Using the Jesuits’ Accommodation Approach in China (1583-1742) to Guide Change in Chinese Organizational Settings Today

By Juergen Wolff.

Published by Change Management: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the late 1970s, China’s party leaders realized that China was not able to develop in isolation. Their aim of "learning from advanced countries" also implied bringing change to China on all business-related levels. However, both Chinese and Western practitioners and scholars agree on the inappropriateness of any change approach alien to Chinese specification. To bridge this void, this research directs its interest towards a substantive theorizing upon the Jesuits’ Accommodation approach in China (1583-1742). To do so, a hermeneutic-phenomenology, rooted within the Utrecht school and following by Max van Manen, establishes a renewed contact with the Jesuits’ Accommodation experience outside its traditional research environment. Being grounded in an exhaustive description of the Accommodation phenomenon along its meaning-units, a reflective analysis into the structural aspects of the Jesuits’ lived Accommodation experience allows nine essential themes to be abstracted. In becoming the building blocks of a substantive "Theory of the Unique," these themes summarize all requirements that are reflected in, and/or concern Context, Course, Content of any sinicized change approach. As a result, research into the Jesuits’ Accommodation approach provides Chinese and Western management practitioners and scholars with one new, substantive approach to effectively manage change in Chinese organizational settings today.

Keywords: Sinicized Change Concept, International Change Management, Managing Organizational Change

Change Management: An International Journal, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.9-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 465.281KB).

Juergen Wolff

Head of Regional Marketing, Sales & Marketing, Deutsche Bank AG, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

Juergen Wolff is a doctoral candidate (DBA) at the University of Gloucestershire – Faculty of Business Education and Professional Studies. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration (University of Frankfurt) and a MBA (Ashridge Business School). His doctoral research study centres on ‘Using the Jesuits’ Accommodation Experience in China to Guide Change in Chinese Organizational Settings Today’. His interest of research is direct to cross-cultural management/change management in a non-Western, mainly Asian, environment, and the possibility to apply historical, non-managerial lived experiences/approaches to current managerial problems of concern. He is guest lecturer at the University of Halle – Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences. Juergen Wolff has worked for Deutsche Bank in marketing in Europe, America, and Asia. In China, he accounted for the development and introduction of a modern, sinicized sales and marketing structure and approach in/for HuaXia Bank. Currently, he is heading Deutsche Bank’s regional marketing department in Leipzig.