MBA Dissertation – Chinese Business Culture (2005)

Chinese Business Culture – This dissertation aspires to contribute to an understanding of the nature and pace of change in China’s business culture and the implications of such change for the country’s business environment. China’s emergence as a nascent economic superpower is the subject of increasing attention and focus among contemporary observers of international business and international relations. The effects of China’s transition from communism to capitalism have become increasingly pervasive and far-reaching.

China’s transformation has, however, been accompanied by an underlying tension between on the one hand the need to embrace foreign concepts and practices in the interest of economic development and on the other a wariness of the outside world, which is attributable to a distinctive cultural heritage and a legacy of foreign exploitation and subsequent isolationism in China’s modern history. This dialectic of modernity and tradition raises interesting questions about China from a business culture perspective.

The search for an optimal balance between continuity and change is an ongoing challenge, which every society faces. The dialectic also provides an insight into the broader question of the extent to which the different ramifications of globalisation will result in a convergence of business practices across different countries and cultures. This dissertation finds much evidence of China moving away from its Confucian legacy of ancient times and its more recent communist legacy.

China’s political leadership is struggling to keep its ideology up-to-date with accelerating social and economic change within the country. Notwithstanding its acceptance of private enterprise and ownership, it cannot bring itself to repudiate Marxism. Further socio-economic change is likely to generate its own dynamics for political change in China. The Chinese Communist Party will struggle to adapt its own power structure to an evolving socio-economic reality.

  • 15,000 words – 81 pages in length
  • Excellent literature review
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for business students

1: Introduction
Research methodology
Critique of research methodology

2: The Chinese legacy: from the past to the present
The Confucian heritage
The decline and disintegration of imperial China
From imperial China to communism
China’s economic reforms
Economic reform without political reform

3: Theoretical analysis framework
Perspectives on bedrock
The new left
New liberalism
Perspectives on superstructure
Cultural orientations
The influence of context
Dimensions of national cultures
The Chinese Value Survey

4: Secondary data analysis: bedrock trends
State-owned enterprise reform
The private sector
China’s integration into the global economy
The challenges to China’s political system

5: Secondary data analysis: superstructure trends
Work systems
The wealth effect
Improving educational opportunities
Demographic change
Technological change
Behaviour patterns
Increasing shortage of skilled labour
Fragmentation of urban Chinese society
Rural discontent
Lack of well-enforced health care and social security provisions
Review of findings of primary data survey

6: Methodology of the Triangle Test
Work systems culture analysis
Behaviour culture analysis
Bedrock culture analysis
Summary of findings

7: The barriers to business culture change
Lack of rule of law
The role of the state in China’s economy
The persistence of mercantilism
Obstacles to further development of the private sector
Backwardness of China’s financial system
A relationship-based approach to business

8: The “globalisation debate” and China’s recent development
The globalisation debate
The hyperglobalisers’ perspective
The sceptics’ perspective
The transformationalists’ perspective

9: Conclusion

Bibliography and references

Profile of respondent population for Triangle Test survey
Work systems analysis
Behaviour culture analysis
Bedrock culture analysis
The notion of Guanxi

Chinese Business Culture Dissertation
Chinese Business Culture Dissertation

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