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Differential Cultural Market In China And Singapore

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Question:

Discuss about the Differential Cultural Market In China And Singapore.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Human beings are dependent upon a lot of things, values, principles, past experiences and future expectations; however the influence of culture is probably the most significance one. The cultural background imparts a sound effect on the individuals and their lifestyles. It affects the normal and no so normal choices, preferences and dislikes heavily. With the impact of cultural values and principles so intricately linked with the lives in general, culture will undeniably have an even more effect on the business administration (Minkov & Hofstede, 2012).

Different regional cultures of different countries have characteristics unique to them, set on specific traditions and believes, they form the very foundation based on which the lifestyle of different regions develop. As any business is people focused, irrespective of the type and magnitude of the business, it becomes of paramount importance (Sheng, Zhou & Li, 2011). Taking the example of china, a country rich with cultural values and groundbreaking technological advancements, have citizens that are more inclined towards community structure. A report from the British council on Chinese cultural market states that more than 63% of Chinese prefer community style living and prefer life on the values of togetherness and sharing (Jones, 2012).

It has to be considered that the rich cultural values have transferred from generation to generation and has created an unshakable faith and generosity. With their lifestyle choices so different from the rest of the world, no wonder the market trends will be different as well. This report will attempt to evaluate the Chinese market culture and compare it with the Singaporean culture.

Cultural analysis of china: National culture:

China is considered to be an essentially traditional country with history and heritage that goes deeper than the surface. The traditional cultural market of china covers a vast geographical area where the groups or communities are divided into subcultures. The majority of the Chinese values and principles are centered around or are derived from the concepts of Confucianism and Taoism. Buddhism also plays a significant role in characterizing the Chinese culture. The impact of Buddhism on the lifestyle and principles of the culture is profound, with love and kindness at the heart of it Chinese are kind if not anything (Jones, 2012).

 

Subculture:

The cultural foundation of China is fragmented into a number of subcultures, the most foreboding culture of china is Confucian culture, coming from the origin of Zhou dynasty focused on principles of self guidance, righteousness and trust. Guanxi culture is a derivative of Confucianism based on the principles of informal personal connection. Another popular subculture within Chinese context is the Mianzi culture; it is much more focused on promoting public relationships and confident living. These are just a few examples of subcultures within China, there are a lot more that demand attention with unique characteristics (Ahlstrom, Chen & Yeh, 2010).

Aesthetics:

China is breath taking in its aesthetic beauty, the unique architecture of china dates back to more than two thousand years and is as old as the Chinese civilization. Chinese architecture is a hall mark of its rich culture with a few characteristics only found in the Chinese region. Chinese architecture is more focused with width, wide halls are a common occurrence in Chinese culture. Taking the example of forbidden city wide halls contrast the western emphasis on height. Uniquity to Chinese culture is symmetry that brings aesthetics and grandeur to the mix. The Chinese architecture forms the basis on the conception of Feng Shui and everything they make is breathtaking in its aesthetic beauty (Ardichvili et al., 2012).

Values and attitudes:

The societal structure of China is focused on the collaboration and unity, keeping humanity and kindness over harsh rules. Most of the social values of Chinese people came from Confucian believes which later changed due to the impact of Buddhism. Their values are centered within their believes of Buddhist religion and they strictly follow those believes. They practice self awareness and independence at all circumstances and their pride is intricately linked with their cultural roots. It can be  concluded that Chinese values pose a clear contradiction to the Western values and culture (Fang, 2012).

Mannerism and attitude:

Chinese mannerism and attitude is heavily interconnected with the values and the principles they hold close. They believe in kindness and mercy more than anything and they practice that strictly in their life. They hold their pride and self respect very close and will in no circumstances be willing to compromise on that. They cherish social etiquettes dearly and exhibit that to a large extent. They believe in collectivism and community to a larger extent and they cherish living with loved ones sharing love and sorrow with each other (Fang, 2012).

