Overseas Chinese as expatriate managers in China : is their recruitment a solution to cross-cultural management problems for multinationals operating in China?
Chung, Mona and Smith, Wendy 2007, Overseas Chinese as expatriate managers in China : is their recruitment a solution to cross-cultural management problems for multinationals operating in China?, in Diversity conference 2007 : Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations Conference, Common Ground Publishing, Altona, Vic..
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Diversity conference 2007 : Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations Conference
Common Ground Publishing
Place of publication
The rapid economic development has gravitated businesses into the Chinese market. It’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 made her an even more formidable player in the global economy and direct foreign investment surged. Yet it is acknowledged that for the foreign investor in China, cross-cultural issues create difficulty at every level, from the intercultural level relating to communication and negotiation, to the organizational level relating to decision making, human resource management practices, corporate legal institutions and dealing with governments. Western multinationals have considered the advantages of posting overseas Chinese, from Southeast Asian countries, Taiwan Hong Kong and etc. But has this policy been successful? In terms of language expertise and cultural literacy this would seem to be a good strategy, yet organizational case material contradicts this in reality. Overseas Chinese, while sharing some elements of Chinese culture with mainland Chinese, the Confucian heritage and other aspects such as language, diet, etc, nevertheless have different world views and values and behave differently from mainland Chinese in areas critical to business management. As a survival strategy, overseas Chinese often developed dual identities operating simultaneously. For many of them, for political and historical reasons, they have had to adapt to the local culture or even hide their own ethnicity in order to survive. On the other hand, the mainland Chinese are different in the sense that their behaviour has only had to be Chinese, but overlaid with this has been the experience of participating in a communist political environment for decades, which has left its mark on mainland Chinese culture. On the basis of this, in the current business environment in China confusion, difficulties and conflict may occur for the overseas Chinese. This paper aims to provide insights of the cultural differences between the overseas Chinese and mainland Chinese. It provides evidence that overseas Chinese are not often favoured by the local Chinese. This problem has yet to be researched in depth within international business and international management studies. It draws the attention to issues on how to manage the local Chinese.
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