A Chinese view on rebuilding the integrity of management research: The evolving He-Xie management theory

Youmin xi, Xuanwei Cao, Liuxu Xiangli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the indigenous HeXie management theory (HXMT) through the lens of a holistic perspective from Chinese philosophical wisdom. Design/methodology/approach – The paper revisited the challenges faced by orthodox management theories, proposing management scholars should borrow Eastern philosophical intelligence for problem solving when considering the tradition of Chinese culture on human orientation and its intelligence on tolerating and coping with ambiguity, uncertainty, and complexity. By tracing back the core concept of harmony in Confucianism, the paper identified the mechanisms for achieving harmony by differentiating further the general understanding of harmony and its original meaning in Chinese characters. The theoretical framework of HXMT was introduced then by integrating both evolutionism and constructivism perspectives. Findings – The theoretical explaining power of HXMT is rooted in the timehonored philosophies of Asia. HXMT got its gene from traditional thinking by applying dialectic and holistic perspectives. Within complex and unpredictable contexts, the existence of HeXie theme can replace the searching and planning to strategy. Guided by HeXie theme, the He principle and the Xie principle, as well as the coupling between them, compose the fundamental mechanisms for effective management and better performance in organizations. Originality/value – The paper opens an avenue for indigenous HXMT. As a methodology for guiding management research and practice in coping with complexity and uncertainty, HXMT is expected to attract more attention from scholars to contribute to knowledge creation in Chinese management studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-211
Number of pages15
JournalChinese Management Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2010


  • China
  • Management history
  • Management theory
  • Oriental philosophy

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