Essay: Chinese culture

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  • Chinese culture
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Thus in summary the Chinese concept are presented below as developed from (Geert-hofstede 2015)
Concept Findings on the Chinese culture
Power At least 80% of China sits in the higher rankings of Power index — this means that it is a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable. The superior affiliation to relationship tends to be polarized and there is no defense against power abuse by superiors. Individuals are therefore more influenced by formal authority and sanctions and are in general optimistic about people’s capacity for leadership and initiative. People should not have aspirations beyond their rank according to the Chinese
Individualism and collectivism At a score of 20% China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. In-group considerations affect hiring and promotions with closer in-groups (such as family) are getting preferential treatment. Employee commitments to the organization (but not necessarily to the people in the organization) are low. Whereas relationships with colleagues are cooperative for in-groups they are cold or even hostile to out-groups. Personal relationships prevail over task and company.
Gender With a score of 66 China is a Masculine society —success oriented and driven. The need to ensure success can be exemplified by the fact that many Chinese will sacrifice family and leisure priorities to work. Service people (such as hairdressers) will provide services until very late at night. Leisure time is not so important. The migrated farmer workers will leave their families behind in faraway places in order to obtain better work and pay in the cities.
UAI With a ranking of 30% China has a low score on Uncertainty Avoidance. None the less, adherence to laws and rules may be flexible to suit the actual situation and pragmatism is a fact of life. The Chinese are comfortable with ambiguity; the Chinese language is full of ambiguous meanings that can be difficult for Western people to follow. Chinese are adaptable and entrepreneurial. At the time of writing the majority (70% -80%) of Chinese businesses tend to be small to medium sized and family owned.
Time orientation China scores 87% in this dimension, which means that it is a very pragmatic culture. In societies with a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions easily to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results
Indulgence China is a restrained society as can be seen in its low score of 24% in this dimension. Societies with a low score in this dimension have a tendency to cynicism and pessimism. Also, in contrast to Indulgent societies, restrained societies do not put much emphasis on leisure time and control the gratification of their desires. People with this orientation have the perception that their actions are restrained by social norms and feel that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong
Figure 5 Hofstedes framework on China
2.4. Case analysis of relationship effects: Qingxin Zhang
Guanxi is a “Chinese cultural phenomenon” (Fan, 2002, p. 374) that has multiple meanings, the following are some of the meanings that can be attributed to the Guanxi phenomenon.
1. The relationship between people with shared characteristics
2. Active and repeated contact between people
3. Infrequent, and direct communication with people
It is an interesting irony that guanxi, the socially intense system of informal relationships that undercuts and reverses formal Chinese institutions, is itself a subcategory of the central principle of Chinese culture. Guanxi, is a word for networking, it connects the individuals to a social network of “friends” who can be called upon for favors when needed. These social networks, however, pay tribute to the status of their members. The social status of each member in the broader community is respected within the social network. Yet the exact purpose and function of Guanxi is to bypass formal hierarchical systems, institutions, and demands for obedience in the broader society. These intense obligations of respect, required and mapped out in detail in innumerable interpersonal rituals and mannerisms, make efficient action difficult. Guanxi addresses this problem by enabling relationships to develop new types of bonds based on trust and mutual advantage and thus new channels for action.
Guanxi, then, is an outgrowth of hierarchy that simultaneously turns back against it, undermining its directives while maintaining its integrity. It maintains its integrity by both respecting hierarchical status within guanxi networks and contributing efficiency to rigid hierarchal structures (Sethi, 2014)
Equally, this traditional concept to the Chinese culture is one that is referring to closeness within the relationship of people, it is notes that the studies in this field has reveled the interest that the concepts of guanxi have on the affecting of cultural relationships. Looking at the positions that are described with the concepts, the most valid dimension in the studies reveal that the cultural affection, the sovereignty and the concern of societal collectively are more entrenched in the traditional Chinese concerns, the present day seem more rooted in understanding better directions of using this concepts in the filled of socialization.
