What cross-cultural management doesn’t tell us

History of generational dynamics in Chinese society

Authored by: Matti Nojonen

The Routledge Companion to Cross-Cultural Management

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415858687
eBook ISBN: 9780203798706
Adobe ISBN: 9781135105709


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CCM literature is in general written by Anglo-American scholars and for a Western audience. In their approach to distant cultures such as China, these scholars tend to reproduce the nineteenth-century Western belief in the existence of a collectivist Confucian society and to ignore, on the whole, the immediate and evolving socio-political conditions that are altering the local value system. By analysing the immediate socio-political changes that have tangibly conditioned the actual values and social behaviour of Chinese youth over the last five to six generations one is able to take a critical stance on Western CCM studies that tend to observe and explain their findings through the stereotypical spectacles of Confucian collectivism (Hofstede & Hofstede 2005). This stereotypical approach is replicated in the curriculums of numerous Western business schools and in best-selling literature that explains how ‘Chinese organizations are strongly permeated by Confucian values’ (Ambler et al. 2008: 203).

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