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Cross Culture – East & West



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Cross Culture – East & West

  1. 1. Cross Culture – East & West How to b ridge the gap and use cultural diversity to your advantage Anand Subramaniam
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster. ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Dr. Geert Hofstede </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Highlights <ul><li>Culture – Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Asia – Prediction </li></ul><ul><li>Asian Culture – In General </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern and Western World </li></ul><ul><li>Asian Culture – Japan & China </li></ul>
  4. 4. Culture - Overview
  5. 5. Culture - Many Definitions … <ul><li>Culture is learned, we are not born with a culture; we are born into a culture </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is dynamic and interactive </li></ul><ul><li>It is subjective and attribute a meaning to what we see </li></ul><ul><li>Objective or tangible aspects of culture include tools, roads, television programming, architecture, and other physical artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective or intangible aspects of culture include norms, values, ideas, customs, and other meaningful symbols </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cultural Stereotyping & Global Manager !! The Humility of the FRENCH The Generosity of the DUTCH The Candor of the JAPANESE The Charm of the GERMAN The Punctuality of the SPANIARD The Compassion of the ENGLISH The Team Spirit of the ARAB The Gentle Tact of the AUSTRALIAN The Efficiency of the RUSSIAN The Discipline of the ITALIAN The Patience and Language Ability of the AMERICAN
  7. 7. What happened to Asia…if !! <ul><li>Heaven is.. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>where the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cooks are French, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the mechanics are Germans, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the policemen are English, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the lovers are Italians, and it is all organised by the Swiss </li></ul></ul>Hell is.. where the policemen are Germans, the mechanics are French, the cooks are English, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
  8. 8. There is one in Asia too… <ul><ul><li>“ When in Rome- do as the Romans do” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ru xiang sui su” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( Chinese proverb : Enter village, follow customs) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Asia - Prediction
  10. 10. Asian Economy in 2015… 2003 US Japan Germany France China UK Italy Brazil Canada Spain South Korea India 1 2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 2015 USD trillions 9.9 4.5 2.3 1.6 1.4 1.5 1.3 0.88 0.80 0.68 0.66 0.59 USD trillions US 1 14.5 Japan 2 5.7 China 3 3.1 Germany 4 2.8 France 6 2.1 UK 5 2.1 Italy 7 1.6 Brazil 8 1.4 South Korea 9 1.2 India 10 1.1
  11. 11. Asian - Economic Prediction <ul><li>Asia could (hypothetically) have 5 of the 10 biggest economies in the globe by 2050 (China, India, Japan, combined Korea and Indonesia) </li></ul><ul><li>China GDP (US$) is projected to overtake UK and Germany within the decade and Japan and US by 2045 </li></ul><ul><li>India’s GDP is projected to overtake Italy, France, Germany and Japan in 3 decades. </li></ul><ul><li>Most Asian economies will remain among the fastest growing in the world. Annual average GDP growth in the region in 2006-2020 will be 4.9%. </li></ul>Foresight 2020 Economic, industry and corporate trends. Economist Intelligence Unit 2006
  12. 12. Did you know… <ul><li>“ The 19th Century belonged to Europe, </li></ul><ul><li>the 20th to America and </li></ul><ul><li>the 21st will be the Asian century” </li></ul><ul><li>Goldman Sach’s BRICS study predicts that by the year 2050, three of the four largest economies in the world will be Asian: China, USA, India and Japan (in that order) and no European economy will be among the top four. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why Asia? <ul><li>Asian market growth = emergence of world’s largest new middle class (half billion !!) </li></ul><ul><li>Asia as a source of highly educated, skilled labor (at low cost up to now) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Result: Asia has special place in business globalisation (supply chains) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Result: Asia is becoming a world incubator for new high-tech businesses </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Change in Working-age Population 1950-2050 Source: UN Population Division - 100% 0% 100% 200% 300% 400% 500% - Population Growth Rate 1950 – 2010 2010-2050 Source: UN Population Division - 100% 0% 100% 200% 300% 400% 500% Indonesia Malaysia Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam SE Asia Population Growth Rate
  15. 15. Asian Culture – In General
  16. 16. What many Asian Culture have in common.. <ul><li>Confucianism </li></ul><ul><li>Manner, etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty / respect parents </li></ul><ul><li>Benevolence towards in-group </li></ul>
