For more than 2,000 years, East Asian culture has stressed the importance of social order. Confucianism has systemized the ties of individual and society, so that they are able to be defined their proper place and position within society.
According to the Confucian model, society is based on authority and unequal relationships between people. In a Confucian model society, there is always someone who has authority over someone else. It is not necessary for the person to understand it, but he does have to follow orders. So stability is maintained within society. The top-down approach ensures that the basic structures and procedures of the organization is carried out efficiently.
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The top-down course also sets the principles for employees to be part of the larger whole of the organization according to the main interest and needs of their employees. The belief in harmony in social life requires individuals to set aside and bend to authority and follow the rules. This emphasis on an individual to know one’s place on the social hierarchy further translates into a perceived moral obligation to stay in the organization.
Establishing “esprit de corps” within the Organization According to (Lim, 2003) suggest that the organization may be seen as a source of support and resources besides income and belonging; it may be more favorable to stay in an organization. This is an acknowledgment by Fayol about the needs of the employees and for proper compensation; through the stability of tenure, and team spirit being recognized for an employee’s loyalty and devotion to the organization. Many East Asian employees practice the concepts of having a job for life. “Most university students go into a company or a ministry after graduation with the expectation they’ll be there until they retire” (Oh, 1991). This is the practice of “Having a job for life.” This is not forced by anyone, but most employees feel it’s obligatory. “In a country like the US, people have more freedom to move to a company that treats you better,” said Kenichi Kuroda (2013), a professor at Meiji University in Tokyo who specializes in labor culture.
“But in Japan, people tend to stay at one company for life, so it’s difficult for people to move on.” Many people may see this as a flaw in the classical managerial theory, that a person cannot detach himself from his organization (Thompson, P. and McHugh, D. 2002). But despite some of the negative views, if the members of the organization should be treated equally and their needs and wants are met within the organization. The “esprit de corps” will be established.
Confucianism and the Scalar Chain:The scalar chain, which is also known as the chain of command defines the chain of superiors from the ultimate authority to the lowest ranks. This principle of the chain of command is still applied to our organizations and industries today. East Asian business leaders are known for controlling companies from the top, but what is not known is how decentralized the organizations are. This allows the organizations to respond to market shifts and rapidly add new business lines. With rapidly changing markets, having a loosely structured management systems can process new information quickly and allows managers to act independently. Wren, Bedeian and Breeze (2002) gives us the example of how Henri Fayol’s management principle Simplified Nokia in the Chinese market “That due to the hierarchy, the managers can conduct the enterprise toward its objective.
The branches of Nokia in China adhere to the principle of the former, the strict command and control. Under this circumstance, the managers cannot handle the managerial work since they have to help employees to deal with lots of trivial problems. After discussion, they changed the operation strategies and set up the system of “hierarchical transmission of orders”, in which the employees in the lower class should report their work to his/her own managers.Having the freedom for managers to act independently and answering to only one supervisor which was suggested by Fayol in point 4 exemplifies and ensures that the structures and processes of the organization are carried out efficiently. For Fayol’s point 4 to work, the lowest ranked employees are to obey orders, and report to one person for administrative purposes. Conclusion:Many of the Confucius theories and Fayol’s Principles of Management have been mentioned in and is widely used and accepted in even modern times especially in business establishments, but we are to remember that some parts may be suited to one culture and can be disastrous to another culture.
In this essay I have tried to explore and evaluate the theories of Fayol’s Principles of Management with some major points from Confucianism. The study of management is a complex process and there are many different perspectives were adopted halfway across the globe.