- 发布时间：2013-01-24 17:28
- 发布时间：2013-01-24 17:28
Zhang Guoyou, Ph. D. Economics of Peking University, former Vice President of Peking University, is a Professor in the Department of Strategic Management, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Vice Chairman of University Council of Peking University, and Director of the International Business Management Institute of Peking University. He has been engaged in the studies ofissues of strategies and mechanism of growing enterprises, and has published many books and articles which have won him numerous honors and awards. He has also held concurrent posts such as Vice Chairman of Association for Yan Huang Culture of China, the Vice Chairman of China Enterprise Confederation, Vice Chairman of the Institute of China Enterprise Management,Vice Chairman of the Pacific Studies of China, and Vice Chairman of the Beijing Federation of Social Sciences, etc.
On China's Management Philosophy of "Harmony with Difference" and"Discontent with Uniformity"
"Harmony with Difference" and "Discontent with Uniformity" are two phrases from the chapter of Zi Lu in the book of "Quotations of Confucius". Although the meanings of these two phrases are quite clear on surface, but there are a variety ofinterpretations and applications about both. In the field of management study, we will take out the essence of these two phrases and use it to analyze two traditional views of enterprise management philosophy.
One tradition is to emphasize uniformity within the organization. The thoughts of all individuals within an enterprise must confirm to that of the key decision-maker. Although the peers and subordinates are allowed to express their views, but those views must be consistent with that of the decision maker, otherwise, they will face pressure or be put on the sidelines. Of course, there are two different ways of exercise: the first one is that when the decision has already been made and the objective is clear, it will not be tolerated for each individual to act on his own will in order to achieve management efficiency. In this way, it is necessary to ask each individual to comply with the common goal of the enterprise. Despite there are altemative courses of action to achieve the firm's objectives, all the actions must
follow the indicated lines. The second one is to the course of action will be chosen follows the will of the key decision maker without careful deliberation of all possibilities. Any individuals with different opinion will be criticized or even penalized for "lack of overall view". In both of these cases, it looks like uniformity is achieved on surface only, but the conflicts remain, the apparent harmony disguises disaccord in the hearts of different individuals. Adoption of the mechanism of selecting only those with the same viewpoints and the culture of uniformity without harmony will undermine an enterprise and endanger it with unobservable problems in the future.
Alternative tradition is to emphasize "contention". A key decision maker in an enterprise encourages his peers and subordinates to express their own opinions freely. The consensus is achieved after much debate and arguing. The consensus is not "uniformity", instead it is built up on the combination of collective wisdoms so to discover those blind points, those participated in the debate can also leam what they may not know before. The consensus built up on sensibility instead of uniformity can cover goals of the enterprise, development concepts and path to move forward.
In this way, it does not look like uniformity, but achieve the consensus and progress of different degrees for all the parties involved. It reduces the potential risks in the development process because it incorporates different views from different perspectives and alleviates different concerns. The management in such way can achieve legitimacy, rationality and harmony. If an enterprise can develop the mechanism of "seeking general consensus while letting differences remain" it can eventually build up the culture of "harmony with difference". So we promote the culture and tradition of "harmony with difference". If an enterprise can follow the philosophy of "harmony with difference", delineate clearly the rules based on that principle, educate managers and employees based on those rules, and eventually develop such a culture, that enterprise will have an enduring dynamics and long-lasting establishment.