We further identified gaps and potential for advancing guanxi research through multi-perspective and multi-level theorizing and examination. In doing so, we hope that guanxi theories and research will not only help illuminate the complexity of guanxi in Chinese organizations and societies but also that of human relations in the rest of the world.” (Chen, Chen and Huang, 2013)
In addition, based on Kipnis (1997), guanxi involves mianzi, affect and reciprocal favor, which are the characteristics of guanxi. (Lin, 2010) In fact not only mianzi does not only exist in Asian culture dimensions. In Western society, the concept of mianzi is close to that of ‘‘face,’’ referring to one person’s identity in a particular situation While ‘‘face’’ represents an identity at individual level, mianzi in Eastern society represents a positive social value that one successfully earns from others in specific social interaction. It is also the self-image which is praised by society (Goffman, 1972). In their Politeness Theory, Brown and Levinson (1978) brought up two kinds of face, namely negative and positive face. While positive face refers to the need of one’s value to be accepted or praised by related people, negative face refers to the public image which represents independence and self-sufficiency. In China, mianzi denotes one’s public image which is built by certain social roles and it deeply influences Chinese social life
2.5 Effects of corporate culture on performances
At a practical level, the business sales must align with the realities of the corporate culture and what is possible within that culture. The excellent corporate cultures make their innovation continued and became the cornerstone of the enterprise to support the fast sustainable development in the future. Culture can manifest themselves from superficial elements to deep element. Therefore, based on the interest that the Chinese fraternity will be having in the analytical presentation that the Chinese culture that they are having is concern the main interest is on the dismal performance that the Chinese companies have on the external dimensions. In particular, a number of political concerns have been raised on the associations that china has with a number of operations with the sub Saharan Africa continent. One of these major interest develop very much form the interactions and the indulgence index that the hofstedes framework provides for the Chinese culture and their social interactions. Citing an example of the Kenya relationships with China, Chinese companies score in indulgence even goes lower with the Kenyan relationships. This is because the Chinese are prone to having lower number of local employed in the countries they operate. According to ( ) low score to indulgence can be termed as cultural barrier to economic and development concern with trade in mind. This, implies of the limitations that the country and it business culture has from the concepts of interaction with other cultures.
Chapter 3: Sales and International Marketing
3.1 Introductory comments
The art of sales is defined by completing a transaction from the time you introduce your company to a prospect; to the delivery of the finished good and payment for that good. This definition is limited in scope as the art of sales is a never-ending cycle. To quote the famous Guy Kawasaki, “How can you tell an entrepreneur is selling? His lips are moving.”There has never been a truer statement, as we live in a time where new businesses, ideas and thirty-second elevator pitches are becoming a commonality. As companies construct and hone their pitch, consumers and end users create new and innovative ways to tune them out. The technology age has succeeded in adding more effective ways to sell, but has also created additional noise in an already crowded sales channel. The challenge is to identify how you are ten times better than your competition. In this step of the series, we will guide you through the basics of forecasting, recruiting, executing, reporting and measuring sales. We will also examine these principles by applying them to our fictitious company, Profit Corporation. Specifically, we will determine how they developed their strategic sales and marketing plans by utilizing this method according to ().
3.2 Marketing Overview
It was once quoted, “You don’t need marketing if you do not plan to make money.” Marketing is a necessary component in completing your sale; in fact, survival without it is almost impossible. People will not buy from a company that they don’t realize exists; nor will they buy a product or service of which they are ill-educated. It is your job to educate your target market and let them know how you make meaning. Consider the example of Starbucks. The sale for Starbucks happened before you stepped into their store—it happened when you decided to meet a colleague there. Why did you choose Starbucks? Perhaps it was because the location was convenient, or you knew that the prospect enjoyed good coffee. Perhaps you knew that your client would know exactly how to get to that location. At any rate, Starbucks won the war of sales and marketing well before you stepped into the door. They won the war of competition through marketing. In most cities, there are hundreds of coffee shops in shopping malls, on street corners and even in most restaurants. Think of an example directly related to your company where a sale was made to you through marketing. There is a time where your lack of education in marketing could impede your growth. It is important to recognize when that time occurs and to define the need to turn your faith over to a professional marketing company. These companies focus on the growth and development of businesses like yours every day; they have seen the “bigger picture” of successful tactics to market businesses. They understand all the governing dynamics when building a marketing strategy and how to relate it to your business, but there are a couple of factors you should investigate when outsourcing your marketing strategy.
