Social Harmony in Decision Making: Costs and Benefits in Chinese Society


Social harmony in Chinese society was examined in relation to decision making. From a historical perspective, it was noted that social harmony evolved as a consequence of the prescriptions Confucius developed in response to thousands of years of war in Chinese history. Social harmony was found to have not only benefits, but also some costs in regard to decision making, especially group decision making, in the hierarchically structured Chinese society. The costs were examined in relation to the problems of groupthink that affect group decisions when there is a strong power hierarchy in society. Groupthink was analyzed for factors that cause it, and those factors were found to be characteristic of Chinese society. Confucian principles of virtuous behavior, namely, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and wisdom, were examined to assess whether they could prevent
groupthink, and were found to provide the means by which Chinese leaders could avoid problems in group decision making. It was thus proposed that leaders could benefit by developing such virtues in their personal lives, which would facilitate harmony in decision making.

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Taormina, R. (2014) Social Harmony in Decision Making: Costs and Benefits in Chinese Society. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 128-134. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.25026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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