A Preliminary Study of Zang Feng Behavior in Chinese Organizations


In Chinese culture, humility is a moral aspiration for the ideal personality. Showing humility helps to build good relationships and make a good impression on others. By hiding one's strengths and accomplishments in an organization, one not only avoids the attention of others but also gains appreciation and respect. The behavior of Zang Feng (藏鋒) is a fairly obscure principle in Chinese organizations. Although previous research has described humility, it has been expressed in relatively indirect ways, such as attribution bias and self-presentation. Furthermore, most of the previous studies focus on student participants, and the discussion theme is mainly focusing on academic achievement. However, the field of Chinese organizations is a work environment that emphasizes performance and productivity. In addition to cooperating with others, individuals in the field also have some kind of competitive relationship. The concept of humility in Chinese organizations should be different from that of school situations; previous findings may not generalize to the organizational context. To fill this gap, this study attempts to focus on the conceptual connotation of Zang Feng behavior in Chinese organizations by establishing a preliminary definition. We collected 115 incidents from the open questionnaire. Through a literature review and qualitative data analysis, we established a two-dimension model of Zang Feng behavior. This study aims to investigate under what circumstances and for what purposes individuals in Chinese organizations exhibit Zang Feng behavior and to provide a clear definition and description of humility behaviors in the Chinese workplace as a reference for subsequent research.

Author Information
You-Jie Ji, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan
Chung-Jen Chien, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2023
Stream: Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon