I welcome any well-informed debate over the unique value of Yin-Yang as a cognitive frame in the development of Chinese indigenous management research. The commentary by Xin Li to engage in a debate is timely. Xin Li and I share the same premise that ‘we need indigenous Chinese management research to offer new insights and contribute to the development of truly universal theories’ (Li, X., 2014: 8). That is the common ground upon which we can debate over how best to engage in indigenous research with confidence in balance so as to avoid both overconfidence and under-confidence.
Where we depart from the above common ground is our different perspectives about the value of the Yin-Yang frame. Xin Li challenges my positive perspective on the unique value of the Yin-Yang frame on several dimensions. First, he characterizes my perspective as ‘both/and’ in sharp contrast to Aristotle’s ‘either/or’ logic. Second, he characterizes my perspective as arguing that ‘Yin-Yang thinking is superior to other logical systems and philosophies’ (Li, X., 2014: 8). Third, he implies that my perspective on the Yin-Yang frame is essentially a claim that ‘Westerners cannot think in a non-either/or way’ (Li, X., 2014: 8). Fourth, the above challenges are based upon his basic claim that the Yin-Yang frame is just one form of dialectical framing (Li, X., 2014). Based on these claims, Xin Li warns against the ‘danger of overconfidence’ among Chinese management scholars (Li, X., 2014: 8).