1 Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School
In this article, I argue that it is misleading to dichotomize the West as being either/or and the East as being both/and. The West has thought dialectically since ancient Greece. I offer a typology to compare and contrast three dialectical or non-either/or logical systems or ways of thinking: Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy, Hegel's dialectic, and Niels Bohr's complementarity principle, as well as Aristotle's formal (either/or) logic. I show that the four logical systems have differences and similarities and show that Westerners can and do think dialectically. I also argue that Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy, while useful and powerful in some situations, is not always superior to the other logical systems and philosophies. My purpose is to alert Chinese management scholars to the dangers of overconfidence and to stimulate discussion and debate on the true value of Yin-Yang in particular and the promotion of Chinese indigenous management research in general. To that end, I present my opinion on the merits and drawbacks of Yin-Yang and posit that it may inspire but cannot guide Chinese indigenous management research because Chinese philosophy lacks a well-defined methodology and operationalizable methods.
Management and Organization Review, 2014, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 7-27