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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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Managing China’s Millennials: Considerations for Multinationals

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By Morris A. Shapero

Morris A. Shapero went with a colleague and twenty-five students on a three week study and research trip to explore Chinese culture and observe how managers from multinational corporations with a Western-style of management interact and adapt to their Chinese workforce in Beijing and Shanghai.

Discussions with managers showed that although some cultural values, such as the relevance of relationships, are still important tools of leadership, other values such as modesty and deference to the group have undergone great change in China. This change is due to young, highly educated Chinese managers entering today’s workforce in multinational corporations. It seems that the introduction and enforcement of the one child policy in 1978 has created the backbone of Millennials (i.e. those born between 1982 and 2000) in China today.

The 2012 group of students accompanying the author on the research trip compared their findings with the fieldwork of a similar of students from 2008. It was revealed that many values seemed to have changes in these four years among Millennials.

Traditionally, Chinese culture has been known to discourage initiative because respect for authorities hampers initiative, Shapero notes. Earlier generations of Chinese tend to be more collectivistic and follow Confucianism. In contrast, Millennials work individualistically, and since Confucianism goes hand-in-hand with collectivism, this shift towards individualism is also the reason why Millennials do not adhere to Confucianism like the older Chinese generations do. It seems that Millennials seem...

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