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Elements of Chinese Business Culture


The Chinese business world is a network of relationships that comes together and supports each other. It is necessary to understand the elements of culture in the Chinese culture of business. The Chinese conduct their business in a formal and a collective manner. The Chinese business culture shows the integration of four basic cultural elements. These four cultural elements are the roots of Chinese business culture. The four elements are: hierarchical position and respect for age, relationship, group orientation and the concept of face.

The teaching of Confucius like loyalty, righteousness, friendship, and filial piety has a huge influence on the Chinese business culture. The Chinese business culture is based on hierarchical status and age group. It is necessary to observe the importance of hierarchy in the Chinese business world. In any working organization, the Chinese always tend to promote people who are older in age. In a typical Chinese business culture, it sounds odd and uncommon to place the position of a young employee above the ones older in age group. The criteria for promotion are not based on merit but on age in Chinese business world.

The position of rank is extremely important in Chinese business relationships. It is necessary to maintain the difference in rank in communicating for business purposes. The relationship is built formally after getting to know each other. The Chinese prefer to make business relationships with others whom they know very well. The relationship in business is also based on observing rules and conducting proper behavior. It is also necessary to preserve the right responsibility of each member of the group in a business relationship. The Chinese prefer to have a long-term business relationship. The concept of relationship in business is different from the Western one that prefers to have a short- term one.

The idea of running a smooth and effective business in China is based on group cooperation and the modesty of an individual. The business culture in China includes a collective concept of the self. The whole business culture is based on group orientation. The needs and desires of individuals in business are considered for the whole group or company. The culture of group orientation is one of the underlying factors that determine the success in the business world. The Chinese maintain harmony in their business. This makes them believe that success is achieved only through harmony. They believe that one must try to maintain harmony with those in conflict. The concept of harmony is also an integral part in the Chinese business culture.

It is necessary to have a clear idea of the concept of face in Chinese business culture. It is important for the purpose of interaction in the business culture. The term literally means the style of communication in the Chinese business culture. There are three concepts involved in it. They are: saving face, losing face and giving face. Saving face refers to a sense of receiving compliments from others; losing face refers to a sense of being humiliated and giving face means showing respect to someone, giving compliments and doing things that increase self-pride. The concept of face is an integral part of the Chinese business culture.



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