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The Chinese economy is ranked the second biggest economy in the world and this
shows economic vitality of which success will be hinged on many factors that include the
separation of myths from facts. Myth is widely used for a collectively held belief that has no
basis in facts. These beliefs are often times viewed as pejorative when mirrored against facts
(Howells,1999). There are several myths about successful business endeavor in china ,but this
case hinges on a unit investigation wrapped around cultural dimensions, perception of time and
business strategy, which zeroes on three entrenched myths, not in tandem with reality.
. Analysis
First Myth: Collectivism, Reality: Individualism. Meyer and Yi Shen (2010) used an
interview by Wei Chen, who opined that under Strict communist rule, Chinese children were
forbidden from stepping out of the box and told to be average while further confirming the high
drive and aggressiveness among Chinese to the consternation of Westerners. A second
interviewee at Canadian pharmaceutical company also asserts about individualism in China
which is comparably higher than what is obtainable the West. This cultural change from
collectivism to Individualism came with the advent of market economy in China, which was
introduced by Den Xiaoping whose policies steered Chinese economy away from the grip of
Cultural Revolution and Maoism (Tson,1986). However, Chinese working class and managers
still make decisions in group and work as a team.
Second Myth: Long-term deliberations, Reality: Real time Reaction. Several
interviewed managers confirmed the Swiftness of decision making and execution among
Chinese. Fredrick Maury, a French executive used a hyperbole that no one thinks about the
future in china to buttress the reality of real time reaction. The Chinese also greatly employ ad-
hoc logistics in strategy planning but well implemented. They however value long term business
relationships and government policies are built for the long term. The significance of long-term
business relationship is a major business-related cultural difference between the West and the
Chinese. The Chinese call these guanxi(relationships) which make westerners impatient because
of the process of spending hours drinking or dining or holding discussion outside
Third Myth: Risk aversion, Reality: Risk Tolerance. Michael Draki, a British
logistics executive explained that in China, once a decision is made, there is no hesitation on
implementation. This is contrary to what is obtainable in the West were the decision goes
through the process of debating and analysis. This is akin to a scenario called “paralysis induced
by analysis” (Peters & Waterman, 1982, p49.). There is obviously a direct relationship between
risk and growth as Edith Corin, a French consultant suggested; that an economy with a GDP
growth of over 10% will be associated with high level of entrepreneurship and risk taking. The
contrasting reality is that Chinese workers are reluctant in giving individual opinions openly.
The first panacea to the China Myths and China Facts is to avoid culture shock. These
myths about business endeavor in China, that have been perpetuated over the years through
stereotypes and entrenched through management training program, can precipitate culture shock.
This is because new expatriate manager who has prepared himself by accepting these myths can
be jolted because of the reality on ground. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2010), the best
antidote to culture shock is a comprehensive cross-cultural training. The cross-cultural training
will involve the usage of contemporary modules within the last decade,when china has gone full
blown market economy.
Secondly, the China myths against China facts is a sub case of cultural paradoxes that
require cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence gives one the ability to understand shadowy
cross- cultural scenarios precisely (kreitner et al, 2013). Cultural intelligence has three parts
namely: (a) Knowledge of culture and fundamental principles of cross-cultural interactions, (b)
the practice of mindfulness, (c) development of cross-cultural skills based on knowledge and
mindfulness (Thomas & Inkson,2009). The prerequisite for the development of cultural
intelligence according to Crowne (2008) is to polish emotional intelligence. Cultural Intelligence
as opposed to ethnocentrism is like a compass to navigate around cross -cultural complexities
and paradoxes.
The third solution is to take cognizance of cultural differences, that engenders differing
management styles and cultural perception of time. Success abroad hinges on having a global
mindset which has three components namely: intellectual, psychological and societal capital
(Javidan, Teagarden, Bowen,2010). Intellectual capital involves effectively influencing people
who are different from you by having a good understanding of what those differences are while
appreciating the similarities between you and them. The development of psychological capital
can be tangentially and deeply achieved by exposing oneself to new experience and ideas while
social capital is built by increasing one’s ability to emotionally connect with people who are
• The avoidance of culture shock comprehensive cross-cultural training with
contemporary modules showing that culture has gravitated towards individualism
from collectivism under a booming state capitalist economy.
• Cultural intelligence through knowledge, mindfulness and development of crosscultural skills gives one the ability to interpret shadowy cross-cultural scenes like the
myth of long-term deliberations against the reality of real time reaction. This is on the
backdrop that business relationship and government policies in China are both built
for the long term.
• It is imperative to take good cognizance of cultural differences by way of good grasp
of cross-cultural management. This will create a quick understanding of differing
management style, cultural perception of time which affects organizational strategy
and drive with regard to risk tolerance and risk aversion. The call for a global mindset
manager with developed intellectual, psychological and social capital that
comprehends high level of risk tolerance and Chinese drive behind a booming 10%
GDP growth economy.
The “China Myth, China Fact” case study unraveled some of the stereotypes about China
which are not in consonance with reality. These separation of facts from myths will translate to
increased propensity for success by an expatriate manager in China. The importance of cultural
intelligence, comprehensive cross-cultural training and global mind-set are among the fulcrums
of success for any expatriate manager who wants to leave business footsteps in the sands of time.
Questions for Discussions
1 Has presentation challenged any assumptions you had about China and the Chinese
Answer: yes. The case study provided an opportunity for in-depth research and
consequently a change of my views on collectivism among Chinese, against the reality of
increasing individualism.
2 Using your best cultural intelligences, how would you adjust your behavior on a business
trip to China?
Answer: I will make intense and calculated efforts to acquire more knowledge on
Chinese organizations and societal culture, religion and business philosophy. It is also important
that I understand the fundamentals of cross-cultural interaction in China and subsequent
development of cross-cultural skills for effective business relationship.
3 What cultural adjustments will Chinese Managers need to make if they want to
effectively manage Americas in the rapidly growing number of Chinese owned business in the
United States?
Answer: Chinese managers coming to America as expatriates will not adjust with regard
to individualism because same is with American business culture, though with pockets of
collectivism. The adjustments will be in the areas of long-term deliberations/planning as against
real time and spontaneous reactions which is prevalent China. The Chinese manager will also
need to adapt to a culture of analysis and debating before decisions are made which is different
from the culture of intense level of entrepreneurship and high risk taking.
4 Based on what you just learned n this chapter, are you more or less interested in getting a
foreign assignment?
Answer: The knowledge I have garnered so far on international organizational behavior:
Managing across cultures has increased my desire for a foreign assignment. I strongly believe
that the cultural skills and mindset that are country specific will be imbibed in me for utmost
success , because of my gross understanding of the fundamentals, behind the cultural skills


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