chapter  7
34 Pages

The New New Confucian Communication Game: Communicating with the Nintendo® Generation

ByRobert N. Higgins V

The way that we communicate is changing. The ability of the boss to control communication is becoming as common as the use of manual typewriters. But there is a problem with management’s loss of control of the sources and means of communication. The problem that corporations face is the increasing democratisation of information flow. The issues are these: how can corporations control reputation, coordinate projects and create wisdom from knowledge? The answers to these questions are demonstrated every day by their youngest generation of employees – gamers. Gamers use sophisticated communication processes to manage their reputation, achieve their goals and improve their performance. The rules of this new paradigm of always on communication can be found in the Ancient Chinese social philosophy of Confucius. The underlying message of this chapter is that these Confucian rules apply in games and in modern organisations. To investigate this assertion the chapter will first examine the skills gamers have acquired playing online games. At the same time we will explore how gamers can apply these skills in the business world to support advancement in their organisations. We will try to provide some advice to gamers so they can recognise the gaps between how they communicate in the

gamer culture and how they might communicate in ‘real world’ culture.1 Finally, we will analyse how organisations can leverage the skills and attitudes of the gamer generation to improve their communication strategies in line with the generational changes of their markets and other stakeholder communities. The main premise of this chapter is that the secrets of effective communication can be learned from the Chinese philosopher Confucius: these secrets will benefit both current organisations’ management teams and the emerging generations who wish to be involved in shaping and participating in future organisations.