Religion:

Chinese religion is mainly based on Buddhism and they worship Lord Buddha in the most of Chinese demographics. The Buddhism has the widest influence on the Chinese people and other that that the religions that has significance in Chinese society are Confucianism, Islamism, Christianity and Taoism. The Chinese by nature are very religious and the maximum of the native are Buddhist, the impact of Buddhism on their lifestyle is also very moving and inspirational (Jian Wang et al., 2010).

 

Language:

The widespread popular language in china is most definitely Chinese, the native population rarely encourage any other languages. Although a major chunk of the young generation know English as an international language, but it is not heavily spoken over there. The majority of the Chinese population ca read, write and speak fluent Chinese however are not very fluent in other internationally recognized languages (Jian Wang et al., 2010).

Education:

China is high and far ahead in education and have a literacy rate of more than 65%. Chinese citizens are mandated to attend school for at least nine years after which it is optional. Chinese ministry of education has achieved 89% attendance in primary education and 80% of attendance in the secondary education. The figures are truly appreciable and inspiring. With high emphasis on technological studies china entertains a huge influx of international students every year and are proudly one of the top performers of Programme for International Student Assessment (Jones, 2012).

Physical and Material Environments:

China primarily is in the tropical belt of the planet and is the part of the warmer countries. The terrain in China varies vastly between rocky to plain to foothills. Monsoon is more prevalent climate in China and they entertain moist summer and dry winters. The materialistic environment of China is very minimalistic reflecting the simplistic life style of the Chinese (Liu & Porter, 2010).

Comparison of Business Cultures:

As one of the world's greatest economies, China's enormous market is irrefutably an engaging open entryway for examiners. About, while the bigger piece of Singapore's masses is Chinese, Singapore is for the most part essentially more westernized and clear similar to its organization game plans. Singapore is situated as the #1 put on the planet for straightforwardness of cooperating on the planet Bank's 'Cooperating 2011' report. In examination, China's 79th position demonstrates that its authoritative condition is less great to business. Singapore's cost system is known for its low obligation rates, liberal appraisal inspirations, and wide evaluation course of action sorts out. China's duty appraisal system places it at an engaged weakness (Low, 2011).

The businesses structures available for an examiner to peruse are all things considered the same in both countries and consolidate exclusive organizations confined by shares, associations or joint ventures and branch working environments. Regardless, China especially perceives associations that have nearby and outside hypothesis. Monetary pros in both Singapore and China will have no issues using neighborhood staff (Minkov & Hofstede, 2011). Really, it is an essential in Singapore to give nearby individuals sensible thought before using remote staff. Particularly with the present changes in development courses of action, it is not as easy to gain new outside capacity. With respect to terminating business, Singapore is, all things considered, as other made countries – commonly a notice period is required (either from the laborer or manager), or for the circumstance where a business needs to save agents, cash related compensation will when in doubt be given (however there are no entire guidelines secured by the Business Showing). Also, severance portion is found out in perspective of the amount of years of organization and last drawn remuneration of the staff (Migliore, 2011).

 


Not at all like Western culture, where solid, without question handshakes is the standard in business, the Chinese are not as pending with their handshakes or welcome, however the level of reservation does not stretch out further bolstering their good fortune; and they may ask awkward demand, for example, the aggregate worth of one's budgetary resources and conjugal status (Minkov & Hofstede, 2012). On the other hand, Singapore's working masses is significantly more westernized and for the most part hold snappy to western practices, which different scholars get themselves approve with.
     

(Figure source: Taras, Steel & Kirkman, 2012)

The way of life of Singapore is one selective kaleidoscope of all parts of it that mix splendidly with the city and its kin. The various populace of Singapore, involving the Chinese, Malay, Indian and European workers, praise their own exceptional societies that incorporate with each other to present such a one of a kind social dispersion. Regardless, Singaporean Chinese command the business culture of the nation. Singapore's way of life is by and large gathering focused (Ramasamy, Yeung & Au, 2010). Affirming singular inclinations might be viewed as less essential than having a feeling of having a place with a gathering, complying with its standards, and keeping up amicability among its individuals. Building enduring and trusting individual connections is in this manner imperative, however to a lesser degree than in a few other Asian nations. A few Singaporeans may take part in business while the relationship building procedure is as yet progressing (Puffer, McCarthy & Boisot, 2010).
    