3.3 The importance of salesperson and strategy
Jong and Willem have outlined a closer look at the sales literature has mainly focused on the following issues;
1. Identifying different types of salesperson customer interactions—examples are adaptive selling (originated by Spiro and Weitz, 1990) and customer orientation (originated by Saxe and Weitz,1982)
2. Salesperson interactions conceived from the perspective of role expectations of their managers (and customers) (originated by Churchill, Ford, Hartley, and Walker, 1985)
3. Building stable relationships between customers and selling firms based on trust and avoidance of opportunism (originated by Morgan and Hunt, 1994, or Jap and Anderson, 2007)
4. The accentuation of key account management and team selling (originated by Weitz and Bradford, 1999), (de Jong, Verbeke and Nijssen, 2014)
Artur and Nick believe businesses in an increasing number of countries are seeking competitive advantages by providing high-quality products and services to meet the needs of a global customer base. Currently, almost any firm, large or small, is challenged to “go international,” as doing business across borders is the mantra for continuous prosperity. Moreover, even firms that do not engage in international activities cannot escape globalization processes because they need to defend their home market position from these international interlopers. Given that the sales force is primarily responsible for the lion’s share of customer acquisition and retention, understanding sales force issues in a global context would seem to be vital for ongoing corporate success. Operating at the customer—firm boundary-spanning interface, the sales function occupies a prominent role in the internationalization process of most firms. Therefore, international selling and sales management topics should be of interest to academics and practitioners, recognizing that acquiring a deep knowledge base may be less challenging for managers than for academics. From a scholarly perspective, a major challenge remains in taking into account the traditions and accumulated knowledge from at least two research areas: international business or management, and selling and sales management. (Baldauf and Lee, 2011)
3.3 Sales behaviors
3.3.1 Skills
Pettijohn, Pettijohn and Taylor had list tow related literatures. One study was examined what was termed critical success factors. In this research, sales skills, tasks, and behaviors were identified that influenced performance. The findings indicated that differences existed in terms of tactics used by high and low performers. For example, the findings revealed that low performers tended to use cold calling and other impersonal prospecting techniques. Conversely, high performers were described as being more likely to use interpersonal prospecting methods (centers of influence, seminars, etc.). Moreover, low performers used the product benefit approach, more standardized sales presentations, and more “manipulative sales tactics.” High performers, on the other hand, tended to use more visualization in the sales process and tended to use silence in selling. The research concluded by noting that high performers met their client’s needs by being more personal and customer oriented. Poor performers took a more traditional/sales-oriented approach (Dwyer, Hill, and Martin 2000). Other studies have examined sales skills from the perspective of the buyer. Del Vecchio et al. (2002, p 3) examined relationships between buyers’ perceptions of alternative sales tactics and their perceived effectiveness. The results indicated that buyers responded differently to many sales tactics based upon differences in the buyers’ characteristics. The study also discovered that buyers tended to respond similarly to what were termed product-focused techniques. In using product focused techniques, the salesperson engaged in discussions of product applications, demonstrations, and product uses. The research also contended that when salespeople meet with buyers with authority to purchase, the salesperson should use “a benefit approach, ask confirmation or clarification questions, directly address the buyer’s objections, and finally, clear the path to closing the sale” (DelVecchio et al. 2002 p. 45). These techniques were termed customer-focused selling techniques. Competitive selling techniques (comparisons with either the buyer’s or seller’s competitors) were responded to equally by both types of buyers analyzed. In a separate study, buyers were asked to identify the characteristics they desired from salespeople. This study found that buyers preferred salespeople who had expertise in their own product lines and the market. Buyers also wanted salespeople who could communicate well, expedite orders, solve problems, understand their needs, and who could get their needs satisfied (Garver and Mentzer 2000). Williams and Seminerio (1985) also evaluated the importance of salesperson behaviors from the buyer’s perspective. Their findings indicated that buyers sought salespeople who were thorough, knowledgeable, willing to represent the buyer, and had market knowledge. (Pettijohn, Pettijohn and Taylor, 2007)
