Confucian capitalism and the paradox of closure and structural holes in East Asian firms

Sun Ki Chai, Mooweon Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


A long-standing debate has taken place in the organizational sociology and social network literatures about the relative advantages of network closure versus structural holes in the generation of social capital. There is recent evidence that these advantages differ across cultures and between East Asia and the West in particular, but existing network models are unable to explain why or address cultural variation in general. This paper seeks to provide a solution by integrating a culture-embedded rational model of action into the social network model of structure, using this not only to re-examine the closure versus structural hole debate, but also to tie it to the literature on Confucian capitalism and the 'East Asian Model' of the firm. We argue that this integrated approach allows us to systematically analyse the relationship between culture and behaviour in networks and, more specifically, to explain why closure has been a more powerful source of productivity in East Asia than the West.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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