The Determinants of Performance in China: A Study Focused on Cultural and Institutional Drivers in the Area of Shanghai
24 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015 Last revised: 26 Dec 2018
Date Written: August 17, 2015
We base our work on an historical study and on interviews of Chinese managers living in the area of Shanghai. We use the institutional theoretical stream in combination with the impact of national culture, considering that organizations and managers are influenced by cultural and institutional determinants. In a first part, we describe the theoretical background to the research and our method. Then, in a second part, we present the significant cultural and institutional features of China that enable us to justify several hypotheses about our topic. In a third part, we analyze twelve in-depth interviews, trying to answer our research question. Our basic research question focuses on what “Performance” means for Chinese managers. Behind the word and its different meanings (economic, global, social), we analyze the cultural and institutional backgrounds of the managers interviewed. We end by drawing several conclusions, some of them quite non-intuitive. We show the disappearance of Confucian values behind a combination of pragmatism, and interpersonal relations. In this context, the perception of Performance would be subjective and the expression of institutional and cultural components of Chinese society. We believe that it is relevant for managers coming from Western cultures to have an understanding of this context when doing business in China.
Keywords: Chinese managers, institutions, performance, Confucianism
JEL Classification: M10, M14
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