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Cultural Difference between Chinese and Americans in Business Since domestic and multinational corporations are now marketing their products and services around the world an understanding of intercultural differences has become evident Managers of multinational corporations and joint ventures have to negotiate operate and make strategic plans that adapt to cultural differences in each environment As business relationships with China increase management of multinational enterprises and joint ventures are beginning to realize that success may be jeopardized if attention is not paid to cultural differences Brunner Koh Lou 1992 Major differences between the Chinese and the Americans include language geography history religion and political and economic systems All of these lead to cultural differences Cultural differences may be interesting to tourists and to students of culture but to business people they are impediments Differences need to be recognized before they can be understood Only when we begin to understand the differences can we change our ways adjust our business practices to accommodate the differences and finally communicate to our counterparts in a mutually understandable manner Language is the first obstacle The Chinese are making tremendous efforts to learn other languages especially English and Japanese Americans too are emphasizing foreign languages in nonliberal arts Business schools stress language acquisition Even learning to say please and thank you is a sign of goodwill Slate 1993 Beyond the language barrier significant cultural differences impede working relationships The Chinese are rather group-centered living together under the same roof and working together in a group They depend on each other in their lives and in their work They emphasize winning honor for the group or for the family Americans on the other hand are independent and individualistic stressing the dignity rights and achievements of the individual and the space and freedom of the individual Americans in business own farms factories companies and their biggest enterprises are privately owned while in China most enterprises are still state-owned
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