EGT1 Task 4
In a time of global commerce, new business ventures can take on many forms. What used to be local or even national companies have become world-wide. International growth of a business can be extremely beneficial but is not without its challenges. Different countries have different peoples and different cultures - different ways of doing business altogether. If a venture is to be successful, these differences must be well understood.
Let us consider China for our example. China is the largest market in Asia and as such, it is an object of great interest for expanding companies. Many companies have already taken advantage of the opportunities afforded by dealing with China and many more will surely follow. The most successful of these companies are the ones that acknowledge the cross-cultural differences between Chinese and American lifestyles and find a way to embrace and cooperate with those differences. Those that fail to grasp these important differences often fail.
There are many ways in which Chinese and American cultures differ, among them attitudes about power, individualism, uncertainty avoidance and time management. Power distance is more centralized in American businesses than Chinese. Also, Americans tend to consider themselves more individually and Chinese consider themselves more collectively. Chinese people are more likely to avoid uncertainty and Americans have a more short-term mentality. Any one of these differences can cause major conflict in an organization, so it is important to understand each one.
Americans tend to rely on themselves when deciding what they should do. In general, they would rather work alone and take responsibility for their decisions because they value control and independence. Cooperation, or "taking orders," is often seen as weakness. The Chinese rather rely on groups to make their decisions. This builds group loyalty and reduces individual responsibility. It also