This book is a natural extensive of my PhD Dissertation "Honesty in Chinese/American Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations". It is intended for use by both Chinese/American executives, and university students in a textbook format.
“I am often tired of myself and have a notion that by travel I can add to my personality and so change myself a little. I do not bring back from a journey quite the same self that I took.”
Nearly 40 years ago, as men’s dress shirt buyer for May Department Stores, my management sent me to Asia to develop corporate private label programs. The aim of the trip was to establish and create manufacturing relationships for long-term product development of unique and exclusive dress shirt programs in a highly retail and brand competitive environment. In the interval, I have been to China over 50 times, and lived and worked extensively in China over the last 10 years. My experience in middle and senior retail management, CEO of 4 international businesses, consultant, researcher, MBA, and PhD attainments, published author and university instructor, positioned me for the assimilation and compilation of an entire career into this book, adding to the current body of knowledge and distinctively addressing gaps in the inquiry and literature to date. The materials addressed in this book are intended to be relevant, applicable, rigorous, and comprehensible.
This book is an effort to provide a “primary source”, a guide for Chinese/American cross-cultural negotiations, which has been constructed and amassed during my career living and working in China. Additionally, my research, included personal interviews, surveys, case studies, face-to-face negotiations, and consulting, melded with a broad body of international business. Further, my research incorporated the current literature on cross-cultural negotiations and China market entry, enriched, during my MBA and PHD study, where I have been able to blend global business and academic concepts and theories with real-world experience, submitting an anthology, and an inside view of business in China.
My China adventures commenced with an extraordinary degree of excitement and enthusiasm for Chinese history and culture. Throughout my relationship with China, my admiration and excitement has continued to grow towards the Chinese people, their resolution, stamina, subtleness, and overall culture. It did not take long to recognize the conceptual ways that Chinese and Americans think contrarily about business, which can produce conflicting conclusions.
This book was motivated by my desire to help prepare executives to be effective participants in the China market. To provide research, add to current understanding, and enhance planning strategies for accomplishment of successful market entry into China, focusing on cross-cultural negotiations between Chinese and American business executives. Business negotiation in China can produce differing strategies, tactics and conclusions, which necessitates, persistence, endurance, tenacity and perhaps most important of all, practical knowledge, and a contextual understanding of the divergences in China’s and America’s individually characteristic cultures and customs. Negotiations do not end upon initial agreement between the parties, but instead, continues throughout the strategic relationship. This book was conceived as a guide for business executives, including entrepreneurs. However, it follows a curriculum-based approach enabling university instructors a course textbook for study, research, searching for “missing perspectives” and for understanding of various circumstantial and situational factors to help develop business-negotiating skills based on The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States unique cultures and as a result, negotiating in different ways.
Research on Chinese culture and negotiations have been multiplying for decades, with expanding theories and a range of concentrations of progress and interpretation. However, most focus has been on culture without sufficient attention to the cultural dynamics, which are actually the conditions of cultural effects. This book addresses a number of cultural effects questions, and takes a multidirectional approach to the eventualities, or likelihood that cultural “differences” in more nuanced perspectives will better illuminate and explain why Chinese and Americans behave in a different fashion in their cross-cultural business negotiations.
There is no “universal applicability” for Chinese/American market entry and negotiations. This guide, or any other, cannot provide all the answers for every one of the various conditions and contexts that arise in cross-cultural negotiations. Instead, this book endeavors to provide history, foundations, multiple explanations, several interpretations, and examples and options that relate potential added understanding for strategic and tactical planning and implementation approaches to enhance your negotiations success. You will be faced with choices, through robust, specific, and unbiased research, ensuing empathy, and understanding as to the perceptions and influences in your Chinese associations.
You will also find in this book, in many cases, several suggested potential approaches to your negotiations evaluation, interpretation, problem solving, and decision-making issues, as you plan your strategies. Some of the materials in this book, references, and recommended sources are provocative, eye opening, even surprising, all meant to provide you with the ability to create your own strategic platform as you address and advance your China market entry and negotiations. The key elements for your deliberation are your company’s goals, objectives, strengths, and weaknesses, all critically self-analyzed in an effort to determine your advantageous strategies, strategic alliances, and approaches to the requisite negotiations that your company will employ for success.
Features and benefits extended in this guide include:
Note: A significant number of subjects in Chinese/American cross-culture negotiations have application in multiple headings, sections, and chapters. The goal is to provide enough explanation and detail where discussed, and then address in meaningful levels of history, detail, overview, and examples in the sections that utilize these subjects in the headings or chapter names. Every effort is made to avoid duplication and/or redundancy, and in its place, to fashion each use of the subject in an appropriate manner where applicable.
I have four decades of experience in China, and continue my enthusiasm and excitement for the opportunities the “Middle Kingdom” has to offer. I hope this book adjoins to your enthusiasm, excitement and confidence as you proceed towards engagement and the realization of your personal and corporate goals. I would caution, do not expect immediate results, investment now will pay off over time, learn the rules of the game, and construct “genuine relationships” through nurturing and patience.