5 October 2011
Business and Negotiation; the US and China as Antitheses?
Developing a productive rapport with China and Chinese business is tantamount to modern economic success. For both parties it is a new experience; China emerges from a 24-year Communist hiatus and the US deals with individuals and social norms that are entirely different to those of the western world (Baldinger, 6). As both countries fight naturally xenophobic and insular ideological tendencies, it is interesting to observe compromise and acceptance and the cultures mix, particularly on the organization and professional levels. Whether one will prevail over the other on a broader political and economic ...view middle of the document...
However even though distinct culture is becoming less observable on a nation-by-nation basis, ancient societal expectations and tendencies still govern the way individuals think and act. The best way to approach this discussion is to evaluate what is exclusive to both nations distinctly are, and also in which areas culture has been overcome and they have similarities
The history of the US certainly underscores its modern identity in that its western – or European – background distinctly separates it from the eastern cultural tradition. The most obvious symptom of this reality is the comparably formal societal structure based around democracy and the rights and interests of the individual (Bhagat et al., 22). Not only does this manifest in infrastructure and services, but also translates into workplace and managerial mentality. Relationships within organizations are legally formal, with clear structure and apparent design. Workplaces are highly managed and controlled. Offices are designed geometrically. There is a clear hierarchy in everything from pay to office privileges. There is a foreseeable pathway of ascendancy within the organization. Expectations are clear, targets are clear. The focus is on individual excellence, often in place of or in spite of that of one’s peers. This pursuit of excellence is a hallmark of the American identity and has been a key factor in the USA’s entrepreneurial successes.
Several critical American cultural traits flow through not only enterprise structure and design, but also, importantly, through individual mannerisms and expectations. America and the western culture as a whole is very familiar in their relationships, that is to say the coworker relationship is based on more than just work. Peers mingle inside and outside of the workplace, often becoming friends and occasionally finding romantic partners. Management in general observes this reality as part of the culture, pointing to the belief that if workers are enjoying their environment, they will work productively. Although chatting in the break room or discussions of fantasy sport leagues has a minor negative effect on productivity, it is certainly true that individuals expect certain liberties as humans and not just employees. Less formal vocabulary and physical exchanges highlight the American willingness to be open and show emotion in a corporate environment (Aguinis, 104). Where others may consider this crude or inappropriate, being forthright in both spoken and body language leads to clearer communication and expectation (ibid., 104). This does not alter but rather transforms formality in a society where expression of sentiment is free and encouraged. In questions of professional marketing and relationship building, settings for meetings and client relationships all consider enjoyment to be a factor in productivity and success. Things like corporate hospitality and business lunches are perfect examples of methods businesses use to charm and...