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January 14, 2012

At Cross-Culture: Are Chinese business people getting their American thing on?

At Richard Lewis's great Cross-Culture, Maria Chow, based in Singapore, and a founder of Spark Asian Leadership Practice, has written "As the Dragon Leads..." in which she contends that the traditional Chinese business style of "collective" and "reactive" is being slowly but noticeably replaced by more competitive and individualistic modes of behavior. In short, Chow says, China business leaders are starting to act more and more like Americans. Excerpt:

...I have trained hundreds of Chinese managers and hi-potential graduates from state-owned companies as well as multinationals in leadership.

What strikes me as rather unique in terms of Chinese talent is how competitive everyone is: individuals do all that they can to stand out from the “crowd”. Few shy away from stating openly their career aspirations. This contrasts interestingly with the common belief that socialistic societies are largely collective in most things people do.

With increasing opportunities in the country though, Chinese managers are displaying individualistic behaviour, pursuing their own careers and dreams with much fervour, almost as if to catch up on lost time.

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Posted by JD Hull at January 14, 2012 01:48 AM


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