Business Key Success Factors in China and the West

Topics: Management, Strategic management, Business Pages: 21 (5203 words) Published: December 14, 2012
African Journal of Business Managem ent Vol. 5(22), pp. 9363-9369, 30 September, 2011 Available online at
DOI: 11.5897/AJBM11.1140
ISSN 1993-8233 ©2011 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Business key success factors in China and the West
Hung-Chen Huang1, Kestutis Bruzga2* and Ya-Ping Wang3

School of Continuing Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Global Strategy, College of Management, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Department of Technology Management, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.


Accepted 3 August, 2011

The study researched business key success factors (KSFs) in China and the West. Researchers reviewed 30 prior studies related to business KSFs in China and 30 prior studies related to business KSFs in the West. In addition, one focus group and one individual depth interview were conducted to further investigate business KSFs in China. Six business KSFs divided into three levels according to their importance were distinguished in China: leadership, research, development, and innovation, business strategy, market demand, human resources management and development, and corporate culture. The top priority business KSF in Chin a is leadership. In order to be successful, companies in China must give it considerable attention. Business KSFs in the West do not directly transform into business KSFs in China, and Western companies should be aware of it when conducting business in China.

Key words: Business key success factors, China, West.

The past f ew years were turbulent in the world economy.
As the outcome of the global financial crisis that started in 2008, year 2009 was the first year since the end of the
W orld W ar II that global output contracted – world
economy gross domestic product (GDP) declined by
0.7% (CIA, The World Factbook, World). Meanwhile, in
the background of global recession, in 2009, China
experienced one of the highest GDP growths in the world,
recording an increase of 9.1% (CIA, The World Factbook,
China). The estimate for 2010 is at 10.3% (CIA, The
W orld Factbook, China).
China’s economy was booming for the last 30 years
since the economic reforms started in the late 1970s.
Being the world’s most populous country (CIA, The World
Factbook, Country Comparison: Population), China has
become a lucrative market for foreign investors. In 2010,
f oreign direct investment in China amounted to record
$ 105.7 billion, up 17.4% from 2009 (Bloomberg). In 2010,
China became the largest exporter in the world (CIA, The
W orld Factbook, China) and the world’s second-largest

*Corresponding author. Email:
+886910994820. Fax: +886223935711.


economy trailing the USA only (CIA, The World Factbook,
These numbers show what a powerful economic force
China has become. Attracted by the many opportunities
that exist there, businessmen from around the world are
willing to invest in China. Global financial crisis however, has also made the investors to rethink their investment
strategies and to be more cautious. As the world
economy’s recovery remains f ragile and China itself is
unceasingly changing, the question of how a business
can succeed in China is more important and more difficult
to answer than ever.
The goal of this research is to find out business key
success f actors in China and to parallel them with the
business key success factors in the Western countries
(focusing on the United States of America, Australia, and
Europe). China is a culturally unique country; foreigners
find it difficult to f ully grasp it and establish flourishing business there. The field of China’s business key
success factors is among the under-researched ones.
There is hope that this research will be useful to both
scholars researching the subject and businessmen f rom...
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