SemesterFall Semester, 2023
DepartmentIMBA Program, First Year IMBA Program, Second Year
Course NameConfucianism and Leadership
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Course Roadmap: 


Part 1: Full-day class meetings on 3 selected Sundays (10/22, 10/29, 11/19; 9:00 am to 6:00 pm), with individual and group assignments between class meetings. The following topics will be covered:


C0: Introduction on course design & learning process

C1: Introduction to Confucianism and it’s key concepts

C2: Application of Confucian concepts in Leadership

C3: Application of Confucian concepts in Shaping Organization Culture 

C4: Application of Confucian concepts in Leading and Managing People

C5: Paternalistic Leadership in Chinese organizations 

C6: Doing business with Chinese & Chinese organizations

Part 2: Off-site residential Leadership Camp (8:30 am 12/2 to 8:30 pm 12/3).

The intensive 2-day-1-night camp will be an off-site, live-in group learning experience. The extended contact period with very intense schedule and deep interaction through specially designed experiential learning activities will help students develop deeper insights about managing self and managing others. Students will receive an individual report on personality assessment, and will learn about understanding one-self and others, and appreciate the dynamic of interacting with people of different personalities and diverse background. They will also practice on giving and receiving feedback, and how to open up one-self to others. The camp will help participants develop deeper insights on the applications of Confucianism in shaping one’s leadership through self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-discipline, self-confident, and self-ease, which are essential leadership competency that would be valuable to participants professionally and personally. 


The Camp is an important and integral learning experience for this course; students must commit to participate in this off-site study camp, and share additional expenses for meals and accommodation (estimate NT$5,000 +/- 1,000 each based on past years), and taking time off from your regular schedule for full participation during the camp. 


We will cover the following topics plus several experiential learning activities in the camp: 

L1: Application of Confucian concepts in Leadership Responsibility and Ethics 

L2: Application of Confucian concepts in Leadership Development

L3: Case study on Confucian Businessmen (The Shan-xi Merchants)

L4: Challenges of living Confucian concepts in the real world


Class size: 

Due to the design and intended purpose of the course, class size is limited to 24-32 students to achieve optimal learning effectiveness. The course will be canceled if less than 24 students registered, and may be expanded if there is strong demand. 


Study groups:

In addition to the above scheduled class meetings, the students will be divided into study groups and expected to meet at their own time to work on several assigned cases and a final group research project. 


The purpose of the study group is not only completing the assigned tasks but also to practice the concepts and principles we had learnt in class on leadership, organization culture, responsibilities, ethics, inter-personal dynamics etc. Students will experience and learn the challenges and dynamics of peer ranking and ratings for individual attitude, behavior, competency, and contribution to their group.


Final Project:

There will be no final examination for this course; instead each study group is required to submit a self- selected project to integrate and apply what you have learnt in this course.

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

Group Projects 1-4 20% (5% x 4)

Group Project Final 10% 

Personal Reflections 1 - 3 30% (10% x 3)

Personal Final Reflection 20% 

Peer Evaluation  20% 

Bonus  +/- 5% 


Before signing up, students should make sure that they are fully committed, and aware that missing any part of the course would severely affect the whole learning experience. Anyone who misses more than one day of class meetings or the camp, or more than one study-group meetings, will not receive a course grade. Late submission of assignments more than one day after due date will also not be graded.



The course is designed to provide a rich, high impact and unique learning experience. In addition to acquiring knowledge and skills on leadership and people management; it is intended to impact and shape students’ perspectives, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors as a leader and a professional manager. The classes are purposely scheduled on Sundays (and one Saturday) to avoid clashes with other courses so you can concentrate with full attention. The course work will be heavy; part of the work involves assigned readings, individual & team researches, group meetings & reports, and writing individual reflections for each class meeting. Those who are not prepared to work hard and fully committed for an intense learning experience should not sign up. In return for your hard work, you will take away valuable learning and insights that can have lasting impact to your future professionally and personally.   

Textbook & Reference

1. A Confucian Theory of Leadership, ChaBong Kim 

2. The Analects of Confucius, a new-millennium translation, David H. Lee

3. Leadership and Management in China, Chao-Chuan Chen and Yueh-Ting Lee 

4. Inside Chinese Business - A guild for managers worldwide, Ming-Jer Chen

5. Reference websites:

> The Analects:

> Mencius:

> The Great Learning:

> The Doctrine of The Mean:


Prof. S.H. Lee 李瑞華                                           

S.H. Lee is Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at Taiwan’s National ChengChi University (since 2004), and Visiting Professor for EMBA Programs at Beijing Tsinghua University (Since 2003) and Fudan University (since 2009). He also teaches in TIEMBA (Tsinghua & INSEAD International EMBA, since 2007). His areas of interest include Leadership Development, Organization Development & Transformation, Strategic Talent Management, and Performance Management. He was awarded many Distinguished Teaching Awards for his teaching. He is a board member of the editorial board for the Taiwan edition of Harvard Business Review since 2008.  

Prof. Lee Started teaching as Adjunct Professor at Taiwan Tsinghua University’s EMBA Program in 2002 (until 2013), and decided to retire from his corporate career since 2004 to focus on his interest in management education. He was visiting professor for Beijing Tsinghua’s Chinese EMBA (2003-2013), and for Xiamen University EMBA (2009 to 2014). He has strong passion and dedication in helping business executives enhance their leadership quality and strategic focus of talent management. He developed an unique course since 2007 on “Confucian Leadership” (in English), where he introduces to international students the ancient wisdom of Confucius and explores it’s practical applications in today’s leadership challenges, and in bridging the cultural gap between the east and west. This had further evolved and expanded into another new course “Chinese Classic Philosophies and Leadership” (in Chinese) which was offered in NCCU and Fudan since 2017, where he helps students learn and interpret classic teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism (Lao Zi), and Legalism (Han Fei Zi), to compare and contrast with modern western management theories and their applications in leadership challenges in the 21st century. More than 9,000 students from more than 60 countries had attended Prof. Lee’s courses.

Prof. Lee was the Corporate VP and CHRO at TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductors) from 1998 through 2003 where he led the transformation of the HR function into one that focuses on partnering line managers to leverage people as strategic assets in driving business performance. During this period, TSMC grew from 6,000 to 17,000 employees; and US$2 Billion to US$6 Billion in revenue, and became “Top 10 Semiconductor Companies in the World”; “Best Employers in Asia”; “The Best Managed Company in Taiwan”. TSMC continues to be Taiwan’s most successful company, in 2019 its revenue grew to USD 32 Billion, with 50,000 employees, and USD 250 Billion market cap. 

Prior to joining TSMC, Prof. Lee held many other executive appointments, including: Regional VP and COO for Asia Pacific at Lucent Technologies; General Manager for Greater China at Polaroid Corporation; General Manager for China at GE Medical Systems; Regional Manager for South East Asia at Du Pont Corporation. 

Prof. Lee was born and raised in Singapore. He traveled extensively around the world (more than 100 countries) and lived in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan since 1989. He had solid international management experience since 1981 and has good appreciation of the different cultures and management practices in the east and west.

Prof. Lee graduated from Stanford University’s prestigious Sloan Fellowship Program with MS in Management.

Urls about Course

Course Outline.Confucianism.IMBA23 Fall.pdf