Edited By Michael B. Hinner
General Introduction: Chinese Culture and the World of Business
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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