Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guilt vs. Shame

I just finished reading One Billion Customers and one concept I found very interesting was what the author pointed out as a difference between Judeo-Christian and Confucian ideology (although I think the author used the term “Western” and “Oriental”). Judeo-Christian ideology is centered on Original Sin and guilt. Don’t do that because God says it’s a sin! Confucian ideology, on the other hand, is centered on social stability and shame. Don’t do that because you’ll embarrass your family! Having spent the past 31 years exposed to both schools of thought, I’m guilty and ashamed I didn’t think of this distinction myself.

Oh yeah, as far the book goes, it is written as a collection of anecdotes about doing business in modern China (vs. pre-Clinton era China with one exception). Some are very interesting while others are a bit dry. The one exception is the story of Gareth Chang and McDonald Douglas’ misadventures in China back in the 80’s. By the account in this book, Chang was pretty much a failure with Boeing’s execution trumped Chang’s (OK, some may argue with me and say the difference actually in strategy). Despite this fact, Gareth Chang has long been exulted as a “China expert” and has a Forrest-Gumpian career that includes being on the Board of Directors of several high-profile public companies such as Nike, Apple, and Palm. This fact was not mentioned in the book nor was the fact that I heard Chang’s father was a General in the People’s Army back during the Cultural Revolution. But I digress….

Comments:
I was confused by your reference to Confusion as opposed to Confucian..but I got your gist...have a good weekend...will you be back in LA by sept 23?
 
Sorry for the confusion caused by the misspelled Confucian.

As strange as this may sound, I currently don't have any plans to be back in LA anytime soon. Why? What's going on on September 23rd?

Who is this, by the way? Identify yourself!
 
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