China Business: The Rules of the Game

By Carolyn Blackman | Go to book overview

bed, different dreams’, a ‘developing country’ and ‘management challenges’—meant for the individual Western executive. Each case study in this book documents a Western executive's thinking about his or her on-theground experience. It gives, as the Chinese say, ‘skin and feathers’ to the ‘bones’ of commercial reporting.

Each case study is followed by a commentary. This is a search for meaning in the interactions between Westerners and Chinese. I hope that, through both the case studies and the commentaries, those in business with the Chinese will find not only a light shone on their own experiences but also some insights into what accounts for these experiences and how we might fine-tune our response. My other aim was to document elements of the Chinese environment that seemed pertinent to Western managers in China, those things vaguely referred to as ‘Chinese business culture’. I hope that the discussion will help Western business people to see more deeply into the workings of Chinese society.

I owe many debts for the help I have received while writing this book. My first debt is to the business people who gave of their time and thoughts. All were most generous in sharing their experiences, both good and bad, their achievements and their frustrations. Neither their names nor those of their companies have been used, so as to protect confidentiality.

The University of Ballarat funded part of the research and provided an invaluable library service that expedited my quest for international research and memoirs in this area. Sue Taylor and Carmel Grant helped me to access published material and on-line services.

I wish particularly to acknowledge my colleagues at the University of Ballarat, Dr Xiaoli Jiang and Ms Sari Baird, for many hours of interesting discussion on the Western–Asian business relationship. Dr Xiaoli Jiang gave me access to her own interview material which enlarged my understanding. She provided the interview on which the case study in Chapter 10 is based. Ms Sari Baird undertook the interview that forms the basis of the case

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China Business: The Rules of the Game
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface viii
  • Glossary xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Quick Reference Chart to Aspects of the Chinese Business Scene xix
  • I - The Chinese Face of Globalisation *
  • 1 - A Lot to Learn: ‘nowwhere Else in the World is It like This!’ 3
  • 2 - Sustaining Competitive Advantage 16
  • 3 - Corruption: ‘legitimate Loot’ 24
  • 4 - Communication 40
  • II - Strategic Plans Meet Chinese Reality *
  • 5 - Disappointed Expectations 55
  • 6 - Hidden Agendas 68
  • 7 - Corrupt Practices 83
  • 8 - Trust 94
  • III - Foreign Managers, Chinese Staff *
  • 9 - Shared Management 107
  • 10 - Culture Change 116
  • 11 - Skills Differential 133
  • 12 - Supervision 142
  • 13 - Manager Quality 151
  • IV - Bureaucracy and Business *
  • 14 - The Socialist Market Economy 169
  • 15 - Local Government Power 175
  • 16 - Exorbitant Levies and Sundry Taxes 185
  • 17 - Mutual Co-Operation, Mutual Benefits 194
  • 18 - Talking to the Bureaucrats 204
  • 19 - Conclusion 215
  • Bibliography 222
  • Index 226
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