[KS] Confucianism and economic development

Young Kyun Oh youngoh at asu.edu
Fri Feb 7 15:56:44 EST 2003

I am not sure how much relevance it would have, but here is something that
your advisee might find interesting.

Hoyt Tillman, Business as a Vocation: The Autobiography of Mr. Wu Ho-su.
Havard University Press, 2002.  This is Prof. Tillman's translation (with an
introduction and epilogue) of Huang Chin-shing's Ban shiji de fendou: Wu
Huoshi xiansheng koushu zhuanji (Taibei: Yunchen wenhua gongsi, 1990).  Mr.
Wu Ho-su is a Taiwanese businessman.  Here is a short introduction from the
web site of Harvard University Press:

Wu Ho-Su (1919-1986) pioneered business ventures ranging from cloth and
synthetic fiber industries to department stores and life insurance. This son
of a crippled former coolie began as a laborer for a Japanese
cloth-importing company in the 1930s, but eventually became a manager and
then an independent entrepreneur. Overcoming business obstacles in Chiang
Kai-shek's Nationalist-ruled Taiwan after 1945, Mr. Wu painstakingly built
Shinkong into Taiwan's sixth-largest business enterprise by the 1980s. This
account of Wu Ho-Su's life, developed by Mr. Wu working directly with Dr.
Huang Chin-shing of the Academia Sinica, one of Taiwan's most distinguished
historians, is instructive for the lessons it offers about both business
practices in East Asia and their interplay with Confucian values. The book
recounts with graphic examples the changing role of family and other
networks in Taiwan's economic "miracle" and in the region more generally.
The blend that Mr. Wu evidenced of business acumen and concern for
Confucianism, in turn, raises broader questions of the type that scholars
and businesspeople have strenuously debated since the time of Max Weber
about the compatibility of Confucian norms and modern business practices.



Young Kyun Oh
Instructor of Korean
Arizona State University
Dept. of Languages and Literatures
----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Pitelka" <mpitelka at oxy.edu>
To: <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 2:17 PM
Subject: [KS] Confucianism and economic development

> Dear Colleagues,
> One of my advisees is conducting research on the connection between
> Confucianism and economic development in postwar South Korea. He is
> interested in both practice and discourse. In other words, he is not
> assuming that the connection always exists and is important, but rather
> expects that in many examples the rhetoric of Confucianism became a
> corporate and state tool in the attempt to construct certain kinds of
> identities and encourage certain kinds of behavior.
> The problem he is encountering is a plethora of vague references to the
> Confucian-development connection (particularly in discussions of the
> chaebol) combined with a lack of specific evidence.
> Can anyone suggest materials that might be useful in the study of this
> issue? Interviews, case studies, diaries, corporate PR, etc.? I've pasted
> the basic reading list he is working with at this point to the bottom of
> this message. (I am a specialist in East Asian premodern ceramics and
> cultural history, and thus out of my depth when it comes to modern
> history.)
> Thanks,
> Morgan
> *****************
> Morgan Pitelka
> Asian Studies Department
> 408 Johnson Hall
> Occidental College
> 1600 Campus Road
> Los Angeles, CA 90041
> 1-323-259-1421
> mailto:mpitelka at oxy.edu
> *****************
> Amsden, Alice. Asia's Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization.
> Oxford, 1989.
> Borthwick, Mark. The Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific
> Westview, 1992.
> Brook, Timothy and H.V. Luong. Culture and Economy: The Shaping of
> Capitalism in Eastern Asia. Michigan, 1997.
> Chung Kae H. and H.C. Lee. Korean Managerial Dynamics. Praeger, 1989.
> Cummings, Bruce. Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History. Norton, 1997.
> Das, Dilip K. Korean Economic Dynamism. St. Martin's Press, 1992.
> Kim, Eun M. Big Business, Strong State: Collusion and Conflict in South
> Korean Development, 1960-1990. State University of New York, 1997
> Steers, Richard M. Made in Korea: Chung Ju Yung and the Rise of Hyundai.
> Routledge, 1999.
> Tai, Hung-chao. Confucianism and Economic Development: An Oriental
> Alternative? Washington Institute Press, 1989.
> Ungson, Gerardo R., R.M. Steers, and S.H. Park. Korean Enterprise: The
> for Globalization. Harvard Business School, 1997.

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