32_Cultural Differences Between Countries The Brazilian and the.pdf

6 cultural differences between brazil and china in

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6 Cultural Differences Between Brazil and China in Doing Business: François Jullien (1998) describes many cultural differences between Eastern and Western thoughts. As an heir of Europe’s, Brazilian culture is highly influenced by the concepts of utopia, ideal reality, transcendence, and how to transform the reality is a main concern. The Oriental culture, especially the Chinese one, is rather pragmatic and resigned facing the reality. Hofstede (2001) highlights: 1) Very long dinners and sometimes spending many days in getting to know each other is an already established Chinese way of building relationships. The same should not be expected from Brazilians, though. Although having meals together is important for Brazilians, it does not have the same value as for the Chinese. 2) In China exchanging business cards is far more ceremonious than in Brazil. In this country it is just a way of exchanging information. 3) For the Chinese culture, the relationship developed with a person represents the relationship with the entire company. Rather than individuals, the foreigners are seen as representatives of their company. For Brazilians, on the other hand, the individual they deal with is more important than the company. 4) In the Chinese culture it is not acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking. In Brazil, on the other hand, it is more tolerated. 5) Among Brazilians, hugging and backslapping are common greetings if people are close. Also, this would be an acceptable behavior if they are business partners for a long time. It would never be acceptable in the Chinese situation, though. 6) On Individualism vs. Collectivism: Chinese society is collectivist and the group prevails over the individual. There, the individuals are willing to subjugate their own feelings for the good of the group. As for the Brazilian society, it is more focused on individuals. 7) On Body Language: in China direct eye contact is disrespectful, whereas in Brazil it is a sign of honesty. While Brazilians shake hands when greeting one another, maintaining steady eye contact, many Chinese will look towards the ground at this moment. 7 Conclusions When doing business, each country has its own cultural particularities: a mixture of attitudes, values, and social expectations. At present, in a totally connected world, being aware of these cultural differences is a condition for success. Business representatives need to be provided with an understanding of the cultural differences in order to be sensitive to them when conducting business across countries. The workplace values and business communication are going to be influenced by these differences, given by each country’s own cultural standards of being, thinking, and acting. What may be considered confusing or offensive in the workplace of one country can be considered acceptable in the workplace of another because of culture’s decisive role in this context. To understand cultures today, one must, hence, read about different countries, always keeping in mind the special role that culture can play in business. The communication between people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and
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