Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Management, PhD


Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Bernie Jaworski

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jay Prag

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Katharina Pick

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Rights Information

© Copyright Virginia Cheung, 2020 All rights reserved


This study chooses Drucker and Confucianism – two dominant philosophies that are core to how organization functions in Confucian societies - as representative management theories from Western and Eastern origins. In particular, this dissertation is a comparative study identifying similarities and divergence in theory and practice. With data from interviews, observations, archival documents, and surveys, we examined the common and distinctive elements between Drucker and Confucianism. The literature review demonstrates remarkable consistency between the two philosophies. Moreover, the empirical portion of the dissertation demonstrated how these Drucker and Confucian principles are understood and practiced by business professionals in a Confucian society, and how these principles interplay with each other in real business realm. These findings suggest organizations can benefit from practicing Drucker and Confucian principles as systems that reinforce each other. In addition, the practice of Drucker can bridge Confucianism values to business practice. The findings provide a glimpse of how Drucker’s principles and Confucianism are practiced in organizations from the perspective of working professionals. The implication is that organizations in Confucian societies should be aware the impact from Confucian mindset when they practice Drucker principles. The method we used—to develop and validate scales with specific behavior anchor creates a foundation for further theory building. The scales also provide organizations with an easy diagnostic assessment to assess themselves on Drucker and Confucian principles. At a broader level, this kind of comparative study could be promoted to a wider demographic area to provide organizations with various cultural background another perspective to think about organizational culture. For forward-looking organizations, the knowledge gained from this study presents some preliminary thinking about the road ahead and how this may lead to changes in daily management and operational practice.