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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Greg G. Wang, David Lamond and Verner Worm

This paper aims to emphasize the importance of Chinese institutional contexts beyond “culture” by analyzing a few non-cultural institution-dependent contexts in Chinese

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to emphasize the importance of Chinese institutional contexts beyond “culture” by analyzing a few non-cultural institution-dependent contexts in Chinese HRM research, using an institutional theory perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review existing Chinese indigenous management research from an institutional theoretical perspective and provide a critique of the research from that perspective.

Findings

Chinese contexts are more than Confucianism. Focusing on this aspect of culture without integrating other institutional contexts, while informative, is unlikely to identify and explain the uniqueness of Chinese individual and organizational behaviors. Informed by institutional theory, the authors examine how institutional language context influences Chinese institutional behavior. The authors also argue that the guanxi phenomenon is more strongly dependent on institutional forces than on culture in the recent Chinese history. Incorporating these “non-cultural” institutional contexts in research enables us to describe the “what” and explore the “why” and “how” in theory development, rather than placing value judgments on the institutional arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

While societal culture provides an important institutional context, China’s broad culture is not unique among countries with similar Confucian traditions. Chinese management scholars are encouraged to be mindful of pervasive institutional contexts in exploring and theorizing local organizational phenomena. Research without considering non-cultural institutional contexts may prevent a finer-grained understanding of Chinese organizational phenomena for developing Chinese management theory, and it is unlikely to identify the uniqueness of Chinese organizational phenomena among countries influenced by similar Confucian cultural traditions.

Originality/value

Built on previous literature, this paper is among the first to specify and examine explicitly non-Confucian Chinese institutional contexts as a basis for the exploration of Chinese organizational phenomena.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Lin Zhang and Xiaojun Zhang

The aim of this research is to explore the behavioral model of Chinese organizational leaders acquiring resources for the development of their organizations under the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research is to explore the behavioral model of Chinese organizational leaders acquiring resources for the development of their organizations under the influence of hierarchically oriented social governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares the differences between Western and Chinese contexts and conducts a grounded multi-case study to explore leadership behavioral model in the Chinese context.

Findings

First, the Chinese social governance structure is hierarchically oriented, whereas the Western social governance structure is market oriented. Second, this unique inconformity found in the Chinese organizational leaders as contorted leadership, which refers to the inconsistency between leaders’ cognition and their behavior when acquiring resources for the development of their organizations, is defined. Third, the conflict between leaders’ cognition and behaviors is caused by the social governance mechanism within which leaders are embedded.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have just made a first step to understand contorted leadership in the Chinese context, further researches should pay more attention to exploring the origins, functions and impacts of leaders’ contorted behaviors.

Originality/value

First, leadership is linked with social governance by emphasizing on the core role of social governance in allocating the resources which organizational leaders scramble for. Second, a new kind of leadership –contorted leadership – in the Chinese context that emphasizes on the contradiction between leaders’ cognition and behavior, which deepens the understanding of leadership contextualization, is identified.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Li Lin, Peter Ping Li and Hein Roelfsema

As the global presence of Chinese firms grows, increasing numbers of Chinese managers are working abroad as expatriates. However, little attention has been paid to such…

Abstract

Purpose

As the global presence of Chinese firms grows, increasing numbers of Chinese managers are working abroad as expatriates. However, little attention has been paid to such Chinese expatriate managers and their leadership challenges in an inter-cultural context, especially across a large cultural distance. To fill the gap in the literature concerning the leadership challenges for expatriate managers in an inter-cultural context, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the leadership styles of Chinese expatriate managers from the perspectives of three traditional Chinese philosophies (i.e. Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism) in the inter-cultural context of the Netherlands.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this qualitative study were collected via semi-structured, open-ended, narrative interviews with 30 Chinese expatriate managers in the Netherlands.

