From the Global Edge site, China appears on top of the list as a country with the highest Market Potential Index, (MPI). This indicates that China is one of the fastest growing countries designated as emerging markets and therefore acts as a potential target for global expansion (Global Edge, 2014). Global Plastics Inc., a small company located in the United States, wants to market its plastics and toys in China. Such a move requires close negotiations between Global Plastics Inc. and a Chinese company, CEKG. In order to create a successful meeting with the people from the Chinese company it is important to understand how Chinese culture and philosophy influences business negotiations.
According to Li (2006), the Chinese cultural tradition is mainly inclined on three ideology headstreams namely, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. These philosophies have greatly influenced the Chinese business culture. In Chinese culture, Confucianism is a belief system that is based upon interpersonal relationships that comprises of six different core values namely; respect for seniority and hierarchy, moral cultivation, the concept of face, importance of interpersonal relationships, family orientation, and pursuit of harmony and conflict avoidance. Confucianism pays attention to the dual aspects of obligation and responsibility. Therefore, when meeting with people from the Chinese company, it is important to observe responsibilities and negotiations and ensure that the relationship is just a harmonious one (Li, 2006).
Taoism in Chinese culture emphasizes on creation of harmony between two opposing forces, and it is seen as a natural process that flows through all things. It is an actionless activity that aims at finding a middle ground. Chinese people are largely concerned with finding a workable solution and this greatly affects business relationships. In the Chinese culture, ethical duties are believed to be contextual, and dishonesty can sometimes be rendered virtuous depending on the context in which it is used. Buddhism is another Chinese philosophy that has greatly influenced how business is carried out in China. In Buddhism, people believe that pain results from people’s desires and it is possible to overcome pain by overcoming those desires. This belief requires people to behave in manner that will enable them to obtain spiritual peace, where all aspirations and cravings are overcome by merging eternal harmony with the spirit. In business relationships in China, every relationship is considered successful if it generates a solution to an existing problem (Li, 2006).
The best approach process for creating a successful meeting with the people from the Chinese company must incorporate all the three Chinese philosophies described above. The approach process is that which carries forward the Chinese superior traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Specifically, the approach must be based upon interpersonal relationships, it must aim at finding a workable solution while creating harmony between opposing forces, and it must enable Global Plastics Inc. to fulfill its business objectives and benefit from the global expansion (Sebenius and Qian, 2008).
This approach process has been chosen considering some of the positive benefits that it has generated to companies in the past. According to Zhigang, (2013), Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are very important pillars that support Chinese business negotiations. These three philosophies have similar essential thoughts and they all pay attention to humanistic values, despite the fact that they call for different reactions in the Chinese cultural tradition. Therefore, in order to observe the superior philosophies of the Chinese culture, the most important task is to flaunt the Chinese traditional philosophy that comprises of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. It is historically believed that the three Chinese philosophies tend to nurture and brighten the spiritual world of the people from China, and they act as forces that promote social harmony and enhance national growth. In addition, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism play a big role in promoting social progress among the Chinese people (Zhigang, 2013). This explains the significance of choosing an approach process that entails the traditional Chinese philosophies as well as the components of the Chinese culture.
During an initial meeting with the Chinese company, CEKG, I had to display all the elements of the Chinese culture and philosophy as evidenced in their business culture. For instance, I have focused in relationships, particularly, interpersonal relationships throughout the meeting. Additionally, I have shown respect to seniority and hierarchy while striving to avoid conflict. Interpersonal relationships and respect for seniority and hierarchy are the key features of Confucianism that Chinese people pay attention to (Zhigang, 2013). Throughout the meeting, I have observed behaviors that the Chinese people view to be ethical during their first meetings with foreigners. For example, I have not viewed deception to be unethical considering the fact that Chinese people sometimes render dishonesty virtuous. Moreover, I have strived to create a balance between two opposing forces that was encountered during the meeting. This demonstrates that I have observed Taoism as one of the superior traditions of the Chinese culture (Li, 2006). Furthermore, I have strived to make negotiations that will assist Global Plastics Inc. to solve its present problems as a way of demonstrating Buddhism requirements.