Cross-Cultural Challenges When Doing Business in China

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COPYRIGHT 2004 Singapore Institute of Management Cross-cultural challenges when doing business in China.(Research Note) Abstract With the globalisation of world business, China has become an appealing 有吸引力的market for foreign investors. The problem of cross-cultural management arises as the cooperation between China and its culturally different Western partners continues to increase at an unprecedented无前例的 rate. This paper presents an understanding on the general cultural differences between America and China by applying the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and Bond. It also discusses the impact of these cultural differences on their management practice from five aspects: cooperative strategies, conflict management, decision-making,…show more content…
By comparing some Western countries and China along these five dimensions according to their cultural dimension scores (Data source: Hofstede, 1991), some tentative conclusions may be drawn. First, Western countries seem to be generally lower (United States of America 40, Canada 39, United Kingdom 35, Germany 35, and France 68) than China (80) in power distance. Second, in terms of individualism, Western countries are generally much higher (United States of America 91, Canada 80, United Kingdom 89, Germany 67, and France 71) than China (20). Third, Western countries seem to have short-term orientation while China is considered to be long-term oriented. Among these Western countries, America is frequently investigated in cross-cultural research, partly because of its economic power, partly because of its cultural representativeness. To a certain degree, the United States is considered as representing the so-called "Western culture". Therefore, a comparison between USA and China seems to help clarify the cultural differences between the West and China and related cross-cultural challenges. China and USA differ greatly with regard to their economic systems, political systems, social values, and laws, despite the substantial changes that have occurred in China during recent years. Table 1 shows the cultural dimension scores of USA and China (Data source: Hofstede, 1993).
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