A German- Chinese Joint Venture in the Electronics Industry Analysis of the Underlying Intercultural Communication Differences

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 92
  • Published : December 4, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Case study:
A German- Chinese joint venture in the electronics industry
Analysis of the underlying intercultural communication differences

For:
The course of Intercultural Business Communication in China
The School of International studies

[STUDENT’S NAME]

Agenda

Agenda……………………………………………………………....................II

1 Introduction………………………………………..………………………1

2 Case description…………………............................................................1-2

3 Analysis of the case……………………………………………….……..3-6

3.1 Problems and underlying cultural differences

3.2 Solutions and recommendations

4 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………7

5 Literature………………………………………………………………….III

1 Introduction
China has a dynamic economy and a huge market that is attracting companies from all over the world. As a result, more and more Westerners are interested in learning about how to work with the Chinese. In the following paper intercultural communication differences between German and Chinese managers will be discussed upon a case study concerning a German- Chinese joint venture in the electronics industry, based in Shanghai. After the description, the case will be analyzed and finally the paper will present some solutions and recommendations that are aimed at preventing future tensions and making the cooperation more successful for the future.

2 Case description

At first glance, this highly successful joint venture in the electronics industry is going well. Research and development (R&D) is based in Germany, and production is based in China. The business is starting to be profitable. But tensions develop in the team, and an external consultant Mrs. Zhu is brought in to analyse the situation. She took interviews with both sides, with Mr. Meier, the German manager and Mr. Wang, the Chinese Manager. At first she asked Mr. Meier what kind of problems occurred in the last weeks, so Mr. Meier presented his view:

“We are impressed by our ambitious Chinese colleagues and their speedy reactions. They seem keen to learn and are very open-minded. What is not so good is that they aren't prepared to take responsibility or follow agreed procedures. They think in a hierarchical way and there is very little horizontal communication. They seem reluctant to take the initiative or make independent decisions. Recently, they have started to turn up late to meetings or not come at all. When we ask them about a problem, they often do not come to the point, and it is very difficult to know what they are really thinking. They smile politely and say yes, but don't do anything. I wish they'd put their cards on the table and tell us directly if they have a problem with something. We've hired quite a few new Chinese colleagues but, although they have excellent qualifications on paper, we've been a little disappointed with the performance of the Chinese graduates.

The other issue is loyalty. We hire them, train them and then they leave us and join one of our competitors.”

Mrs. Zhu continued the interview and asked Mr. Wang why he thinks those tensions have arisen. The Chinese manager tried to find an explanation: “The Germans are excellent planners, and they think very logically. We like their focus on quality and their disciplined straightforward approach. They like China and clearly enjoy themselves when they come to see us in Shanghai. On the other hand, they don't seem to trust us. They don't give us any real responsibility. Instead, they set up complicated processes that just slow everything down and stop us from reaching our targets. They waste time with too many meetings. They are never available when we need them - you can rarely get them at the weekend and they often seem to be away on holiday. If we can't get an answer to our questions quickly, we have a problem with the deadlines that they have set for us and keep insisting on. Also, some of the team...
tracking img