Exploiting old lessons and exploring new ideas

A Confucian approach to exploitation and exploration

Mooweon Rhee, Tohyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper extends James March’s pioneering work on exploitation and exploration with respect to Confucian thought. Contrary to the conventional, rational approach that assume a paradoxical relationship between exploitation and exploration, we suggest the possibility of a mutually beneficial relationship by highlighting some features of Confucian thought based on the ontological, epistemological, and axiological foundations of the Confucian program of learning: the li-qi philosophy, the alternation of yin and yang, the penetration into the ultimate principle through seriousness and sincerity, and the morality of learning. We argue that the rational approach may lead to pursuing a superficial balance between exploitation and exploration, whereas a Confucian approach promotes substantive learning in the pursuit of fulfilling one’s mission with seriousness and sincerity, during which exploitation and exploration spontaneously reach a dynamic balance by alternating with each other. We provide implications for innovation by illustrating two cases—Apple and AmorePacific—and discuss some intriguing points derived from our Confucian approach in order to stimulate new ideas for future research on organizational learning and innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-795
Number of pages23
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 15

Fingerprint

Exploration and exploitation
Pioneering
Innovation
Morality
Penetration
Organizational learning
Organizational innovation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

@article{f9a1abed5a134a1aa48bb3b98d1bf86f,
title = "Exploiting old lessons and exploring new ideas: A Confucian approach to exploitation and exploration",
abstract = "This paper extends James March’s pioneering work on exploitation and exploration with respect to Confucian thought. Contrary to the conventional, rational approach that assume a paradoxical relationship between exploitation and exploration, we suggest the possibility of a mutually beneficial relationship by highlighting some features of Confucian thought based on the ontological, epistemological, and axiological foundations of the Confucian program of learning: the li-qi philosophy, the alternation of yin and yang, the penetration into the ultimate principle through seriousness and sincerity, and the morality of learning. We argue that the rational approach may lead to pursuing a superficial balance between exploitation and exploration, whereas a Confucian approach promotes substantive learning in the pursuit of fulfilling one’s mission with seriousness and sincerity, during which exploitation and exploration spontaneously reach a dynamic balance by alternating with each other. We provide implications for innovation by illustrating two cases—Apple and AmorePacific—and discuss some intriguing points derived from our Confucian approach in order to stimulate new ideas for future research on organizational learning and innovation.",
author = "Mooweon Rhee and Tohyun Kim",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1007/s10490-018-9626-4",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "773--795",
journal = "Asia Pacific Journal of Management",
issn = "0217-4561",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "3",

}

Exploiting old lessons and exploring new ideas : A Confucian approach to exploitation and exploration. / Rhee, Mooweon; Kim, Tohyun.

In: Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 36, No. 3, 15.09.2019, p. 773-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploiting old lessons and exploring new ideas

T2 - A Confucian approach to exploitation and exploration

AU - Rhee, Mooweon

AU - Kim, Tohyun

PY - 2019/9/15

Y1 - 2019/9/15

N2 - This paper extends James March’s pioneering work on exploitation and exploration with respect to Confucian thought. Contrary to the conventional, rational approach that assume a paradoxical relationship between exploitation and exploration, we suggest the possibility of a mutually beneficial relationship by highlighting some features of Confucian thought based on the ontological, epistemological, and axiological foundations of the Confucian program of learning: the li-qi philosophy, the alternation of yin and yang, the penetration into the ultimate principle through seriousness and sincerity, and the morality of learning. We argue that the rational approach may lead to pursuing a superficial balance between exploitation and exploration, whereas a Confucian approach promotes substantive learning in the pursuit of fulfilling one’s mission with seriousness and sincerity, during which exploitation and exploration spontaneously reach a dynamic balance by alternating with each other. We provide implications for innovation by illustrating two cases—Apple and AmorePacific—and discuss some intriguing points derived from our Confucian approach in order to stimulate new ideas for future research on organizational learning and innovation.

AB - This paper extends James March’s pioneering work on exploitation and exploration with respect to Confucian thought. Contrary to the conventional, rational approach that assume a paradoxical relationship between exploitation and exploration, we suggest the possibility of a mutually beneficial relationship by highlighting some features of Confucian thought based on the ontological, epistemological, and axiological foundations of the Confucian program of learning: the li-qi philosophy, the alternation of yin and yang, the penetration into the ultimate principle through seriousness and sincerity, and the morality of learning. We argue that the rational approach may lead to pursuing a superficial balance between exploitation and exploration, whereas a Confucian approach promotes substantive learning in the pursuit of fulfilling one’s mission with seriousness and sincerity, during which exploitation and exploration spontaneously reach a dynamic balance by alternating with each other. We provide implications for innovation by illustrating two cases—Apple and AmorePacific—and discuss some intriguing points derived from our Confucian approach in order to stimulate new ideas for future research on organizational learning and innovation.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067226603&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067226603&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10490-018-9626-4

DO - 10.1007/s10490-018-9626-4

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 773

EP - 795

JO - Asia Pacific Journal of Management

JF - Asia Pacific Journal of Management

SN - 0217-4561

IS - 3

ER -