Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Providing A Profound Understanding Of Chinese Values And Beliefs

Updated: July 16, 2011 10:59 am

The book focusses on helping business leaders and managers get an understanding of the core values and beliefs that drive business in China. It is a perfect tool for helping business people gain insights into the vastly different, surprisingly diverse Chinese business culture and for learning more about them and their values and behaviours in the process. Over the last few decades, the shift of economic power towards China has drawn incredible attention amongst the global business community. In order to realise the incredible potential of an awakening economic power, knowledge concerning the Chinese culture calls for further education.

            The 191-page book, which contains five chapters, presents the readers with an opportunity to tap the Chinese marketplace, who otherwise face two major challenges in surveying the Chinese market. First, they are supposed to learn an abundance of specific behaviours. Second, they are presented with a view of China as a single entity, or monolith, rather than as a country of huge diversity. Dozens of books on the topic and many business schools have incorporated doing business in China as part of their content. Some schools even have an entire course around the subject. Unfortunately, the majority of the materials in books and workshops continue to possess the flaws of behaviourism. They offer great entertainment, but lack the contextual understanding of how the mind learns. The writer purposely and consciously uses the term “leader,” rather than “manager,” throughout the book, as he maintains that since managers are part of a positional hierarchy, leaders can be anyone who makes a conscious choice. This book offers a journey of cultural exploration for any individual who chooses to start this journey, and that choice makes them a leader.

            Since the Chinese culture has many unique characteristics, along with a rich history of innovation and adaptation, the monumental amount of content makes sustainable recall of such information a huge challenge. This book offers a unique approach, integrating many aspects of educational psychology into its contextual design. These will help readers recall the important aspects of Chinese business culture. After all, if you spend hours reading a book but can’t remember the hundreds of behaviours discussed, was it worth your time? Rather than focussing on an abundance of behaviours, the book offers a deeper understanding of Chinese values and beliefs. Many studies have shown that values and beliefs are the foundations for thought that lead to behaviorus. Like a funnel with a large area of behaviours at the top, the few values and beliefs at the bottom offer a contextual understanding of how perceptions create behaviours.

            This book does not pretend to give you many “cultural fish” to digest. What it offers is a solid understanding of how to fish so that you are empowered to move into the Chinese culture and be successful. In addition to offering rich content from both a cultural and historical perspective, the writer takes an integrative approach to this book. While most books focus on the differences between cultures and spend abundant effort on what to do in China, this book is a synthesis of Western and Chinese cultures. The book presents the findings of the International Values Study throughout its chapters to offer profound insights about both cultures.

            This book doesn’t just give you a lot of information on China. The material takes you through a journey of cultural exploration. It helps you build a deeper understanding of who you are within your own culture while connecting the common values and beliefs between you and the Chinese people.

By Ashok Kumar

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