How reading novels can help management scholars cultivate ambiculturalism


Ethics and Business Law

Date of this version


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Literature, management, novels, ambiculturalism


Ming-Jer Chen’s (2014) personal and persuasive call for “ambiculturalism” in the 2013 Academy of Management presidential address challenges us, his audience of management scholars, to bridge dichotomies. These dichotomies include those between East and West, research and practice, and other familiar pairs that, in helping us to make sense of the world, can also prevent us from “integrat[ing] and optimiz[ing] the best of two (or more) ‘cultures’ while eliminating the worst” (2014: 120). As Chen suggests, ambiculturalism is timelessly valuable—embodied, for example, in the Chinese classics that he studied as a young man. It is also instrumentally timely—necessary for individuals and organizations in a culturally and digitally interconnected world. Chen offers his own compelling story, from a small town in Taiwan to graduate studies in the United States to the leadership of this global academy, as a “case study” in ambicultural development. Without such providential journeys of their own, though, how can other management scholars cultivate ambiculturalism?

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Academy of Management Review

Citation/Other Information

40(1), 147-149

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.