A. Cross-cultural differences between United States and China
Cross-cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication styles
The issue of verbal and non-verbal communication styles is an important cross-cultural difference to consider when seeking expansion of business in China, because it can help Company ABC facilitate successful business transactions and outperform its competitors. According to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit with 572 business executives, 79% of the respondents indicated that communication barriers have resulted in low market share in China.
It is highly imperative for Company ABC members to know how to engage probably to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts and potential loss of business clients. In the case of verbal communication, the obvious challenge lies in language difference. Although increasing amount of people are learning how to speak english, not having basic understudying of Mandarin or other Chinese dialects can have negative implications on the success of Company ABC. Even with the use of an interpreter, lost in translation or miss representation of meaning can be a problem. For example, when people say “yes” in the U.S, it suggests that they agree with what is being communicated. However, when Chinese say “yes,” it simply means that they are paying attention.
Aside from language difference, the use of appropriate non-verbal messages and gestures can be instrumental in effective communication. The use of excessive hand gestures, physical touch, and starring are deemed inappropriate in China. In formal business meetings, it’s best to give clients enough personal space and be physically neutral.
Cross-cultural differences in business relations
The issue of business relations is an important cross-cultural difference to consider when seeking expansion of business in China, because it can help Company ABC know how to form relationships with business partners and clients. Unlike in America were socializing comes secondary to business meetings, the Chinese prefer to get to know each other in informal settings first before they enter into any contracts. Initially, it is more important for Company ABC to earn their trust rather than engage in contractual business discussions.
In this case, learning appropriate social etiquette might come in handy. For instance, being punctual, greeting people with your eyes lowered, addressing people by their surname, and using appropriate table manners can be an illustration of respect. In contrast, openly disagreeing with someone in public and sitting before the oldest person in the group can be considered offensive.
Cross-cultural differences in attitudes towards conflict resolution
The issue of conflict resolution is an important cross-cultural difference to consider when seeking expansion in China, because it can help Company ABC implement effective conflict resolution methods that fit within the Chinese cultural context. The...