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Management Report

Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Zhuangzi's Wisdom in Communication

Zhuangzi's Wisdom in Communication

KIM Chi-Poong

Mar. 29, 2010

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In the 21st century, the business environment has been changing rapidly, and the personnel makeup of organizations has become more diversified. Under these circumstances, the importance of communication has been increasingly highlighted. To resolve communication problems, emphasizing mutual understanding rather than simple communication is important. To this end, the study of Eastern philosophy, which provides insight on human relationships, is essential. Among the many thinkers in history, an influential 4th-century BC Chinese philosopher named Zhuangzi, or Master Chuang, provides singular wisdom on communication.

Along with Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism, Master Chuang is known for his philosophy that emphasizes Shangri-La and unity with Mother Nature. Thus, he is often quoted when people mention societal issues (e.g., ecosystems and environmental problems) or comment on recluses who renounce worldly pursuits and decide to live a monastic life.

However, Master Chuang is also known for stressing the importance of communication more so than any other philosopher. Under the principles of his philosophy, humans are basically open to others and become whole by communicating with each other. Also, to communicate is to both accept others as a companion in life and listen to others carefully.

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