What Max Weber Always Wanted to Know about China – Two Doctorates on China Successfully Defended at the Max-Weber-Kolleg

With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath as Fellow for Economics at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, a research focus on China was established at the same time, because he is not only an economist, but also a sinologist with intensive contacts to China. Under his supervision, two doctoral theses dealing with specific aspects of the Chinese economy were defended at the Max-Weber-Kolleg this week.

Ms Qian Zhao successfully defended her dissertation on „The Evolution of Modern Business Ethics in Reform China“ on 13 September 2021. In it, she deals – like Max Weber more than 100 years before her – with the religious and cultural roots of business ethics in China and examines the so-called „moral background“ (Gabriel Abend) of today’s business ethicists at business schools and in business associations. For this purpose, she not only examined extensive source material, but also conducted a large number of interviews, which have been incorporated into the material-rich writing. This work provides a broad overview of the foundations of business ethics ideas in contemporary China.

On 17 September 2021, Ms. Sisi Sung successfully defended her PhD thesis on „Managerial Careers of Women in China. An Economics of Identity Approach“. In this thesis, she examines the problem that although women in China have relatively equal rights in terms of both participation in working life and salary levels, this equality does not exist in the area of corporate management. Rather, women come up against so-called „glass ceilings“ here. For her study, Ms. Sung not only uses economic theories, but supplements them with insights from sociology and social psychology in order to draw a more holistic picture of this problem. Furthermore, by using both English and Chinese research literature, she is able to show how cultural gender stereotypes are effective all the way into research literature from economics, business studies or sociology.

„I am delighted that these two projects could be completed so successfully. The two doctoral researchers have benefited enormously from the research environment at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and have made great progress. But my colleagues at the Max-Weber-Kolleg have also learned a lot about China beyond the usual clichés,“ says Prof. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, who supervised both projects.

Sisi Sung is going to present a working paper on ‚Theorizing women in management in Chinese organizational context‘

This paper provides a review of previous studies regarding gender and organization, women in management in both Western and Chinese contexts. The paper aims to develop an analytical framework for understanding the empirical data collected from interviews with managers in Chinese private and state-owned enterprises.

Carsten Hermann-Pillath, Guo Man and Feng Xingyuan publish a new book: ‚Ritual and Economy in Metropolitan China A Global Social Science Approach‘

Tradition und moderne Wirtschaft: Verflechtungen in chinesischen Megacities – Neue Buchpublikation von Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Guo Man und Feng Xingyuan

Das neue Buch von Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (Fellow am Max-Weber-Kolleg der Universität Erfurt, Guo Man und Feng Xingyuan „Ritual and Economy in Metropolitan China. A Global Social Science Approach“ konzentriert sich auf Shenzhen, eine der am stärksten globalisierten Metropolen Chinas, ein führendes Zentrum der Hightech-Industrie und, als Schmelztiegel von Migranten aus ganz China, ein Ort lebendiger kultureller Kreativität. Während in den frühen Entwicklungsstadien von Shenzhen diese lebendige kulturelle Kreativität mit der Widerstandsfähigkeit der traditionellen sozialen Strukturen in den „städtischen Dörfern“ der Migranten in Shenzhen in Verbindung gebracht wurde, untermauern diese Strukturen heute dynamisches Unternehmertum und städtische Selbstorganisation in ganz Shenzhen und sind allmählich mit den formalen Strukturen der städtischen Verwaltung und Politik verschmolzen. Das Buch untersucht diese Entwicklungen und zeigt, wie wichtig traditionelle soziale Strukturen und die traditionelle chinesische Kultur für die wirtschaftliche Modernisierung Chinas waren. Im weiteren Verlauf des Buches werden die Auswirkungen dieser Entwicklungen auf die Zukunft der chinesischen Kultur und das wirtschaftliche Engagement Chinas in einer globalisierten Welt aufgezeigt.

„Dies ist eine anregende Studie über die kulturellen Grundlagen der Urbanisierung und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung in der Volksrepublik China am Fallbeispiel der südlichen Metropole Shenzhen. Die ungewöhnliche Kombination wirtschaftlicher, soziologischer und anthropologischer Ansätze der Autoren bietet neue Perspektiven für Spezialisten in all diesen Bereichen und für Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Chinastudien im Allgemeinen“, so Philip Clart, Professor für Kultur und Geschichte Chinas an der Universität Leipzig.

For more information: https://www.routledge.com/Ritual-and-Economy-in-Metropolitan-China-A-Global-Social-Science-Approach/Herrmann-Pillath-Man-Feng/p/book/9781138391970

Sisi Sung gives a working paper on ‚Breaking the glass ceiling? A cultural and socio-economic study of female managers in China’s modern labor market – A summary of recent fieldwork in China‘

The paper is a preliminary summary of the fieldwork conducted during summer of 2019 in four cities of China: Beijing, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Shanghai. Each of the cities has its historical, economic and social characters distinct from each other. The paper will go into detail of the fieldwork procedure and provide some observations from the interview results.