  17. 17. Where Asian Culture Differs… <ul><li>Role behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Power and status </li></ul><ul><li>How rules are applied </li></ul><ul><li>Expression of individuality </li></ul>
  18. 18. Result of doing business in Asia <ul><li>Meaning of contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Giving and losing “Face” </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and diplomacy </li></ul><ul><li>Bottle-necks and risk-avoiding </li></ul>
  19. 19. Clinching a deal in Asia.. <ul><li>To succeed in Asian cultures, it is critical to notice nonverbal signs and body language. </li></ul><ul><li>Having no solution is not a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Proposing one solution may cause a relational conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Offering more than one solution is an intellectual exercise, to be shared with the other party </li></ul>
  20. 20. Greetings <ul><li>In most Asian countries – a gentle handshake </li></ul><ul><li>Never shake hands with a woman in the some parts of India </li></ul><ul><li>Staring at someone is intimidating and disrespectful especially Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Slight bows are appreciated in Asia when presenting business cards </li></ul>
  21. 21. Touching <ul><li>Don’t Touch in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Hold Middle Ground in China and India </li></ul>
  22. 22. Eyes, Hands & Feet <ul><li>Eyes: “Closed” in Japan indicates concentration </li></ul><ul><li>Hands on hip – aggressiveness in Asia along with finger pointing </li></ul><ul><li>Feet: Remove shoes in Japan, India, Asia in general </li></ul>
  23. 23. Be aware of your surroundings… <ul><li>Western Cultures - “Go for your Life”, “God helps those who help themselves”, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again”, “Winner takes all” </li></ul><ul><li>Easter Culture - “Don’t rock the boat”, “Go with the flow”, “You take what life gives you”, “We’re in this together”, “We work to live” </li></ul>
  24. 24. Business Card <ul><li>In any business travel, arrange to have business cards printed in English and the local language on the other side. </li></ul><ul><li>Present your card before asking for others’ cards </li></ul><ul><li>Hold card with both hands so they can read your name not the other way around !! </li></ul><ul><li>If presenting yourself to more than one person, be sure to start at highest rank downwards. It is disrespectful to present yourself to lower ranked people before higher rank </li></ul><ul><li>Never put cards in wallet or pocket and considered impolite or ignorant to look at the card for too long !! </li></ul><ul><li>Always bow / nod when handing and receiving business cards </li></ul>
  25. 25. Eastern and Western World
  26. 26. Share of the World GDP Source: Reaching for a Renaissance The Economist, March 29, 2007 from IMF
  27. 27. World’s Most Competitive Countries Source: Business Week, May 14 2007 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook May 10, 2007 41 9 20 United Kingdom 18 22 19 New Zealand 68 13 18 Taiwan (ROC) 6 4 17 Finland 35 16 16 Germany 82 59 15 China (PRC) 11 21 14 Ireland 19 10 13 Norway 26 15 12 Australia 3 17 11 Austria 10 11 10 Canada 7 2 9 Sweden 15 6 8 Netherlands 4 8 7 Iceland 2 5 6 Switzerland 1 1 5 Denmark 12 25 4 Luxembourg 63 12 3 Hong Kong SAR 53 3 2 Singapore 23 7 1 United States Happiness Network Readiness Competitiveness Country
  28. 28. Differences - East and West <ul><li>East </li></ul><ul><li>Internal self control </li></ul><ul><li>Communal </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Modesty </li></ul><ul><li>Harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Saving face </li></ul><ul><li>Silence oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Time is life </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for status </li></ul><ul><li>Respect elders </li></ul><ul><li>Truth oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Nosy and curious </li></ul><ul><li>Hypocritical </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Accept </li></ul><ul><li>Long term oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect </li></ul><ul><li>Interdependent </li></ul><ul><li>Being </li></ul><ul><li>West </li></ul><ul><li>External control </li></ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Winning </li></ul><ul><li>Pride </li></ul><ul><li>Noise oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Time is money </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for results </li></ul><ul><li>Respect competence </li></ul><ul><li>Fact oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Value Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Open </li></ul><ul><li>Selfish </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Short term oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Direct </li></ul><ul><li>Independent </li></ul><ul><li>Doing </li></ul>
  29. 29. Asia - Ownership & Control <ul><li>Who owns a company in Asia is more important than what it actually does </li></ul><ul><li>More than 50% of all Asian public listed companies are owned by one single shareholder who is a patron of a family </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of family control is often more important than providing high yields to shareholders </li></ul>
