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Teamwork and Chinese Culture - Research Paper Example

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The research paper demonstrates marked differences which exist between the Chinese and Western culture which can impact our operations in China. The author explains that Chinese culture is a high context in nature which means that emphasis is laid on the underlying meaning rather than explicit meaning…
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Teamwork and Chinese Culture
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Download file to see previous pages Additionally, teamwork may be difficult to achieve with the Chinese who do not possess any concept of teams in their culture. However, binding based on an understanding of the Chinese language could prove to be a successful strategy in developing strong cross-cultural teams involving Chinese. Finally, the company may have o consider the conflict of home country versus subsidiary strategy based on different cultures prevailing in the two countries. It is recommended that Primark engages in cross-cultural training and engages in selective hiring on expats so that the need for repatriation is minimized. Introduction National culture is stated as having a profound effect on the strategy adopted by organizations. Furthermore, the formulation of a strategy for our subsidiary in China at our headquarters in the U.K could entail the risk of having one national culture dominate over the other when it comes to strategy formulation. A stark difference between the national culture of China and the U.K based on Hofstede’s dimensions is also apparent. The Chinese culture is marked by hierarchical ties based on status, paternalistic leadership and emphasis on trust building amongst relationships (Guanxi) which is contrary to the Western notion of formal planning, more objective business dealings and a participative style of management. It is important to understand the key dimensions of masculinity, power distance beliefs, uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation laid down by Hofstede identifies that highlight the differences between the Eastern(including Chinese) and Western (including U.K) national culture(Hofstede, n.d.). The Chinese societies possess high power distance beliefs, collectivism, long term orientation, and conformity. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the Chinese to derive satisfaction from collective gains rather than personal achievements. Furthermore, the Chinese people tend to avoid conflict in an attempt to “save face” and appreciate harmony and cohesion. On the other hand, Western societies such as the U.K tend to be more work-centric and highly individualistic with low power-distance beliefs(Edfelt, 2010). Clearly, we run the risk of engaging in what is known as an ethnocentric approach. Sending expatriates from the parent country (in this case, U.K) to assume top managerial positions in the foreign country (China) would be part of our HR policy. However, it is necessary that there is sufficient coordination between these expatriate bosses and the local intermediate managers in China. Research also suggests that prior international experience provides valuable work-related and non-work related information for cross-cultural interaction, particularly if that experience has been with a culture similar to the current one(Selmer, 2001). Socialization and business dealings At this stage, hiring of expatriate managers based on their past experience of dealing in cross-national assignments/projects (particularly projects with China) would be necessary as these managers would then draw from their prior experiences and training to deal effectively with their Chinese counterparts. This is even more important in the case of China since the culture demands social gatherings and entertainment to build trust amongst members. These gatherings are followed by light discussions whereby there is a little work-related discussion. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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