Emulating Business Strategy for India from Chinese’ Cultural Perspective

The significant difference in the mean value for the three socio cultural factors for Chinese when compared to Indians shows that the three; factors, viz. Personal connection (Guanxi), Face (Mianzhi) and Ethnographic Bonding (Minzhu de jing mi jie he) play important role in contributing to the success in all of their business transactions. However, the empirical study carried out reveals that they appear to be less dominant in Indian context and shows a strong affiliation to the Chinese family systems.

For instance, Guanxi (personal connections) networks for Chinese operate very extensively with an all pervasive character. When the Society is so intricately inter-woven, Mianzhi (Face) assumes importance due to the needs of inter-dependent members of the Chinese society. Ethnic bonding gets established firmly right from the infancy stage of an individual in such a closely knit ‘family’ system, which over a period of time transforms them and inducts them as members of a cohesive and large teams (Together Each Achieving More) resulting in synergy for the Teams performance in any of the large scale Business operations.

With the Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization, the Country, which was hitherto isolated from most of the World forums, the outside world is getting an opportunity to have a ‘peep’ into this potentiality of the ‘Dragon’ country. The unique management style of this hitherto (Pre 1980’s period), ‘dormant’ Nation, in the eyes of other Global nations is a wake up call, backed with its impressive success outcomes from one large business venture to the to the other. During the last ten years alone, the Country has put men in Space, with its own satellite technology, built the incredible Three Gorges Project which on today hold the World’s record of the Gigantic Hydro-Electric Dam ever built by humans, Conducted the World class Olympics in 2008, constructed a spectacular rail link from Qinghai to Lasha, taking the rails to the dizzy heights of over 14000 feet above mean sea level, and is embarked with a large project management task of building the network of several thousand kilometers of Express ways and High ways. There are many more such large scale commercial ventures in various stages of Business / Product life cycle.

Guanxi or the Personal connection is more freely used by Chinese for all their management accomplishments, and the Country prefers Guanxi to the western-style ethical frame work, a point that must be borne in mind by all other Nations ( including India), while dealing with China. The socio economic back ground and family origins of individuals are important factors in interpersonal relations. Also the wu-lun relationship (Husband / Wife, Father / Children, Siblings relation, Employer/Employee, and Between friends relations encompass wu-lun), plays a dominant role in the Guanxi networks with the people of the same category (either in-group or out-group members) from the five cardinal relationships of Confucius, attracted towards one another. Thus an investigation into the aspect of Guanxi indicates that Guanxi (as a key factor) based business, positively relates to the Organizations’ success outcome or performance.

Face giving and Face saving being equally important in Confucian concepts dominated China, individuals involved with either saving their own Face or receiving the Face will try their very best to ensure tasks accomplishments in the successful manner: be it a trivial managerial task or management of large scale business transactions. The finding of Hofstede Long Term Orientation for Chinese society is further corroborated. When the Chinese use their Face, in any long term impacting managerial tasks, such as in huge business deals, they consciously do so, to ensure its benefit to their future generations in focus. This probably explains why Chinese are keen to ensure the successful outcome for any of their business, lest their future generations may view them with disrespect.

Face is collective for Chinese and not individual in Character. Even young, Chinese Children are taught to protect their family Face. This ingrained concept of Face is carried forward into their adult-hood, and is perceptible in almost any of their business organizations, Any mistake or error by member of the team is taken as a ‘loss of Face’ for the entire TEAM. This, ensures that any work assigned is performed by the individual with utmost care and perfection, some thing, which other Nations (especially for India) can emulate.

Further, Hofstede power distance is scrupulously followed in China, which is organized on hierarchical pattern in their societal settings, where ‘Face’ too, forms a part of societal hierarchy, in which an individuals possession of Face depends on the societal hierarchical position that he / she possesses. Since Face gaining and Face saving are always associated with enhanced performance outcome, Face, is thus a very important factor in Chinese projects’ success outcomes.

Ethnically bonded community, as they are, Chinese people are masters in Management strategies, which evolved right from the days of Sun Tzu, whose book on Art of War has found a prolific impact on Chinese Management System is encompassed within this ambit. The calculated moves by the General in Wars, anticipating his winning options are linked to modern ‘planning function’ in Business management. The ambiguity in his orders to his subordinates is linked to the ‘directing function, the improper delegations of authorities to men under his command is linked to ‘Organizing function’, of modern management. From this, it is amply clear that Chinese management of their business ventures are based on their age old traditional strategies, evolved from their historical ‘Art of War’ book. The off springs of ancient Chinese generations who built the ‘Great Wall of China’, the one amongst the Wonders of World, do indeed possess acumen for successful accomplishments of National Projects – a trait that is being passed on to generations after generations fostering strong ethnographic bonding amongst themselves.

From the foregoing, it gives an ‘idea’ that Indian Business Management teaching too can emulate the Chinese Model to discern benefits both in our commercial as well as National Projects endeavor.

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