(Figure source: Sheng, Zhou & Li, 2011)

Individuals in Singapore are generally well disposed and courteous. This does not influence their assurance to achieve business objectives, however, and your partners will quietly and diligently seek after their targets. It is to your greatest advantage to do likewise. Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008 - Lothar Katz 2 In Singapore's business culture, the regard a man appreciates depends essentially on his or her status and rank, age, accomplishments, and training (Ramasamy, Yeung & Au, 2010). You will normally observe pioneers in senior parts to be of cutting edge age. It is imperative to treat elderly individuals with extraordinary regard. Extended periods and no-nonsense, are normal, particularly at the official level. Appreciated individual qualities incorporate quietude, experience, and cooperation.

Most likely, while China is a monstrous and invigorating business division, money related pros would need to get a more significant perception of the country, legal structure and social principles before skipping in. Singapore on the other hand, remains as an endeavored and attempted choice. Also, with a strong Chinese masses, monetary pros find that Singapore is an uncommon stage from which they can contact the Chinese market (Sheng, Zhou & Li, 2011). 

Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture:

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory can be described as the a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by anthropologist Geert Hofstede. It describes the impact of a society's culture on the members and their values, and relate the imapct to behavior, using a structure-factor analysis. It has 5 dimensions:

Power distance:

The Power Distance Index has been constructed to measure ‘the extent to which power differs within the society, organization and institutions (like the family) are accepted by the less powerful members’. It assigns the countries scores by the level of power distance and dependent relationships in a country. The PDI also represents the level of inequality in  a country that is defined from below instead of above (Sidhu, Ho & Yeoh, 2011).

High power distance index countries are paternalistic and autocratic, there is a wide emotional distance among people at different steps of the hierarchy. People depend on the power holders, which, can be described as counter dependency. In the workplace, the subordinates willingly accept inferior positions. Thus, the 'open door' policy is replaced by autocratic leadership style in such countries. For instance, even though employees may want to be promoted, it is entirely their boss's decision and they have no say in it. Generally, countries with high power distance cultures hold that there is nothing wrong with inequality and thus, everyone could be in specific positions (Sidhu, Ho & Yeoh, 2011).

China being highly orthodox and conventional are considered to be a high PDI country with autocratic leadership in not only the society but also the business world.

 

Individualism vs Collectism:

As mentioned above china is more centered around the collectivism approach while Singaporean culture focuses more on individualism. It brings a striking contrast to the culture market of both regions. Individualism allows people to selfish, make their own choices and act on their whim. In a country that focuses on individualism the business market is concatered around the independence of all stakeholders associated (Taras, Kirkman & Steel, 2010).

Collectivism on the other hand views group or team as a single unit and the individuals are viewed as members of a collective team. In a culture market centered around collectivism the emphasis is more on the team effort and collaborative cooperation. The team has a unique set of values and principles that is separate from the views of the individual. The group decisions are based on the collective values and decision rater than focusing on the thoughts of a single individual (Taras, Kirkman & Steel, 2010).

A business market that focuses on collectivism is more stable and balaenced than a individualistic business market. The business in a collectivist market has lesser of a possibility to suffer any risk or harm than what it has in a individualistic market. Hence in this sector the market culture of china is safer to a extent (Taras, Steel & Kirkman, 2012).

Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty plays a huge role in determining the growth and progress of the business market. China with its collectivist attitude is market culture that is more focused on avoiding uncertainty. A contributing factor to it can be the culturally diverse population in the country. However, the risk of stagnancy is high on such cultures with the lack of risk taking capabilities, so in that sector the Singaporean culture can be considered to be the advantageous one (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2011).

