Introduction: The diversity and dynamism of Chinese philosophies on leadership

Chao Chuan Chen, Yueh Ting Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

14 Scopus citations


Over 8000 years ago, the fundamental religious belief in China was a form of shamanism (Lee and Wang, 2007; Xu,1991; Yuan, 1988). Shamanism is the spiritual belief or practice of a shaman who can connect the inner world with the outer world, the body with the soul, and the living with the dead. As time went on, Confucianism and Daoism developed out of shamanism as two of the fundamental Chinese belief systems and these have affected Chinese behavior and thinking almost on a daily basis for thousands of years (see Hsu, 1981). When the formerly subordinate states of the Zhou dynasty (841–256 BCE) began to break away to create competing states, chaotic political and social changes ravaged China. Accompanying these social and political changes were many schools of thoughts, including Confucianism (Chapters 1 and 2), Daoism (Chapter 3), Legalism (Chapter 4), and the school of military arts philosophy (Chapter 5), known in history as the “100 Schools of Thought” (see Table I.1). Each school (jia) was headed by its own master or masters (zi), and had academics and disciples to study, teach, and propagate their respective philosophical and ideological perspectives and views. These masters contested to offer advice, primarily to rulers, on expanding powers and restoring peace and order to society. It was common for rulers or leaders to receive scholars or advisors from different schools and hear their debates on ways of governing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLeadership and Management in China
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophies, Theories, and Practices
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511753763
ISBN (Print)9780521879613
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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