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Workplace Civility: A Confucian Approach

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1999, 00:00 authored by Tae Wan KimTae Wan Kim, Alan Strudler

We argue that Confucianism makes a fundamental contribution to understanding why civility is necessary for a morally decent workplace. We begin by reviewing some limits that traditional moral theories face in analyzing issues of civility. We then seek to establish a Confucian alternative. We develop the Confucian idea that even in business, humans may be sacred when they observe rituals culturally determined to express particular ceremonial significance. We conclude that managers and workers should understand that there is a broad range of morally important rituals in organizational life and that managers should preserve and develop the intelligibility and integrity of many of these rituals.