Working with Chinese Expatriates in Business Negotiations: Portraits, Issues, and Applications

Working with Chinese Expatriates in Business Negotiations: Portraits, Issues, and Applications

Working with Chinese Expatriates in Business Negotiations: Portraits, Issues, and Applications

Working with Chinese Expatriates in Business Negotiations: Portraits, Issues, and Applications

Synopsis

This is a study of Chinese expatriates who are working for American clients that seek joint ventures and other business relationships with mainland Chinese business and governmental organizations. The main focus of the study is how these Chinese middlemen and women work to create harmonious business relationships between members of the two very different cultures. The data and the interpretations will be of keen interest to any American business seeking to conduct joint ventures and other forms of commerce in China. The research will also be of interest to any Chinese organization seeking to work more effectively with Americans.

Excerpt

This book is based on five years' study of cross-cultural consultants, American negotiators, and Chinese negotiators, and Chinese expatriates in the United States and in Hong Kong, China. It is the first attempt to explore the perceptions of these Chinese expatriates, who work between two different systems and two different cultures.

In this study, Chinese expatriates are defined as those who have lived in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong communities for at least eighteen years and who now work for American clients in the United States. They play important roles in direct American foreign investment in the blooming China market and in the midst of ambivalent U.S.-China relationships. Understanding their work as middlemen between American and Chinese business negotiators is crucial to foreign business professionals.

My decision to study Chinese expatriates was inspired by the complaints of American negotiators and by the negative criticism of Chinese expatriates and Chinese negotiators of American negotiation styles, which I heard during my pilot study in the United States. The American negotiators were very frustrated, though they had studied Chinese negotiation styles and Chinese culture. The Chinese negotiators were also very uncomfortable with the Americans. I felt the problem was an issue of cultural learning and identity. Americans cannot be Chinese in China, but they can learn from Chinese expatriates and develop effective teams with Chinese expatriates in the United States before they rush off to China.

I am extremely grateful to my mentor, Peter B. Vaill, former director of the doctoral program at George Washington University and Distinguished Professor and Chair of Management Education at St. Thomas University, for continually sharing ideas and encouraging my research and writing.

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