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The Interface of Business and Culture


Edited By Michael B. Hinner

Humans need to communicate in order to interact with one another, and culture helps regulate such interaction and communication. The same is true in the world of business since there, too, people interact and communicate with one another. And in today’s globalized world, it is inevitable that many such encounters and interactions involve people of diverse cultural background. That is why it is so imperative that business people understand how culture influences human behavior and communication, including their own. This knowledge will provide a better understanding of not just one’s own behavior, but also that of one’s international business partners, employees, and customers. So who better to explain the influence of culture than some of the leading experts in the field? These contributing authors cover a wide spectrum of topics that range from general principles of intercultural communication to very specific aspects of culture’s influence in particular business contexts. These insights should prove to be interesting, perceptive, and useful to many international business transactions and interactions.


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Traditional Chinese Value Orientations: Contemporary Manifestations of Indigenous Constructs - Ling Chen 341


341 Introduction to Traditional Chinese Value Orientations: Contemporary Manifestations of Indigenous Constructs By Ling Chen Ling Chen notes that cultural influence on communication and social interaction has been a major subject of interest in intercultural communication studies. Ear- lier research focused on uncovering culture general dimensions and variations associated with communication practices across cultures. As an inevitable result of such broad approaches, variability within and changes over time tend to be overlooked in such methods, Chen notes. In efforts to derive new theories to study social phenomena in some specific cultural contexts, scholars have been working from a complementary approach and conducting what is referred to as indigenous research. Chen points out that Chinese culture presents a special context for indigenous research to uncover culture-specific constructs and theories from which particu- lar insights may be gained about the change of culture over time versus the way changes occur to a culture and the way culture evolves. Of interest to scholars is the extent to which the divergent social developments have influenced the Chi- nese mindset and value system as a whole. One way to do so is to proceed from the assumption of a common general heritage as a starting point. This assumed common heritage is the focus of Chen’s study to determine the state of tradi- tional value orientations in contemporary Chinese societies as a base to under- stand changes in social behaviors as well as in communication. Chen notes that it is not clear what the previous Chinese...

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