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China's cultural profile

with particular emphasis on the importance of 'face'
by

Marco Polo

on 28 February 2013

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Transcript of China's cultural profile

Why China? Fundamentals of the Chinese culture Fundamentals of the Chinese culture FACE "The abstract concept of 'face' can be described as a combination of social standing, reputation, influence, dignity, and honor." China "The 7.5 percent economic growth target is achievable..." Reuters, China "[...]we therefore expect a growth of 0.7% for 2013"
Hans Heinrich Driftmann, DIHK-President, Germany Why China? Cultural analysis using Hofstede's 5 dimensions Power Distance Index
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long Term Orientation Power distance index Power distance index Acceptance, that power in a society is distributed inequally High PDI Low PDI People aspire to equalize the distribution of power and wish equalization Power distance index China i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable Hierarchical structures and formal authorities are seen as needed to maintain order in a society Score: 80 Shortly after Roland Jäger began his first assignment as a PR-manager at the German-based hotel in Beijing, he discovered differences in managerial culture. Here´s what happened.
Roland had assigned Weixing Li to take pictures of a famous politician arriving and being greeted by the hotel management team. But Weixing Li didn´t show up in time and finally arrived some minutes too late. The VIP already entered the hotel. Roland initially reacted with frustration and anger and against what he expected, Weixing Li seemed quite relaxed.
Roland took Weixing Li aside and asked: “Do you know what you did wrong?” His response was a blank stare. Roland asked, “Do you know why I´m upset?” Another blank look. “Don´t you even know what you have done wrong?” he said. “Whatever you say I did wrong, I did wrong.” He replied. “You are the boss. I´m sure whatever you say is correct.”
Roland was taken aback and couldn´t understand this kind of behavior. So he asked his fellow manager Rachel, who had been in China for several years. ... he wanted Weixing Li to challenge him and therewith also challenge him as his boss. Cultural analysis using Hofstede's 5 dimensions Power Distance Index
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long Term Orientation Individualism vs. Collectivism The concept of `face´ 1/2 - affecting all aspects of life
- defining social standing
- relationship-oriented
- a dynamic concept
- a social currency The concept of `face´ is: giving face losing face protecting
face enhancing
face gaining face wanting face The concept of `face´ 2/2 How to avoid losing face: - cautious in expressing personal opinion
- cultivate self-control
- indirectness How to give face: bolstering the other´s
- reputation
- status
- prestige Importance of rules vs. relationships West China For an effectively function group:
- Sets of rules have to be established
- Every member must subscribe to them Move from the east to the west One-child policy Hofstede's shortcomings Change from communism to market economy Move from rural areas to the cities IBM corporate
culture outdated
data men more career oriented
doesn´t represent society profile collected between 1967 and 1973 China's population density Culture can change, but only between certain boundaries Chinese cultural profile in progress Sources Britzelmaier, Xu (2012) "Business in China"
Charles W. L. Hill (2004) "Global business today"

http://www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/tourist-maps/china-population-maps/

http://www.prb.org/pdf12/2012-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf

http://www.andrews.edu Individualism vs. Collectivism Individualists
Preference for a social framework, in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only Collectivism
Social framework, in which individuals define themselves by being member of a certain group Self-image: I Self-image: We Individualism vs. Collectivism Scenario 2 China Score: 20 people act in the interest of the group,
not necessarily of themselves in-group considerations affect hiring and promotions personal relationships prevail over task and company Cultural analysis using Hofstede's 5 dimensions Power Distance Index
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long Term Orientation Masculinity vs. Femininity Masculinity vs. Femininity Masculinity vs. Femininity Masculinity
A society in which a member defines itself by success, achievement, heroism and assertiveness Society is competitive Femininity
A society which stands for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak, quality of life Society is more consensus-oriented Masculinity vs. Femininity China Score: 66 It seems like China is a masculine society success oriented failure = disaster sacrifice leisure and family for work one defines himself by status Masculinity vs. Femininity Cultural analysis using Hofstede's 5 dimensions Power Distance Index
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long Term Orientation Uncertainty Avoidance Index Uncertainty Avoidance Index Uncertainty Avoidance Index China Score: 30
China has a low score of uncertainty avoidance Uncertainty Avoidance The Way gives birth to the one.
One gives birth to two.
Two gives birth to three.
And three gives birth to myriad things.
The myriad things bear yin and embrace yang.
By combining these forces, harmony is created. Cultural analysis using Hofstede's 5 dimensions Power Distance Index
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long Term Orientation Long Term Orientation China's cultural profile Confucian philosophy basic theory of
state governance guidelines/ moral conventions for relationships with others loyalty reciprocal obligations honesty Fundamentals of the Chinese culture Confucianism: basic relationship categories Father - Son
Husband - Wife
Emperor - Subject
Older brother - Younger brother
Mentor - Friend Support + Consideration Piety + Obedience

Protection Submission



Care Modeling Subject

Trust + Obligation Trust + Obligation Kindness Loyalty Scenario 1 If you were Rachel, what would you have told Roland? ... you can pass on a job, but no responsibility. Rachel probably would tell Roland that... Michael Beckmann, general manager of a German fashion house was visiting an entity in Beijing. He realized that some shirts exhibited in the window were not ironed. He gathered all the employees to the window, where he gave a good telling-off and criticized the carelessness of the Chinese employees. Without any visible reaction, the Chinese listened to the criticism and went silently back to work.
The next day, some of the staff members were late, some even didn´t show up at all. Outraged, the German manager indicated that the Chinese are altogether unpunctual. He also renewed his criticism with harsh words about the working attitude of the Chinese employees.
From this point, the working attitude and climate in the company decreased steadily and communications between the German management and the Chinese staff were severely damaged. What was the fundamental mistake the German manager made here?
What would have been a better way to handle the above incident? Informal, personal human relations prevail over group rules What was the fundamental mistake the German manager made here? What would have been a better way to handle the above incident? he took face of the whole group and by generalization took face of all Chinese (also a nation or its flag has `face´)
he separated himself from the group --> created loyalty between the employees use the shame-strategy by telling them, that there is another shop, what seems to be better and that you feel ashamed to work here.
indirect criticism But: Maintenance of harmony of paramount importance ensured by the Confucian system of bilateral commitment Yang embodies
the masculinity Yin embodies
the femininity quotation by Laozi: `guanxi´ Sino-Western time management West China Time is money Time is spent on building and nurturing relationships Work approach:
chronological Work approach:
synchronic For doing business in China, you need to establish a personal and trustful relationship first! Strong uncertainty avoidance:
rigid codes of belief and behaviour,
no new ideas and unorthodox behaviour accepted Trying to control the future Weak uncertainty avoidance:
more relaxed attitude
ambiguity in the future is accepted Just let it happen! i.e. the people in the society are okay with ambiguity regarding the future Long Term Orientation "the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view." Long Term Orientation China Score: 118
China is highly long term oriented trying to spend money in a sustainable way
(e.g. real estate investition) sparing in usage of resources Confidence in men, rather than in external influences (God, law) http://goasia.about.com/od/Customs-and-Traditions/a/Saving-Face.htm relaxed openness for prospective things
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