Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 19, Januari 2009

Tianbo Li, Gillian Owen Moreira

The Influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on Chinese Business: the Case of Aveiro, Portugal


This paper addresses the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on Chinese business against the background of China´s economic integration into the world. Considering the relationship between Confucianism, Buddhism and business from an intercultural perspective in the context of economic and cultural globalization, we present some modern Chinese business people, including some overseas Chinese, who behave in accordance with Confucianism, pray to Bodhisattva for safety and wealth, and donate to the temple. Reasons for these phenomena are analyzed and the role of harmony emphasized by Confucianism and Buddhism is taken into account. On the one hand, we find that silence, connections (guanxi, ??), tolerance and harmony are emphasized in the Chinese business community; on the other hand, the relationship between religions, overseas Chinese merchants and their business culture is explored. Concrete data is taken from our survey in 59 international companies in China, carried out in 2007. The influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on business is analyzed through my practical experience in the Chinese community in Portugal.

Key words: Confucianism; Buddhism; intercultural communication; harmony; Chinese immigrants; connections (guanxi, ??); tolerance; cooperative principles; politeness

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