Achievement vs Nurturing:

Overachievement in a business market can turn detrimental in  no time at all, and theories suggest that a nurturing business market is more likely to sustain in the market. China being a country with high ethical and collectivist values are more nurturing than the Singaporean market. Singaporean market has much more western influence and is more contemporary (Yoo, Donthu & Lenartowicz, 2011). However, business culture studies suggest that a business has the most chance of sustaining and flourishing in market if it can practice balance between both achievement and nurture, so that the interest of all the stakeholders associated are secured a all circumstances.

Long Term Orientation:

Long term orientation is considered to be the attribute of a business market that is sustainable and successful. This approach is well strategized and carefully planned with the vision set at the future. This approach allows the business to take decisions  that will not only bring prosperity in business in the present but will also benefit the business in a long turn. China being a  traditional market culture has more inclination towards long term orientation, taking carefully planned steps towards the long lasting benefits of the business in contrast to the contemporary vision of the Singaporean culture (Wong, 2012).

Conclusion:

On a concluding note it can be said that tboth business culturesare completely different to one another. Each have their own sets of pros and cons, have their own progress and dowsfalls. Where Chinese market is more collectivist, traditional and nurturing the Singaporean business culture poses a complete contrast with ist individualistic contemporary trends.

However, it can be said that the new can only sustain if the old makes a place for it. Hence both cultural business trends albeit contrasting but can be complementary with a few amendments to each, both making adjustments and compromises generating a middle ground, where both the markets cultures can learn a thing or two from one another.

 

References:

Ahlstrom, D., Chen, S. J., & Yeh, K. S. (2010). Managing in ethnic Chinese communities: Culture, institutions, and context.

Ardichvili, A., Jondle, D., Kowske, B., Cornachione, E., Li, J., & Thakadipuram, T. (2012). Ethical cultures in large business organizations in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Journal of Business Ethics, 105(4), 415-428.

Fang, T. (2012). Yin Yang: A new perspective on culture. Management and organization Review, 8(1), 25-50.

Jeng, D. J. F., & Kuo, S. F. W. (2012). Internal service quality within the different Chinese subcultures: a comparison between Taiwan, China, and Singapore. Service Business, 6(4), 425-458.

Jian Wang, Y., Doss, S. K., Guo, C., & Li, W. (2010). An investigation of Chinese consumers' outshopping motives from a culture perspective: Implications for retail and distribution. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 38(6), 423-442

Jones, G. W. (2012). Population policy in a prosperous city?state: Dilemmas for Singapore. Population and Development Review, 38(2), 311-336.

Liu, E., & Porter, T. (2010). Culture and KM in China. Vine, 40(3/4), 326-333.

Low, K. C. (2011). Types of Singapore corporate culture.

Migliore, L. A. (2011). Relation between big five personality traits and Hofstede's cultural dimensions: Samples from the USA and India. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 18(1), 38-54.

Minkov, M., & Hofstede, G. (2011). The evolution of Hofstede's doctrine.Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 18(1), 10-20.

Minkov, M., & Hofstede, G. (2012). Hofstede’s fifth dimension: New evidence from the World Values Survey. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43(1), 3-14.

Puffer, S. M., McCarthy, D. J., & Boisot, M. (2010). Entrepreneurship in Russia and China: The impact of formal institutional voids. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 34(3), 441-467.

Ramasamy, B., Yeung, M. C., & Au, A. K. (2010). Consumer support for corporate social responsibility (CSR): The role of religion and values. Journal of Business Ethics, 91(1), 61-72.

Sheng, S., Zhou, K. Z., & Li, J. J. (2011). The effects of business and political ties on firm performance: Evidence from China. Journal of Marketing, 75(1), 1-15.

Sidhu, R., Ho, K. C., & Yeoh, B. (2011). Emerging education hubs: The case of Singapore. Higher Education, 61(1), 23-40.

Taras, V., Kirkman, B. L., & Steel, P. (2010). Examining the impact of Culture's consequences: a three-decade, multilevel, meta-analytic review of Hofstede's cultural value dimensions.

Taras, V., Steel, P., & Kirkman, B. L. (2012). Improving national cultural indices using a longitudinal meta-analysis of Hofstede's dimensions. Journal of World Business, 47(3), 329-341.

Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (2011). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

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