People Innovation Excellence

What You Need to Know About : Chinese Harmony Theory

Harmony is the cardinal value of Chinese culture. Chinese believe that the universe is in a process of constant change and transformation caused by the dialectical and dialogical interaction between yin and yang, the two opposite but complementary forces; harmony is the key to bringing continuity into this cycle of transformation. Thus, Chinese consider harmony as the end of human communication, in which interactants try to adapt to each other in order to reach a state of interdependence and cooperation.

Based on this Chinese belief, Guo-Ming Chen developed a harmony theory of Chinese communication in 2001, from which a total of four propositions, 23 axioms, and 23 theorems were generated. The theory has been applied to different aspects of Chinese communication behaviors, especially the process of Chinese conflict management.

The theory indicates that the ability to reach a harmonious state of human relationship is the main criterion Chinese use to evaluate communication competence. In other words, from a Chinese perspective, an increase in one’s ability to achieve harmony will increase the degree of communication competence. Three principles should be followed to achieve harmony: (1) intrinsically internalize jen
(humanism), yi (righteousness), and li (rite); (2) extrinsically accommodate shi (temporal contingencies), wei (spatial contingencies), and ji (the first imperceptible beginning of movement); and (3) strategically exercise guanxi (interrelation), mientz (face), and power in the behavioral level.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan

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