Module 1 Cheat Sheet Notes
Module 1 Readings
Negotiating in China: The Harvard Business Review argues cultural differences between China
and U.S. executives often lead to conflict or failed negotiations.
-Americans see Chinese negotiators as: inefficient, indirect, and dishonest
-Chinese see American negotiators as: aggressive, impersonal and excitable
The first thread is agrarianism.
- Have been around for 5,000 years
-Agrarianism – 2/3 of Chinese still live in rural areas (rice/wheat growing)
-Confucius’ teachings taught for 2,000 years
-Five cardinal relationships: 1) ruler and ruled 2) husband and wife 3) parents and
children 4) older and younger brothers 5)friend and friend
-Chinese negotiators are more concerned with the means than the end, with the process more
than the goal. The best compromises are derived only through the ritual back-and-forth of
-The second thread is morality
-The third cultural thread is the Chinese pictographic language.
-The fourth thread is the Chinese people's wariness of foreigners, which has been learned the
hard way—from the country's long and violent history of attacks from all points of the compass
Following are the eight important elements of the Chinese negotiation style in the order most
Westerners will encounter them:
Guanxi (Personal Connections)
While Americans put a premium on networking, information, and institutions, the Chinese place
a premium on individuals' social capital within their group of friends, relatives, and close
Zhongjian Ren (The Intermediary)
Business deals for Americans in China don't have a chance without the
intermediary. In the United States, we tend to trust others until or unless we're given reason not
to. In China, suspicion and distrust characterize all meetings with strangers.
Shehui Dengji (Social Status)
American-style, "just call me Mary" casualness does not play well in a country where the
Confucian values of obedience and deference to one's superiors remain strong. The formality
goes much deeper, however—unfathomably so, to many Westerners.
Renji Hexie (Interpersonal Harmony)
The Chinese sayings, "A man without a smile should not open a shop." and "Sweet temper and
friendliness produce money." speak volumes about the importance of harmonious relations
between business partners.
Zhengti Guannian (Holistic Thinking)
The Chinese think in terms of the whole while Americans think sequentially and
individualistically, breaking up complex negotiation tasks into a series of smaller issues: price,
quantity, warranty, delivery, and so forth. Chinese negotiators tend to talk about those issues all
at once, skipping among them, and, from the Americans' point of view, seemingly never settling