Chinese Management Style and Western Style

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Compare and contrast common Chinese management styles and common Western management styles By Di Yang
09114786 Accounting, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University


It is a fact that the economic trade tends to occur among counties all over the world. The managerial styles about how to plan a project and control a complete process as well as directing work of subordinates in companies especially in the multinational enterprises become similar in the economic globalization process, but it still exists difference because of different cultures, values and different levels of technology development. China attended the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2005 resulting in the frequent transaction and communication with other countries. It is said that China is blending its own management styles with Western styles (Frankt.G, 2008). So it is meaningful to discover the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western countries in management styles to investigate the different cultures influence on the management.


Obviously, when an international company whose goal is prompting their products to all the corners in the world aims to establish a branch in other country, it will consider the local culture and customs to communicate and transact with the local people. It is also necessary to translate the previous managerial styles to new styles suitable for the local condition. So management in China and West is different which is resulting from different cultures and values.

The relationship between manager and employee

It is probable that Chinese are accustomed to setting disciplines and imposing punishment when people have a mistake owing to the negative view of the human nature and the belief that the preference of external control can achieve a relatively excellent performance (Evans, W.A. no date). However, in the western high trust society, the absolutely duties are distributed to employees and the rights of the way about how to complete the task are given because the responsibility of workers for the job is trusted to be seen. This kind of Chinese style always has a negative influence on the flexibility when company rules or the manager’s order are completely obeyed.

The paternalistic value orientation and the acceptance of hierarchy in Chinese culture cause that subordinates treat their managers as seniorities and carry out their orders exactly which differs from the west (Sculli, D. no date).


The family characteristic of Chinese enterprises determines that the important decision is made by one esteemed person. However, the decision is the agreement of the discussion among every people participating in the issue in the west.

The advantage of decision-making through discussion is that it is systematic. That is to say, every step is ensured by the specialists and it is scientific but it wastes much time compared with Chinese decision-making through one person’s individual opinion. In Evan’s opinion (no date), it may be because that Chinese culture limits the occurrence of conflict and disagreement in a discussion. In the fast-speed economic transaction, time is an essential factor to make profits, improve efficiency and seize opportunities. Considering this, Chinese style is flexible and operates fast.


It is also interesting to find that the indirect communication in Chinese enterprises allowing changes after the fact, which is flexible. However, the direct communication in Western companies leads a high efficiency in task finish and the expressive words give the target to the workers (Yi. S. 2001).


Similar to the western management: Hong Kong in China

Hong Kong is a special area in China which was occupied by Britain for ninety-nine years and returned to China in 1997. Under the control of Britain, Hong Kong had had an enormous improvement in economic and introduced the western...
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