Pivotal Research by Professor Shi Weilei (Stone) Calls for Inclusion of Non-Western Contexts in Management Studies

February 23, 2024 | Faculty

In an influential study recently published in the Journal of Management Studies (JMS), researchers including Weilei (Stone) Shi, a Professor of Managerial Practice at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and an international team of researchers have published a critical paper calling for the inclusion of non-Western contexts in management and organization studies.

The research highlights a critical gap in the field, where non-Western data and theories often remain marginalized. This exclusion persists despite a global economic shift, with nations such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa playing an increasingly pivotal role. These regions offer distinctive insights into grand societal challenges, such as inequality and climate change, and are fertile grounds for exploring innovative management practices and theories.

“Studies that explore how unique philosophies such as Buddhism or Taoism shape management practices in the East could provide useful implications for management practices globally, such as mindfulness-based interventions to manage occupational wellbeing, and management practices that focus on nurturing people rather than generating profit,” they explain.

Such studies underscore the value of integrating diverse geographical contexts into management theory, moving beyond the Western-centric perspectives that risk producing contextually detached and inaccurate predictions. The paper critiques that prevailing discourse often reduces non-Western contexts to mere footnotes, challenging or complementing Western theories instead of recognizing them as rich sources of original theorizing.

Alarmingly, a comprehensive analysis of JMS publications from 2012 to June 2023 reveals a stark underrepresentation of non-Western studies, especially those outside Eastern Asia. This gap underscores the critical need for a wider, inclusive research agenda that acknowledges and examines the diverse realities of global management practices.

The complete paper is available here.

Professor Stone Shi is Professor of Managerial Practice at CKGSB and an Associate Editor at JMS. He is also recognized for his contributions as a researcher at the Shanghai Institute for Global City—Shanghai Municipal Government Decision Committee.

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