Preparing for and adapting to Business Culture Shock and simple business cultural differences is a normal part of international growth activities.
Chinese Companies Are Expanding Overseas
The Washington Post Article Chinese companies face culture shock in countries that aren’t like China describes such issues for Chinese entrepreneurs. Several of their points are summarized below.
- “Chinese entrepreneurs … as they rush abroad … are grappling … with unruly trade unions, independent courts … meddlesome journalists … multiparty politics and … the power of public opinion”
- “public often demands greater transparency and courts enforce stricter environmental and labor laws”
- A Chinese company building roads “In Poland … had failed to allow … for the cost of compliance with local environmental laws.”
- “Strict laws against pollution … might pose problems in the West”
International Business Culture Shock
But just expanding a company from Silicon Valley to include sales in Massachusetts can involve adapting to Business Culture Shock and business cultural differences. California and Massachusetts are 3000 miles apart and the cultures quite different.
From an international perspective, the following issues can differ in business relationships from country to country:
- Moments of silence during conversations
- Handling of conflict
- Gift giving
- Exchange of business cards
- Interrupting and listening
- When and how to kiss women or shake their hand as you greet them in a business context
- How soon and how to respond after a first business meeting
- The Washington Post article Chinese companies face culture shock in countries that aren’t like China
- The Western office and business and International sections under Etiquette in Wikipedia.