3.3.2 Sales innovation
Through the review of journal article, the sales innovation is getting more focused on new product development. Lacroix, Lussier and Ouellet said: Innovation has emerged as the new mantra in all spheres of business over the past decades. Intuitively, salespeople should play a key role in innovation and new product development (NPD). Because they spend their workdays interacting with customers and clients, they are very likely the ones who best understand whatever it is that the market prefers, needs, and wants. (Lacroix, Lussier and Ouellet, 2014) In addition, Jong, Verbeke and Nijssen also pointed out The goal of sales innovation is to better understand the role of a company’s sales force in the product innovation process and salespersons’ ability to sell newly developed products. Salespeople who sell new products have contact with lead users, and lead users most of the time are innovative too. Hence, salespeople not only get involved in facilitating product adoption in the market but also help to get voice from the market and, as such, help their company to keep innovating effectively (Hargadon, 2003). In fact, many new technologies have emerged because they answer the problems of a specific set of customers (lead users). This makes a salesperson a new kind of customer boundary spanner: he convinces customers, listens to their voices, and also effectuates the interaction between people of his firm and that of the customer (Wotruba, 1991). Consistent with this, in the business press, Dixon and Adamson (2011) recently proposed that salespeople ought to operate as challengers, meaning they have to confront customers’ habitual work and thinking habits (which are imprinted) and challenge them to look differently at the world so that they can mobilize their own social environment (or buying center). Modern salespeople are not just sellers, but they have become challengers of ideas requiring that they have a deep understanding of the industry such that they become proficient knowledge brokers (Verbeke, Dietz, and Verwaal, 2010; De Jong, Verbeke and Nijssen, 2014)
3.3.3 Chinese sale person behaviors
Networks of informal relationships are one of the major characteristics of business and social activities in Asian regions such as China, HongKong, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. (Tsai, Chi and Hu, 2009) Tsai, Chi and Hu also pointed out renqing orientation as a personality Trait. Nevertheless, not every Chinese person follows this cultural norm in the same manner. Some may have a higher tendency of giving gifts to those who have helped them in the past, for example, but other may not. Moreover, they followed Weitz et al.’s (1986) classification of selling behaviors. They identified two general types of selling behaviors: adaptive selling and hard work (see also Levy and Sharma 1994; Sujan 1986; Weiner 1980; Sujan et al. 1994). As show as below, the first type of selling behavior is ‘‘adaptive selling’’, or ‘‘the altering of sales behaviors during a customer interaction, or across customer interactions, based on perceived information about the nature of the selling situation’’ (Levy and Sharma 1994, p. 39). Research has shown that excellent sales representatives often alter their selling behaviors on the basis of situational considerations (Sujan et al. 1994; Leong et al. 1989). That is, these salespeople will try to understand the need of their customers, select the best sales strategies for these customers, and recommend products that satisfy these customers’ particular needs (Weitz 1978; Weitz et al. 1986; Lambert et al. 1990). Another type of selling behavior, ‘‘hard work’’ describes ‘‘the overall amount of effort that a salesperson devotes to his or her work’’ (Sujan et al. 1994, p. 40). Empirical evidence has shown that high-performing salespeople are usually those who work very hard at their jobs (Churchill et al. 1985; Sujan et al. 1994). Sujan et al. (1994) suggested that these successful salespeople tend to be persistent at selling, devote a great deal of effort to their work, and continue their selling effort even in the face of failure. (Tsai, Chi and Hu, 2009)
3.3.4 Cross culture selling
