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Negotiating with Chinese: a cultural perspective

Paul Herbig (Managing Direct of Herbig and Sons, Marketing Consultants, 13818 Shavano Ridge, San Antonio, Texas 78230)
Drew Martin (Professor of Marketing and International Business, University of Oregon)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 1 September 1998



Talks about the cultural aspects of negotiating in China and compares this with Western approaches. Focuses on cultural factors (and the dominant role of Confucianism), followed by steps in the negotiating process. Explains Confucian ethics and how that translates into everyday behaviour of how to treat and address other people. Points out that the Chinese will only do business with people they know and trust, so the importance of first building good personal relationships cannot be overstated. Suggests ways to make a good first impression, including attending banquets and other social occasions, although that opens up a further behavioural minefield. Recommends viewing doing business with the Chinese as a marriage contract based on old‐fashioned courting, rather than in the West, where entering a business relationship could be deemed the equivalent of a marriage of convenience.



Herbig, P. and Martin, D. (1998), "Negotiating with Chinese: a cultural perspective", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 42-56.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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