Qualities of a Successful International Manager in China

Topics: Management, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 16 (4515 words) Published: September 27, 2010
Yen-Ting Wu (Kris)
Student number: 08838032
Email: kris_tim@hotmail.com

MSc Management



Due: 20/Apr/2010
Tutor: Vicky Richards Number of page: 17
Word count: 3642



The challenges facing international managers in China
What is cross-cultureP.4
The important emerging market – ChinaP.5
The cultural differences between China and Western (USA)P.6

The Ways to be successful international manager in China
Level 1: Professional QualitiesP.9
Level 2: Personal Global Qualities P.11

Case study: Unilever
Overview of Unilever and ManagementP.14
Unilever in ChinaP.14


References & BibliographiesP.17


Nowadays, issues linked to a cross-cultural context are mainly raised because of the internationalization and globalization of the economy. With the rapid change of the world economy and the globalization trend, business men face culturally diverse situations. The cross-culture challenges facing managers today are ever changing and more dynamic and thus required vary opportunity to tackle this issue. Although there are many cultures collide in a diverse workplace, many culture norms influence a manager’s behavior and subsequent reactions (Lee. G. & Rowe A., 2001).

Therefore, cross-national business is facing great challenges in cultural differences. China is an appealing market for foreign investors in the past 20 years. The problem of cross-cultural management arises because of the cooperation between China and Western continues to increase at an unprecedented rate; as a result, all multinational enterprises have noticed the importance of international management. To be effectively operating under the multi-cultural environment, it is essential to learn the cultural difference between countries and its influence on the enterprises operating.

An organisation that has responded successfully to the challenges of globalisation is the Unilever Group which has operations in around 170 countries; moreover, it has at least 400 brands spanning 14 categories of home, personal care and foods products. Unilever is a multi-local multinational with consumers, employees, business partners and shareholders on every continent. As the world economy continues to integrate, Unilever understand that real problems arise about cultural differences.

This report will analyze the cross-cultural challenges facing international managers and required competency in China. Besides, it also illustrates the general cultural differences between China and Western by applying the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and Bond. There will be five aspects to discuss the impact of these cultural differences on the management practice namely: cooperative strategies, conflict management, decision-making, work-group characteristics, and motivation systems. Otherwise, the case study of Unilever will present the importance of knowing cross culture.

The challenges facing international managers in China

* What is Culture

A single definition of culture is not enough, because the concept is far too complex. Although the word ‘culture’ has many different meanings, Schein (1992) defined culture as ‘the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic ‘taken for granted’ fashion an organization's view of its self and its environment.’ Culture has been defined under various headings including: national, organizational or corporate industry culture and occupational culture. Moreover, among researchers who have given a variety of definitions of culture, Hofstede is one of the first to adopt a pragmatic problem-solving approach in the field and relates culture...

References: Chen, G.M. (1997) ‘Seniority and Superiority: A Case Analysis of Chinese Decision Making.’ [Online <http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/15/0d/28.pdf> [Accessed 17 March 2010]
Fan, P
< http://www.unilever.com/aboutus/?WT.GNAV=About_us> [Accessed 5 March 2010]
UnileverChina (2010), ‘Unilever in China’
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