Findings

The results clearly show that the leadership style of Chinese expatriate managers is deeply rooted in the three traditional Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, even in an inter-cultural context. Specifically, the study reveals two salient aspects of how Chinese expatriate managers frame and interact with a foreign cultural context from the perspectives of traditional Chinese philosophies. First, the Chinese expatriate managers reported an initial cultural shock related to frictions between the foreign cultural context and Confucianism or Taoism, but less so in the case of Legalism. Second, the Chinese expatriate managers also reported that their interactions with the Dutch culture are best described as a balance between partial conflict and partial complementarity (thus, a duality). In this sense, the leadership style of Chinese expatriate managers is influenced jointly by the three traditional Chinese philosophies and certain elements of the foreign cultural context. This is consistent with the Chinese perspective of yin-yang balancing.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to offer a more nuanced and highly contextualized understanding of leadership in the unique case of expatriate managers from an emerging market (e.g. China) in an advanced economy (e.g. the Netherlands). The authors call for more research to apply the unique perspective of yin-yang balancing in an inter-cultural context. The authors posit that this approach represents the most salient implication of this study. For practical implications, the authors argue that expatriate leaders should carefully manage the interplay between their deep-rooted home-country philosophies and their salient host-country culture. Reflecting on traditional philosophies in another culture can facilitate inter-cultural leadership training for Chinese expatriates.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2020

Xiaoni Ren and Darren John Caudle

This paper aims to explore and compare academics’ experiences of managing work-life balance (WLB) in the British and Chinese contexts. The authors have three specific…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and compare academics’ experiences of managing work-life balance (WLB) in the British and Chinese contexts. The authors have three specific purposes. Firstly, to investigate whether there are marked gender differences in either context, given female and male academics’ work is considered fully comparable. Secondly, to examine contextual factors contributing to gender differences that influence and shape decisions in WLB and career paths. Thirdly, to explore the gendered consequences and implications.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-national and multilevel analytical approach to WLB was chosen to unpick and explore gender land contextual differences and their influence on individual academics’ coping strategies. To reflect the exploratory nature of uncovering individual experience and perceptions, the authors used in-depth, semi-structured interviews. In total, 37 academics participated in the study, comprised of 18 participants from 6 universities in the UK and 19 participants from 6 universities in China.

Findings

This study reveals gendered differences in both the British and Chinese contexts in three main aspects, namely, sourcing support; managing emotions; and making choices, but more distinct differences in the latter context. Most significantly, it highlights that individual academics’ capacity in cultivating and using coping strategies was shaped simultaneously by multi-layered factors at the country level, the HE institutional level and the individual academics’ level.

Originality/value

Very few cross-cultural WLB studies explore gender differences. This cross-national comparative study is of particular value in making the “invisible visible” in terms of the gendered nature of choices and decisions within the context of WLB. The study has significant implications for female academics exercising individual scope in carving out a career, and for academic managers and institutions, in terms of support, structure and policy.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Shuai Zhang and David Bright

Talent management (TM) is underdeveloped and TM recognition is unclear in the context of Chinese private‐owned enterprises (POEs). As talent definition is the basis of TM…

Abstract

Purpose

Talent management (TM) is underdeveloped and TM recognition is unclear in the context of Chinese private‐owned enterprises (POEs). As talent definition is the basis of TM practices, the purpose of this paper is to explore talent definition and TM recognition in the context of Chinese real estate POEs, in order to explore how Chinese cultural context and POEs' characteristics influence talent definition and TM recognition.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 27 semi‐structured interviews were conducted in three case study companies.

Findings

Based on qualitative analysis, the paper finds talent definition is influenced by the important Chinese cultural factor “guanxi” and is quite different from existing Western TM literature. TM recognition is also influenced by the Chinese POEs' operation characteristics.

Originality/value

The paper finds a new talent definition criterion, “guanxi”, and identifies TM recognition in the context of Chinese POEs. The paper thus contributes to TM literature in China.