Although cross-cultural selling is a delicate process requiring a high level of cultural sensitivity, our understanding of why some salespeople are more effective than others in culturally diverse situations is limited. This is problematic considering the fact that many firms now derive a large percentage of their revenues from global operations. Political events of the past 20 years—events such as the collapse of the Soviet bloc, creation and enlargement of the European Union, and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)— have spurred an increase in global initiatives among firms. Many have shifted their focus to the emerging economies of the world, particularly those of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC), given the significant growth opportunities these economies provide. All indications suggest this shift will become even more pronounced in the years to come. (Hansen et al., 2011) Hansen’s research was based on cultural intelligence and cultural adaptation related on salesperson performance. Individuals high in CQ are capable of functioning and effectively managing in culturally diverse settings (Earley and Ang 2003). The construct is rooted in general intelligence theories that posit that highly intelligent individuals are adept at solving problems based on their ability to grasp and reason with the relevant concepts surrounding the problem (Schmidt and Hunter 2000). Giacobbe (1991) found that adaptive behaviors account for approximately 20 percent of the variance in sales performance, and extant research generally supports the notion that ASB enhances performance (e.g., Boorom, Goolsby, and Ramsey 1998; Park and Holloway 2003; Spiro and Weitz 1990). In the most wide-ranging investigation of the relationship, Franke and Park (2006) found through a meta-analysis of 26 samples and over 5,800 salespeople that ASB was highly correlated with self-rated salesperson performance. It stands to reason that the same relationship will hold true in crosscultural sales situations, due in part to the fact that culturally sensitive salespeople will be more adept at establishing and maintaining cross-cultural relationships. (Hansen et al., 2011)
3.3.5 Role of the sales -Value creation
In the course of the servitisation (Vandermerwe & Rada, 1988) of business exchanges, the salesperson’s role has changed, away from being the communicator between the customer’s needs and the company’s products, to actively engaging in creating value for the customer using the company resources as support (Wotruba, 1991). The initial idea of salesperson’s value creation is that they can add value for the customer by augmenting a product through services or by finding a solution in the form of combined products and services (Tanner, Fournier, Wise, Hollet &c Poujol, 2008). Hence, customer value is no longer considered to lie in the product itself (Levitt, 1969; Miles, 1961) but rather to be added by the salesperson by either increasing the customer’s benefits or decreasing the cost (Anderson et al., 2007; Rose, 1991). More recently, the terminology of value added has been substituted by the concept of value selling, with the idea that the salesperson does not need an existing product or offering anymore but can create monetary value by making the customer’s business more efficient or effective (Anderson et al., 2007; Hanan, 2004; Rackham & DeVincentis, 1999). (Hohenschwert, 2012) Blocker and his colleague are also said like that, within business markets, salespeople are in a prime position to recognize and manage the costs and profitability of individual customers, influence repeat purchasing, increase share-of-spending, and shape other strategic outcomes that could help their firm’s appropriate greater value. Yet little empirical work addresses how value appropriation for the firm is mediated or can be positively shaped through the efforts of the sales force. And Our framework portends increased opportunity and responsibility for the sales force in that refining skills in identifying and cocreating value for customers and helping determine how to best appropriate value from exchange relationships can significantly enhance the value of the sales force in an organization. Yet such skill gains necessitate training to provide the sales force with the requisite skills and compensation and reward systems to encourage such activities. Salespeople and selling firms that build trusting, highly relational exchanges with customers may be tempted to take advantage of such relationships—in particular if the sales force is placed under some pressure to appropriate more profits. (Blocker et al., 2012)

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