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Chinese Culture in a Cross-Cultural Comparison

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Edited By Michael B. Hinner

Chinese culture has a very long and extraordinary tradition. With China’s rapid economic growth and a population of more than one billion people, China has become a very important market for many companies. In order to conduct business in a particular country, it is necessary to also understand the culture of that country. After all, culture influences people’s behavior and communication – also in the world of business. That is why an understanding of a country’s culture is crucial when communicating with all relevant stakeholders including its consumers, businesses, employees, and government authorities. This eighth volume of the Freiberger Beiträge seeks to provide some essential insights into Chinese culture to help improve transactions and relationships with Chinese stakeholders. The contributing authors help explain the various facets of Chinese culture revolving around communication, business negotiations, and conflict management.
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General Introduction: Chinese Culture and the World of Business

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Michael B. Hinner

Business managers tend to typically downplay the role of culture in the world of business (Cox, 2001; Gibson, 2000; Harris & Moran, ← 13 | 14 → 1996; Hoecklin, 1995; Hofstede, 1991, 2001, 2007, 2010; Oetzel, 2009; Schneider & Barsoux, 2003; Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1998). It is often assumed that business is universal and follows its own rules and guidelines. After all, so the argument, the objective of business is to make a profit. That is arguably a universal objective because no business will be able to survive in the long run if it is not profitable. This is actually in line with the homo economicus theory which argues that the world of business consists of rational actors driven by the same need to maximize utility and economic profitability (Persky, 1995). Hence, the assumption that the world of business is objective, rational, and universal, transcending local cultures.

This impression is reinforced through globalization. After all, so the argument, with globalization many processes have become standardized over the past thirty years. The internet and the use of English as the international language of commerce and business seem to support this trend towards standardization not only in production, but also in management processes. This observation is further reinforced by the fact that many companies around the globe use the same international banks, apply the same accounting methods, use the same computer systems and software, work with the same ISO standards, produce products in one global location...

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