Confucius was generally referred to as China’s first teacher, who made the standards and values to the Confucianism. During 500 B.C. this great philosopher created the cultural foundation of China. He was also a teacher and attracted lots of student followers. His way of teaching was orally but after he died his students began to write his studies and messages which then became the Analects, or the Saying of Confucius (Ames and Rosemont 1998).
Confucius and his value system gave guidelines to great people throughout China including Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu. With the fall off China in 1900’s due to communist revolution, Confucian teachings were stopped. Even though Confucius teaching and Confucianism was discredited by Mao, the long lasted cultural values by Confucius left influence on the Chinese people.
Confucianism has started to make its way back recently and has been included in the Chinese educational system. Confucian values states that person first honor duty family and society than oneself. A group is seen with more importance and group needs rather than individual himself. These types of values encapsulated collectivism and teamwork. Chinese culture tries to keep a collective society. Chinese managerial approach is defined with collectivism, centralized control of power, hardworking employees and strong networks. This managerial approach can be seen in China and even with Chinese people residing outside of China. All these approach are driven and influenced from the Five Relationships of Confucianism, the Five virtues and the Confucian Work Ethic.
Confucius teachings were very serious regarding relationship and social being. The five relationships of Confucianism are Loyalty between King and Subject, Relation between father and son, Duty between husband and wife, Relation with brother or elders, Trust between friends. Confucius followed a strict hierarchy between the leader and his subjects where leader would make all the decisions and subjects would follow orders without question. In modern era this correlates to Chinese organizations where the organization or company leader makes decision. The father son relation is where the father would provide guidance and way forward to his son. Confucius followed a very strong role in husband and wife role.
They were like a lot of other religions in society where woman was not allowed to work and should be confined to home. Women was also not allowed to make decisions or participate in Chinese bureaucracy. Chinese culture still to an extent is male dominant. Next role is the mutual trust between friends where key to success was cooperating within people. In modern culture it also plays the same role where all workers are treated equally and no special arrangements are to be done for outstanding individual as it would disturb the harmony in a group. Final role was obedience to elders which goes very deep. It’s not just that young should obey the elders, it goes further in organizations where a young manager who has more knowledge should not supersede his elder senior manager and will not be allowed to take his position.
Confucianism and its philosophical studies have led to a foundation that has created a unique work ethic in China and East Asia. This work ethic believes in hard work value, dedication to organization, group harmony and wisdom. In all Confucian culture sacrifices were made by individuals for the advancement of the country. Unlike Taoism where goal of individual is to be one with Tao, Confucianism believes in social harmony and have a structured society.
Until Han Dynasty came, Confucianism was maintained by passing of wisdom from one generation to the next. After that an elaborate system was made to have a school to study Confucianism. These studies were then tested to get allow the individual to work for government if successful. Even after the fall off imperialism, China still has the foundation of Confucianism in its generations and shows by the importance of family and business connections.