Details

Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1396

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Li Jingjing, Nuno Guimarães Costa and Pedro Neves

– This paper aims to analyze the adjustment experience of Chinese expatriate managers in Portugal.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the adjustment experience of Chinese expatriate managers in Portugal.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study is based on the qualitative analysis of 12 semi-structured, open-ended interviews to Chinese expatriate managers in Portugal. Expatriates varied in terms of international experience, stage of career and industry. All expatriates had at least one-year working experience in Portugal. The coding process followed a reflexive approach between data and existing theory.

Findings

The process of adjustment of Chinese expatriate managers to the Portuguese context is arranged in five dimensions: perception: expatriates tend to perceive the differences between China and Portugal as not significant; guanxi replication: similarities between the two countries raised the question of whether the guanxi model could be replicated; resistance: although the two countries are perceived as close, there are significant differences, namely, in terms of some cultural aspects, the legal framework and the level of acceptance of the guanxi; adaptation: given these resistances, it is necessary for expatriates to change some practices that are commonly used in the Chinese context; and identity construction: Chinese expatriates are particularly concerned by their identity as foreigners and of the corresponding need to adjust.

Originality/value

This exploratory study revealed that guanxi should not be seen as a purely cultural product grounded in the Confucian tradition but instead should be taken as a business strategy that depends on the existence of specific factors, such as the relevance and quality of interpersonal relationships in a business context.

Details

Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

May Aung, Xiying Zhang and Lefa Teng

The purpose of this study is to offer a better understanding of contemporary consumer behaviour. This study relates to the complex and value-laden phenomenon of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to offer a better understanding of contemporary consumer behaviour. This study relates to the complex and value-laden phenomenon of “gift-giving” from the perspective of bicultural consumers. The focus was on the gift-giving practices of Chinese immigrants in Canada within both their current and their past residencies (Canada and China, respectively).

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual guidelines for this study embodied the gift-giving conceptual framework of Sherry (1983) and Chinese cultural values on gift giving (Yau et al., 1999). A qualitative research study was implemented. Specifically, in-depth interviews with Chinese immigrant women mainly from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada, offered empirical evidence relating to the gestation stage of gift giving.

Findings

The findings indicate the complexity of acculturation in gift-giving practices. In terms of gift-giving occasions, Chinese immigrants in Canada, for the most part, adopted the Canadian gift-giving occasions. However, the important role of ethnicity in decision-making is found through their strong sense of differentiation between Chinese and Canadian gift receivers. The results also indicate some Chinese cultural values such as relationship, reciprocity and group orientation as being still important in shaping gift-giving practices, even after immigration to a new country quite distant from the homeland. One cautionary note is that some cultural values such as relationship can be common to both Chinese and Canadian cultural groups.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted mainly in the GTA in Ontario, Canada. Future studies could address other large Canadian cities with significant bicultural Chinese populations such as Vancouver in British Columbia and Motreal in Quebec.

Practical implications

This research extends the knowledge of bicultural consumers by examining the evolving gift-giving practices of Chinese immigrants living in Canada. A good understanding of the cultural values important to bicultural consumers will help marketers to efficiently and effectively allocate their marketing resources in attracting these niche consumers.

Social implications

This study has contributed to the broader field of marketing research. Specifically, the current study offers the importance of understanding values transference of bicultural consumers and their behaviours in integrating into the mainstream gift-giving cultural context.

Originality/value

This study has contributed by offering evidence of how a minority consumer group formed complex acculturation realities within a gift-giving consumption context. This contribution can be counted as a step towards theoretical advancement in the field of acculturation and of understanding bicultural consumers.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Sherry L. Avery, Judy Y. Sun, Patricia M. Swafford and Edmund L. Prater

