This paper is an analysis of culture within Taiwan. It will focus on how different cultural elements and dimensions effect and influence business in Taiwan. This paper will also look into the implications for businesses from the United States seeking to conduct business within Taiwan. Taiwan has a unique blend of traditional Chinese cultural as well as modern Western influences. It is an open and welcoming culture and one that plays an important role in the East Asian economy.
Global Business Cultural Analysis: Taiwan
Introduction to Taiwan
Taiwan is a small island country located off the east coast of China in Asia. Also known as the Republic of China (ROC), it is the place where the ROC settled after losing control of mainland China to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan’s population is made up of mostly Han Chinese with a few other Chinese ethnic groups and a smaller number of aboriginal tribes. The official language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese; however, about 70% of people in Taiwan speak both Mandarin and a dialect known as Taiwanese. Another dialect call Hakka is spoken by about 15% of the population and the aboriginals have several other dialects as well (Deaton & Paxson, 2000). Taiwan has unique political status because of their strained relationship with China. At present, the PRC claims it has control over Taiwan and its territories, even though the PRC has never has exercised any governmental control over those regions. China has threatened to put political pressure on any country wanting to officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation, which has led many countries, including the United States, to only recognize Taiwan in an unofficial capacity. These countries, while still doing business with Taiwan, are forced to only officially recognize China, thereby reducing Taiwan’s global influence (Friedberg, 2005). On the economic front, Taiwan has done very well in the past few years, experiencing rapid economic growth. It is commonly referred to as one of the East Asian Tigers, a group which includes Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The countries in this group were relatively poor until around the 1960’s when they underwent educational reforms. These educational reforms, coupled with their cheap yet dynamic workforce helped industrialize their countries and spark rapid economic growth. “In the 21st century, all four regions have since graduated into advanced economies and high-income economies” (Vadra, 2010, p.50). Although the economic growth rate in Taiwan has slowed recently, it remains at a relatively high, yet sustainable rate. What are the major elements and dimensions of culture in Taiwan? Taiwan, like almost every country, has many different elements and dimensions of culture woven together to form an intricate and unique society. These components of society affect day to day life in both obvious and also unexpected ways. Taiwan has the same core grouping of cultural elements that one would think of affecting any country: communication, religion, ethics, moral values, social structure, and education. However, the main elements which control the actions of most individuals and society as a whole will differ from other countries. For Taiwan, education and religion along with social structure play the major roles in the shaping of Taiwanese culture. It will be found that the main, guiding cultural elements in Taiwan, such as their religions, the sources from which they get their values and attitudes, and also their feelings of responsibility, are especially different from the main cultural elements guiding most of the western world. 1.
Communication plays a major role in any functioning society. The way people communication and interpret the communications of others can drastically shape the actions of a society. Communication within a culture can usually be defined as either low context or high context. In low context...