  30. 30. Owner / Entrepreneur - Cultural Differences In Hong Kong When someone starts a new business venture, the entire family works around the clock to make it a success In India The administrative system will put up monumental red tape In US Friends put up their money for the owner In UK Everyone tries to discourage the owner by explaining why it is likely to fail and then scratch his car Owner / Culture Differences In Sri Lanka Friends will ask the owner to hire their sons & nephews
  31. 31. Asian vs. Western Family Controlled Firm <ul><li>Asian Family Firm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To hold the family together and family infighting exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To give family members a job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the family’s prestige and honor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To honor the ancestral founders of the firm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loyalty is valued over professional and bureaucratic status </li></ul></ul>Western Family Firm Family loyalties are weak Communications are bureaucratised Outside directors or close associates of the controlling family Succession challenges Unemotional - determined by impersonal and economic criteria
  32. 32. Asian vs. Western - Values Asian Group Trust Compromise Flexible Western Individualistic Stick to rules Confront Reasoning
  33. 33. Asian vs. Western - Action Asian Long term Collaborative Customer focused Western Short term Control “ Show me the money”
  34. 34. Asian vs. Western – Management Style Asian Relationship Flexible Adaptive Understanding Western Rational Structured Directive Doing
  35. 35. Asian vs. Western – Organisation Asian Informal “ Jack of All Trades” Integrated Co-operative Western Formal “ Master of None” Fragmented Competitive
  36. 36. Build Bridges & Trust <ul><li>Be culture savvy </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce misperceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stereotype vs. Generalisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce communication errors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build trust by communicating plainly </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibit value out of your performance </li></ul><ul><li>Respect and value differences </li></ul>
  37. 37. Asian Culture – Japan & China
  38. 38. Japan <ul><li>Dress code much more formal and address others with surnames </li></ul><ul><li>Formality is required especially to their bosses and elders </li></ul><ul><li>To be late at appointment time is regarded to be very rude </li></ul><ul><li>Like to talk about baseball and do not talk or ask so much about private life </li></ul><ul><li>Modesty is valued </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty avoidance level is quite high </li></ul>
  39. 39. Japan (Contd.) <ul><li>Avoid pointing because it is viewed as very rude </li></ul><ul><li>It is offensive to blow your nose in public </li></ul><ul><li>Be cautious of facial expressions, smiling can either mean joy, sadness, anger or embarrassment </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese are not uncomfortable with silence. You should be patient and give them their silence. Do not try to fill in the void </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese see guests all the way to exits, and wait until they are out of sight </li></ul><ul><li>In the West, “the customer is king,” but in Japan, “the customer is God” </li></ul>
  40. 40. China <ul><li>D ress code is formal when dealing with foreigners </li></ul><ul><li>Business people are addressed by their titles </li></ul><ul><li>Surnames representing higher formality in addressing others </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuality is essential for the subordinates but not for the boss </li></ul><ul><li>Before deeply talking about business, Chinese appreciate to make friends with each other and to deal with business mostly during dinner </li></ul><ul><li>Power distance is extremely high </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in personal manners and styles of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Place importance to positions and titles of people </li></ul>
  41. 41. China (Contd.) <ul><li>Bad news may need to be delivered through an intermediary </li></ul><ul><li>When you make a phone call to China, state your company name before your own name. Be attentive to the formality required when emailing </li></ul><ul><li>Instead saying “NO” say something like “difficult or inconvenient.” </li></ul><ul><li>Be extremely respectful based on the status of another. If a colleague invites you to dinner, be careful that you don’t entertain at a higher level when you return the favor. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t expect to be challenged or even influenced by someone of a lower rank than you. (loss of - face, Guanxi, harmony) </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>“ Eastern and Western management (business culture) is for 95% the same, and differs in every important aspect.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Takeo Fujisawa (Honda) </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Good Luck </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>