China is the third largest country located in Southeast Asia with its physical size being 9,596,960 square kilometers and its total population is 1.3 billion (Karam, 2016). Being the second largest economy, China has contributed a lot to world growth as from the 2008 global financial crisis. Chinese government adopts a dual economic structure which advanced from a socialist economy, centrally planned to socialist market (Zhang & Zhang, 2014). China’s prompt industrial development has obviously been attained through the growing technological evolution, enormous foreign investments as well as an increase in productivity. However, China’s political legitimacy is established in relation to the rapid economic growth which basically depends on the cheap and willful young labor workforce. Nonetheless, China has an autonomous cultural heritage. This paper discusses the Chinese culture and customs and how an understanding of these cultures and customs facilitates a foreign organizational leader to manage an organization in China.
Chinese culture and custom is very deep-rooted, strong and attributed to Chinese society with its members being loyal and self-conscious of it (Tsang, 2016). The dominant significant traits of Chinese culture are high power distance, high collectivism level, comparatively low uncertainty avoidance and also a high rate of long-term orientation. The high power distance that the Chinese employees possess mostly gets them in a situation where they readily and swiftly admit decisions given by their supervisors or managers. However, such kind of employees with high power distance tends to defy participatory decision-making, inclining towards unquestionable attitudes to their managers or supervisors in order to evade their traditional power distance from being threatened.
Chinese culture and traditions are highly branded to have high embeddedness levels. With regards to communication, Chinese is known to be the high context culture, whereby the information is in physical context or initiated within the person, while little information is in the explicit coded portion of the message transmitted (Tsang, 2016). Chinese people tend to say yes when they literally intend to say no. They tend to keep their preferences to themselves while admitting to others what they actually disagree with. Moreover, China concentrates on collectivism and femininity. Even though with some limitation, there are instances of collective participation, feminine and collectivist decision making. Chinese tend to rely more on groups to identify the best decisions for their actions by valuing group loyalty (Zhang & Zhang, 2014). Chinese value group belonging and do believe that individual success is resultant from group work and therefore an individual is not able to claim a reward for himself because payment is most accordingly awarded on the principle of equity.
As always, culture, traditions, organizations and time have a tendency of influencing various factors of an organization and its management (Tsang, 2016). By understanding China’s culture and tradition I would find easy time to manage employees if I get employed in an organization in China. This will be possible because I will be having the knowledge and good understanding of Chinese culture on how it influences the organization such as being pervasive, encompassing to issues like motivational effects of managerial practices, communication norms, undertaking responsibility, ability to conduct meetings and competence to apply appropriate conflict resolution. Understanding Chinese culture will enable me as the manager to apply these managerial aspects which are in line with Chinese culture.
It is evident that China has been modified by its history and actually the current Chinese management is rooted in its culture, no matter the institutional and economic changes that have occurred. Culture and tradition greatly influence managerial activities in an institution and therefore to be a successful manager in China it is best to study and understand their culture and traditions.