The purpose of this study is to promote Chinese indigenous research by examining a case in which adopting social capital (SC) scales developed in the Western context for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to promote Chinese indigenous research by examining a case in which adopting social capital (SC) scales developed in the Western context for Chinese samples can decontextualize inter-firm guanxi management in the Chinese context.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting the existing Western scales to measure SC, we collected data from Chinese executives participating in executive master of business administration programs on buyer–supplier relationship. Using the same items and data source, we identified post hoc factors representing guanxi dimensions. Ordinary least squared regressions were used for both guanxi and SC dimensions to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Our analysis showed that Chinese natives responded to the Western SC items according to their understanding and mindsets rooted in guanxi. This was evidenced by the results from the post hoc-derived guanxi dimensions with the same data, which show better regression results for the hypotheses tested, although the construct validity was comparable. Adopting Western SC measurement scales deconceptualized the intricate Chinese context and inter-firm interactions.

Research limitations/implications

It is inappropriate to borrow Western-developed scales for Chinese HRM research due to intricate differences in contexts. Doing so may run the risk of ignoring the Chinese context regarding the mechanisms and processes of complex human interactions, although it may produce superficial results consistent with the Western literature. Developing indigenous measurement scales should be considered not only as a preference but also as a requirement for Chinese management research.

Originality/value

We empirically compared the difference between Western-developed measurement scales and a Chinese indigenous construct, as well as their impact on relationship management in relation to indigenous Chinese management research.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Fu Jia, Ruihong Gao, Richard Lamming and Richard Wilding

This paper aims to identify problems caused by cultural differences between Japan and China that face supply chain managers by applying Japanese-style supply management…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify problems caused by cultural differences between Japan and China that face supply chain managers by applying Japanese-style supply management practices within supply networks in China and present solutions to this problem.

Design/methodology/approach

A single, longitudinal case study conducting two waves of data collection (i.e. interviews and observation) plus the collection of much archival data was performed. It goes beyond the dyad by examining supply management of a Japanese company’s supply chain up to three tiers in China.

Findings

The four supply cultural differences between Japan and China, which caused the cultural clashes between JVCo and some of its suppliers were revealed and a model of adaptation of Japanese supply management to the Chinese business system was developed. Adaptation involves creating new supply management practices out of selective adaptation, innovation and change of existing Japanese and Chinese supply management practices rooted in different Japanese, Chinese and Western cultures. A list of organisational factors affecting the adaptation has also been provided.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the adoption of a single case study method, caution should be given to generalising the findings to all Japanese firms.

Practical implications

The Japanese, Chinese and Western managers were provided with insights on how to mitigate the problems caused by cultural differences within supply relationships in China and some innovative ideas on how managers from all three cultures could blend the elements of the three cultures to form a hybrid culture and reduce cultural clashes.

Originality/value

This is one of the few attempts to study the transfer of Japanese supply management practice to China. Organizational theory (i.e. transfer of organizational practice and hybridization) is applied and provides a robust framework to explain the supply management practice. This study also answers the call for a global supplier relationship management paradigm.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Baiyin Yang and Zhequn Mei

The purpose of this paper is to examine a Chinese indigenous concept of organizational ownership behavior (OOB) as an aspect of employee suzhi in relation to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a Chinese indigenous concept of organizational ownership behavior (OOB) as an aspect of employee suzhi in relation to organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) in the Western context.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis based on a review of related research in Western mainstream and Chinese domestic literature is conducted.

Findings

Suzhi at the organizational level can be linked to the construct of OCB. In Chinese organizations, a relevant concept to OCB can be better understood as OOB to capture the sociopolitical and cultural context unique to Chinese organizations. The dimensional structure of OOB is presented to differentiate it from OCB which is popular in the Western context.

Research limitations/implications

The identified construct of OOB offers important implications for indigenous Chinese management research and human resources management (HRM) practice. OOB, based on Chinese management practice, can better conform to China’s unique historical and cultural context and management practices. This concept varies distinctively from Western OCB in terms of its connotation and dimensions.

Originality/value

The concept of OOB as an indigenous employee organizational behavior in the Chinese context is conceptualized. The paper differentiates the OOB construct from OCB and presents an initial set of six dimensions of OOB for future research.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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