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China and Britain cultural difference

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1223 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Investigate why China and Britain have different behaviors



The problems of communicating effectively and successfully are compounded when culture factors come into play, cross-cultural communication is the central theme which explore in various contexts. So the concept of culture is important to introduce firstly. A “classical” definition is interpreted as two parts: one is “achievement culture” also named “big culture”, that include— geography, history, literature and art; another one is described as “behavior culture”, that culture is the commonly held and relatively stable beliefs, logos, attitudes, values, word and deeds.Especially,behaviour culture exsiting in business communication evidently (Williams et al, 1989). In the essay, the different culture between China and UK is due to the diverse backgrounds, exploring why China and Britain have cultural difference is the most stressing on, finanlly analysing unlike performance in business activities.

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CHAPTER 2: Explore why these two countries have cultural difference

2.1 The impact of cultural context

First of all, the cultural context has an impact on people’s values, mode of thinking. Like western civilization, it was built by the tradition of Greece, the mode of thinking was based on Aristotle’s logic and analysis, but for oriental culture that was deeply affected by traditional Confucianism and Taoism, so mode of thinking also mainly founded on dialectic method of analysis and holistic thinking. The reslut is western society concentrates on individual characteristic and freedom, this is a society donimated by individualism. However for Chinese society, for which emphasizing the realationship between individual and the whole society (it is a society owned by collectivism). Due to the different mode of thinking that lead to western and Chinese have different effects on people’s behavior. For instant, western and Chinese think differently when they analyse a muder case. Western feel the reason is the characteristic of muderer but Chinese are inclined to the environment around the evident. The different between these two cultures are western prefer personal role while Chinese think it is caused by other people and circumstance impact.

2.2 The historical background effects China and UK existing different culture

Secondly, the historical background effects two countries existing different culture. In the year of 1215, because of King’s dictatorship ruffled English nobles’ feathers, they united threat of force and consulted with King about a contract that asked King give up a part of power and recognized independence of judicature. The aim was to limit royal power by laws. The document of year 1215 named “Grand Chater” was built the foundation of British parliament’s democracy and rule of law. Another great contribution to democracy and rule of law was by John Locke, his “Two Treaties of Government” support the viewpoint of opposing divine right of Kings, also first clarified the problem of limitationand distribution of government’s right and believe that administrative power and legislative should be seperated, legislative should has more power than administrative power.

Thanks to the solid foundation of democracy and rule of law, United Kindom is the earliest country that built the constitutional monarchy parliament cabinet system, its constitutional democracy was based on rule of law economy and law-ruled society. In contrast to Asia, specially in China, was forced by western countries in the 20th century and blindly follow western parliamentary democracy in the circumstance of lacking market economy and society government by law that made society fell into the fierce turbulence, then experience of The Soviet socialist reform that made the supreme leader personal authority.

Lawgovernment and democracy bring about the attitute of abide by the rules to British people and British merchants, the motivation to whom will more concern about whether law has a well-developed system during business activities. Such as an employee contract are covered all employees, from a hamburger flipper to the CEO of a major corporation; the realationship between two parties should depend on the contract strictly.While in China, because the limitation of government by law and democracy, so they will not comply with legislation severely, but will be more flexibility.

CHAPTER 3: Different performance in business activitie

The above reasons affect the behaviors in business activities profoundly, it extends the way to treat others, linguistic phenomenon, buiness etiquette and so on. For example, when meeting someone in a British business setting, conversation usually remains focused on business matters and business topics. Family or personal matters are not involved, especially the first time you meet. Conversations stick to the business purpose at hand and remain objective and professional. Another case is that in collectivistic society, like China, people are borned into and protected by extended families, to which they exchange loyalty, rather than speaking one’s mind, harmony should be maintained and direct confrontation avoided. Rather than purely a contract, the employer-employee relationship is seen as a moral one such as a family relationship, and when hiring or firing the emplyee’s in-group is considered. Hence, relationships are more important than tasks; while in the UK, behaviors which exerts pressure on subordinates is more closely linked with performance orientation than in Chinese, also consideration for maintenance can be expressed by talking about task in British data but resolving personal difficulties in an indirect manner in China.

CHAPTER 4: Conclusion

To sum up, the reason why presents different behaviors culture in business activities are caused by many factors. With the development of society, the business relations are getting wider and wider, the international aspects are not simply an afterthought, but an integrative part of learning about this important suject. Coordinating human relations and human and social relations, so that respect different cultural background and different bahaviors, compliance with the protocol norms, it is easy for people feeling of interpersonal communication, so emotional pool play to the role, and establish mutual respect, mutual trust, friendship and cooperation relations, in turn help the development of various undertakings.


1. Williams, A., Dobson, P. and Walters, M. (1989) Changing Culture, London: Institute of Personnel Management.

2. Tyler, E.B. (1871) primitive Culture, cited in Levi-Strausss, C. (1963) Structural Anthropology (trans. Jacobson, C. and Schoel, B, G.).

3. T. Jackson (1993) Organizational Behaviors in International Management, Contemporary Business Series.(P9-38, 101)

4. http://www.wretch.cc/blog/fsj/7847198 (Exclusive Interview to Li yingzhi by CNN, 30/06/2007)

5. http://hs.cns.com.cn/lxs/yycf/200704/11/68752.shtml

6. http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/theory/2008-02/02/content_7538942.htm (Xinhua, 02/02/2008)


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