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Cultural perspective on Chinese


Verner D. Worm Professor of Chinese Business and Development Asia Research Centre Copenhagen Business School Differential mode of Association in Chinese and western ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cultural perspective on Chinese

Cultural perspective on Chinese European
  • Verner D. Worm
  • Professor of Chinese Business
  • and Development
  • Asia Research Centre
  • Copenhagen Business School

Differential mode of Association in Chinese and
western societies
  • Western society is represented by straws
    collected to form a haystack,
  • Chinese society is represented by ripples flowing
    out from the splash of a rock thrown into the
    water (i.e. discrete categories of social

We see things differently, but dont realize it
  • Ancient China
  • Ancient Greek
  • Personal freedom
  • Analytical approach
  • In-group harmony
  • Holistic approach

Yin Yang ??
Ying-yang are classifications of relations. They
were continually in flux, each growing out of the
other. Any giving subject might be designated yin
in one set of relations and yang in another.
(No Transcript)
Chinese traditional values and thinking mode
(Some people think more traditional than others)
  • 1. The principle of contradictions
  • Opposing propositions may be simultaneously true
  • 2. The principle of change
  • Life experiences are unpredictable and in a
    constant state of flux
  • 3. The principle of Holism
  • All things in the universe are interconnected

Communication in negotiation
  • Employ overseas Chinese for debriefing
  • The Chinese hear the words not the context
  • Read Chinese faces
  • Emphasize what is in it for the Chinese side
  • Closed versus open communication style
  • Firm flexibility

GOVERNMENT Western company
  • Western Multinational
  • Chinese Government
  • Equity control
  • Management control
  • Cheap well-educated labor force
  • Tax reduction
  • Relaxation of rules
  • Local sales
  • Management transfer
  • Technology transfer
  • More local content
  • New Products
  • R D in China
  • Inland production
  • Export

Pre-negotiation in China
  • Learn about the Chinese counterpart
  • Learn a few words Chinese
  • Prepare slides in Chinese
  • What is the negotiation history
  • Build good relation to local government
  • Prepare and bring gifts
  • Decide on business standards

Negotiating Skills in China
  • Holistic approach
  • Understand Relationship building
  • Become comfortable with ambiguity
  • Be patient
  • Do not be aggressive
  • Be mindful of Chinese negotiating stratagems

Negotiating Skills in China
  • Become comfortable with Chinese pragmatism
  • Adjust to Chinese time preferences
  • Familiarize yourself with the bureaucracy
  • Learn to work with Chinese people
  • Learn to build trust
  • Create win-win situations

A Danish and a Chinese account of learning
through cross-cultural collaboration
  • The initial collaboration phase was characterized
    by many conflicts and many misunderstandings,
    some of them probably due to different
    understandings of work and work-life-balance,
    different approaches to management and people,
    and different communication styles and use of
    communication media.

A Danish and a Chinese account of learning
cross-cultural collaboration
  • The Dane and Chinese stress that they have come
    to understand each others ways of thinking and
    acting to an extent that the conflicts have
    diminished. The Danes acknowledges that the
    Chinese has been his mentor and that he has
    learned the Dane not only about market
    conditions, but also about social relationships
    in China, including face issues.
  • The Dane expressed willingness to adapt to
    Chinese work habits to a certain extent, but he
    also had the ambition gradually to learn his
    subordinates to change their routines and
    reorient towards a more strategic thinking and

Find ways - we are all human beings
  • Find something you like about the other culture
  • I like Chinese persistence, frugality, diligence,
    hospitality, friendliness etc.
  • I like Chinese way of life, medicine, massage
    acupuncture, food, film, hotels etc.
  • I respect Chinese way of life (not going to
    extremes), holistic approach, but I do not
    understand entirely

Three generations
  • Red generation (ideologically driven) 1949-79
  • Green generation (materially oriented) 1979-99
  • Yellow generation 2000
  • Attuned to international events
  • Internet and mobile phone savvy
  • Strong sense of national pride
  • Willing to experiment with new flavours products

Cross-cultural cooperation between Europe and
  • We can learn about its others culture or even
    better from each others culture, but it is
    difficult to understand the other party. Our
    values are fixed when we are 10 years old.
  • We can ignore cultural differences (culture is
    not important in communication. The others are
    wrong.) Will result in conflicts
  • Most of us are somewhere in between!!

Thank you!
  • Time for questions

Verner Worm Tianshu Liu, CBCI