
                 Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth
                        Gerhard Preyer, Georg Peter (eds.)

In epistemology and in philosophy of language there is fierce debate about the role
of context in knowledge, understanding, and meaning. Many contemporary episte-
mologists take seriously the thesis that epistemic vocabulary is context-sensitive. This
thesis is of course a semantic claim, so it has brought epistemologists into contact with
work on context in semantics by philosophers of language. This volume brings together
the debates, in a set of twelve specially written essays representing the latest work
by leading figures in the two fields. All future work on contextualism will start here.

Gerhard Preyer, Georg Peter
Introduction: The Limitation of
I   Contextualism in Epistemology             II Compositionality, Meaning and
Contextualism and the New Linguistic
Turn in Epistemology                          Literalism and Contextualism: Some
Peter Ludlow                                  Varieties
                                              François Recanati
The Emperor‘s ‚New Knows‘
Kent Bach                                     A Tall Tale In Defense of Semantic Mini-
                                              malism and Speech Act Pluralism
Knowledge, Context and the Agent‘s Point
                                              Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore
of View
Timothy Williamson                            Semantics in Context
                                              Jason Stanley
What Shifts? Thresholds, Standards, or
Alternatives?                                 Meaning before Truth
Jonathan Schaffer                             Paul M. Pietroski
Epistemic Modals in Context                   Compositionality and Context
Andy Egan, John Hawthorne, Brian Weath-       Peter Pagin
                                              Presuppositions, Truth Values, and Ex-
                                              pressing Propositions
                                              Michael Glanzberg

                  Oxford University Press: Oxford 2005, 410 pages

Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                                  © ProtoSociology

    Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism
                    Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics

                   Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter (eds.)
Introduction: Semantics and
Pragmatics: The Central Issues
Herman Cappelen

Part I                                       Part II
  The Defence of Moderate                      On Critiques of Semantic
  Contextualism                                Minimalism

Content, Context and Composition             Meanings, Propositions, Context, and
Peter Pagin, Francis Jeffry Pelletier        Semantical Underdeterminacy
                                             Jay Atlas
A Little Sensitivity goes a Long Way.
Kenneth A. Taylor                            Semantic Minimalism and Nonindexical
Radical Minimalism, Moderate Contextu-       John MacFarlane
Kepa Korta and John Perry                    Minimal (Disagreement about) Semantics
                                             Lenny Clapp
How and Why to Be a Moderate Contex-
tualist                                      Minimal Propositions, Cognitive Safety
Ishani Maitra                                Mechanisms, and Psychological Reality
                                             Reinaldo Elugardo
Moderatly Insensitive Semantics
Sarah-Jane Leslie                            Minimalism and Modularity
                                             Philip Robbins
Sense and Insensitivity: Or where Minimal-
ism meets Contextualism                      Minimalism, Psychological Reality, Mean-
Eros Corazza and Jerome Dokic                ing and Use
                                             Henry Jackman
Prudent Semantics Meets Wanton Speech
Act Pluralism
                                             Back to Semantic Minimalism
Elisabeth Camp
                                             Minimalism versus Contextualism in
                                             Emma Borg

                        Oxford University Press: Oxford 2007

© ProtoSociology                                   Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I


ontos                                                          This book continues Rescher’s longstanding practice of
Nicholas Rescher
                                                               publishing groups of philosophical essays. Notwithstanding
                                                               their thematic diversity, these discussions exhibit a uniformi-
                                                               ty of method in addressing philosophical issues via a mix-
Nicholas Rescher
                                                               ture of historical contextualization, analytical scrutiny, and
On the Nature of Philosophy                                    common-sensical concern. Their interest, such as it is, lies
And Other Philosophical Essays                                 not just in what they do but in how they do it.
ISBN 978-3-86838-137-5                                         .
129pp., Hardcover, EUR 69,00

ontos                                                          The book seeks to characterize reflexive conceptual struc-
Nicholas Rescher                                               tures more thoroughly and more precisely than has been
                                                               done before, making explicit the structure of paradox and
                                                               the clear connections to major logical results. The goal is to
Patrick Grim, Nicholas Rescher                                 trace the structure of reflexivity in sentences, sets, and sys-
Reflexivity                                                    tems, but also as it appears in propositional attitudes, men-
From Paradox to Consciousness                                  tal states, perspectives and processes. What an under-
ISBN 978-3-86838-135-1                                         standing of patterns of reflexivity offers is a deeper and de-
189pp., Hardcover, EUR 79,00                                   mystified understanding of issues of semantics, free will,
                                                               and the nature of consciousness.

ontos                                                          Issues of subjectivity and consciousness are dealt with in
Philosophical Analysis 47
                                                               very different ways in the analytic tradition and in the idealis-
                                                               tic–phenomenological tradition central to continental philos-
                                                               ophy. This book brings together analytically inspired philos-
Sofia Miguens,
                                                               ophers working on the continent with English-speaking phi-
Gerhard Preyer (Eds.)                                          losophers to address specific issues regarding subjectivity
Consciousness                                                  and consciousness. The issues range from acquaintance
and Subjectivity                                               and immediacy in perception and apperception, to the role
ISBN 978-3-86838-136-8                                         of agency in bodily ‘mine-ness’, to self-determination
363pp., Hardcover, EUR 98,00                                   (Selbstbestimmung) through (free) action. Thus involving
                                                               philosophers of different traditions should yield a deeper
                                                               vision of consciousness and subjectivity; one relating the
                                                               mind not only to nature, or to first-person authority in linguis-
                                                               tic creatures–questions which, in the analytic tradition, are
                                                               sometimes treated as exhausting the topic–but also to many
                                                               other aspects of mind’s understanding of itself in ways which
                                                               disrupt classic inner/outer boundaries.

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Volume 28/2011: China’s Modernization I                                                                  © ProtoSociology

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Description: This study compares the basic differences between Western and Chinese organizations and the consequences of those differences for management and management science