Knowledge ManagementConsultancy in ChinaDerek MitchellInternational BusinessTechnion Multi-Cultural Team ProjectAtlanta Module-Fall Semester 2011
Team Introduction & Cultural Analysis• Team Introduction• Team Process• Cultural Comparisons• Chinese Culture• Chinese Business Culture
Derek MitchellFrom USA, 30 years oldSingle and full-time student inManagement programLives in Atlanta, GeorgiaLikes traveling and musicTeam IntroductionFaisal NasirFrom Pakistan, 33 years old Married with 2 children and lives inSeattle, WAWorks full-time at Microsoft andEnrolled in part-time MBA atUniversity of Washington, Seattle.Likes reading, playing cricket,volleyball and chess
SilviaCoimbra From Portugal, 21 years old.Studying full-time and enrolledin Master in InternationalManagement program inSpain.Likes dancing , music,travelingTeam IntroductionBasVan der WoertFrom Netherlands, 21 yearsold Working full-time in ABN AMRObank and enrolled in transferprogram in Management in ItalyLikes traveling and goingout with friends
Team ProcessInitial bond inthe group: lifeand familyFlexible andenthusiasticteam membersFollowinginstructionsand planningDecisionmaking: opendiscussion andconsensusCoordinationand mutualrespect25%contribution ofeach teammemberGood timemanagementLearning about international culture and business
Cultural ComparisonsDominantTraitsVeryMulticulturalPride inhistory,religion andcultureLovediscountsExtremelypatrioticPride inhistory,religion andcultureSocialLifeEnjoy beingaverage:don’t likeattentionFond ofsocialgatheringsand festivals“CaféCulture”Prevalentclub and barcultureReligious andCulturalfestivals andgatheringsWork LifeHardworkersLoyal andpassionateworkersEntrepreneurialSpiritDifficultybalancingwork andpersonal lifeLoyal andPassionateworkersFamilyLifeMediocresense offamilyPatriarchalStrong senseof familyModeratesense offamilyStrong senseof family andfamilyhierarchyHobbies/LeisureSoccerHockey is thenationalsportSports:football ismost popularSportsenthusiastsDedicated totraditionalsports andcompetitions
Chinese CultureHighContextCollectivismReligionFaceIndirect, implicit communicationInformation embedded in non-verbal cues, relationships,situations and personal involvementCaters to in-group (similar experiences and expectations)Community is valued over the individualPromotes in-groups and group relianceTaoism: emphasizes spiritual harmony with the individualand harmonious relationshipsManifest as aversion to conflict, preservation of properdemeanor and ‘face’Roughly translates as good reputation, respect or honorFour categoriesLessened through action or deed and having been exposedGiven through compliments and respectDeveloped through experience-showing wisdom by avoiding mistakesCompliments made to a third party
Chinese Business CultureLiterally translates as relationshipsGuanxi is the most vital aspect of Chinese business cultureChinese prefer to deal with those they know and trustTime and effort must be invested into developing a relationshipbefore business is conducted and is an ongoing processExchanging gifts is normal part of business in ChinaBusiness gifts are viewed as debts to be repaidMust be given for a reason and in front of a witnessGuanxiGiftGivingEtiquette
Chinese Business CultureWork under close supervisionExtreme dependence on leadershipInequality acceptedHierarchy neededSuperiors often inaccessiblePower holders have privilegesPunctuality is vital as lateness is perceived as insultMeetings should include a period of small talkDo thorough research before entering a meeting or negotiation as yourChinese counterpart will meticulously plan and research your businessBe patient, never show anger or frustration-negotiations may taketime due to several factorsLack of urgencySimultaneous negotiationsDecision makers are not confidentMeetings&NegotiationsHighPowerDistance
Knowledge Management Systems• Knowledge Management• The Business Proposal-Knowledge Management Systems• Human Resources in China
Knowledge ManagementStrategies and processes designed toidentify, capture, structure, value, leverageand share an organizations intellectualasset to enhance its performance andcompetitiveness. KM is based on twocritical activities:1. Capture and documentation ofindividual explicit & tacit knowledge and2. Its dissemination within the organizationSource: www.thebusinessdictionary.com
Business ProposalKnowledge Management SystemsA consulting companyDevelopment of KMS, implementation and coaching, keepingin mind the nature and culture of the businessWhy Knowledge management?Support Chinese corporation developmentRetain that knowledge so that it can be reusedCreate new knowledge by promoting communicationbetween employeesKM can create competitive advantage in practicallyany given industry
Business ProposalHuman Resources in ChinaCollectivismGood of many over good ofindividualHigh employer loyaltyDependence on leadershipClose supervisionRelationshipsSharingChinese employees characteristicscreate the perfect environment toimplement KM systems.Implementation should be top-bottom.Importance of measurement inorder to evaluate performanceover time.We will have a Chinese partner inorder to help us developrelationships with Chinese firms.
Business Fit AnalysisNot a unique idea in USAUSA has a very mature Corporateportfolios with adequate knowledgemanagement processesBusinesses and people understandthe importance of knowledgemanagement due to education andawarenessPower differences are low betweengovernment and people so it is easierto setup direct contracts withbusinesses and companies.Implementation will not be difficultdue to workforce availability and goodlegal systemLow collectivism will increase ouradvertising and operation costs tocomplete work and/or expand thebusinessIndustry in general is weak or stilldeveloping so demand would be low inthe beginningHigh power gaps betweenGovernment, elite class and public.Contracts with Government will berequired.Workforce availability is adequate inmain cities and literacy in major citieslike Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad is high Long term orientation is low and localindustry is not mature so difficult todevelop long term customerrelationships and risk is high.High uncertainty avoidance will help inselling the idea of knowledgemanagementLow long-term orientation cannegatively impact the demand forbusinessUSA PakistanVS.
Business Fit AnalysisIndustry in general is weak or stilldeveloping so demand would be lowin the beginningLack of strong legal system mayhinder enforcing contractsCoalition with government can helpin enforcing business model onindustry due to power gaps Workforce availability is adequate inmain citiesPortuguese people are humble andloyal and can be great customersLow long-term orientation will makeit difficult to sell the idea to localindustryHigh collectivism will make it easierto expand business once we get fewmain customers on boardEasier to launch the businessLong history of international trade andassociationsClose-knit business community soeasier to expand customer baseExtremely direct in theircommunication and professional intheir businessPromotes smooth customerinteraction and makes it easier todevelop and maintain internalprocesses and local employeesDecisions are often consensus-drivenand power differences are not highUncertainty avoidance is not low andindividualism is high so efficiency ofindividual workers is goodGood legal system to enforcecontractsPortugal NetherlandsVS.
Cultural Advantages and Best PracticesAdvantages Best PracticesInvest time to build adequate “guanxi”Presenting counterparts withappropriates giftsAdjust to high context communicationstyleMust communicate effectively to build“guanxi”Exceptional work ethic andprofessional demeanor to increase andpreserve “face”Loyal employees due to collectivistattitude and leadership dependenceLong-term business orientation-emphasizes stability and consistency inbusiness practices
Validating the InformationJos van der Woert - Businessman in China and Asiajos.email@example.com“Knowledge management allows to enhance continuity andenables the organization to capitalize on brain trust andknowledge.The system allowed us to retain critical knowledge during aperiod of high turnover and internal change”.Desmond Thio - Lived in China, Singapore and Japanthio277@yahoo.com“By retaining the historical knowledge and experience of eachindividual it provides a collective asset for the organization as awhole, creating an “organizational conscience.It ultimately became a competitive advantage in an increasinglycomplex business environment that was becoming more andmore challenging to our competitors”.