Yin-yang dialectics and communitarianism in cross-cultural management research

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8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to comment on “Global implication of the indigenous epistemological system from the East: How to Apply yin-yang balancing to paradox management” by Li (2016). As a pioneer in developing indigenous Chinese management theories, Li has been focused on extracting essential principles of the Chinese yin-yang philosophy and applying them to organization and management phenomena within and outside China (Li, 1998, 2012, 2014a, b). In this paper (Li, 2016), Li sharpens his thinking on the unique attributes of the Chinese yin-yang balancing perspective so as to both distinguish it from and connect it to Western Aristotelian and Hegelian philosophies in regard to contradictions and paradoxes that are increasingly more prevalent in contemporary organizations. The author found Li’s paper thought provoking and highly relevant to cross-cultural management research. The author reflects on the yin and yang of the yin-yang perspective itself and discusses how it can be extended for theorizing about cross-cultural or inter-cultural management research. Design/methodology/approach: Applying yin-yang dialectics on the East-West cultural differences, this commentary contends that the strengths and weaknesses of the cultural mindsets of the East and the West are relative and potentially complementary to each other, and seeks to balance and integrate Eastern and Western perspectives for theorizing and tackling cultural differences and conflicts in a globalized world. Findings: On the basis of yin-yang dialectics on cultural differences, a communitarianism model is proposed for cross-cultural researchers to balance and integrate individualism and collectivism, a well-established East-West cultural difference. Originality/value: The theoretical model of communitarianism builds upon but transcends either Eastern or Western cultural differences toward a viable global value system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalCross Cultural and Strategic Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 30 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


  • Collectivism
  • Communitarianism
  • Cultural mindset
  • Individualism
  • Yin-Yang dialectics
  • Yin-yang balancing


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