Multicultural Familiarization Paper: China
The nation of China is a huge player in the globalized economy. It presents a special conundrum for other significant actors in the international front given that it is also home to the world’s largest consumer market. Continued economic prosperity over the past decades has offered the Chinese consumer great buying power. The outcome is that no multinational firm can afford to miss out on the numerous opportunities offered in the expansive and richly populated Asian powerhouse. However, it is harder for a successful multinational company to sink its root work into the fabric of Chinese society than it appears on paper. This is due to the fact that the Chinese way of life is predominantly different from what the western world like Western Europe and the U.S. are accustomed to. As Gundling, Hogan and Cvitkovich (2011, p. 14) note, “it turns out that many companies around the world are missing a key point: that global leadership is distinctly different from the leadership skills needed in a domestic operation”. For instance, the nation strongly embraces autocratic leadership in all aspects of Chinese culture and its people are completely at ease with the way that things are run in their homeland. This means that although an American professional may learn Mandarin as a second language and excel at it but remain unable to progressively gel into the way of life that is common to the Chinese people. This demands the need for cultural competence as advanced by Livermore (2010). In his book titled Leading with Cultural Intelligence, Livermore (2010) offers blueprints through which a professional within a multinational firm have to be familiar with as they take on their leadership journey. This is of critical importance given that in a globalised economy, it is inevitable that leaders oversee a diverse workforce as well as rapidly changing trends exhibited in different but very significant marketplaces. Cultural intelligence involves the continuous development of competencies that enable a professional to efficiently and accurately function across ethnic, national, and organizational cultures. This familiarization manual narrows in on China by identifying etiquettes, leadership styles, image management, appropriated dress, negotiation, communication as well as, geography, environment, monies, agriculture, ethnicities, education, health, government, economy, and literacy aptitudes relative to the CQ Four-Dimensional Model.
China boasts expansive territories that have changed from time to time through its colorful past.
According to the CIA Fact book (2019), modern China is the “fourth largest country in the world” and spans a geographical area of approximately 9,596,960 square kilometers which includes 270,550 square kilometers of water and 9,326,410 square kilometers of land. This makes China slightly smaller in geography that the U.S. It is a nation located in the Eastern Asia region flanking the Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea lying between Vietnam and North Korea represent a total coastline of 14,500 kilometers (CIA Fact Book, 2019). It geographical coordinates are “35 00 North and 105 00 East” (CIA Fact Book, 2019). Its 22, 457 kilometer long land boundary is shared with many countries like Vietnam, Tajikistan, Russia to the northwest and northeast, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Laos, Kazakhstan, Burma, India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Kyrgyzstan (CIA Fact Book, 2019).
China’s terrain exhibits a rich diversity of geographical features given that its land mass is expansive. Its climate is similarly varied with tropical regions to the south of the country while the north manifests subarctic climatic features. These are mostly mountainous regions with the highest peak being on Mount Everest at approximated 8,848 meters above sea level (CIA Fact Book, 2019). China is also home to high plateau regions as well as deserts to the west and deltas, plains, and hills to the east. The lowest point in china measures at -154 meters and is in the Turpan Pendi region. Notably, the country’s mean elevation is estimated at 1,840 meters above sea level (CIA Fact Book, 2019). Its diverse geographical features have ensured that it is well endowed with natural resources like natural gas, coal, tungsten, petroleum, iron ore, mercury, antimony, tin, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, magnetite, lead, aluminum, zinc, uranium, and a vast array of rare earth elements (CIA Fact Book, 2019). It also bears the world’s largest hydropower potential as well as agriculturally productive land. It is critical to appreciate that its varied geography is a significant contributor to its unique cultural attributes.
The diversity of China’s geography implies that it bears varied environments. For instance, the eastern part of the nation is home to an overwhelming majority of the population compared to the vast desert and mountainous geographies to the west that remain sparsely populated (CIA Fact Book, 2019). This means that although the country is known to be the most densely populated in the world, its overall density is lesser than that of numerous countries across the world. The agriculturally rich areas like the Xi Jiang River delta, Yellow River and Yangtze valleys as well as the Sichuan Basin in Chengdu are densely inhabited (CIA Fact Book, 2019). The same applies for the city of Beijing and its environs and the industrial areas in Shenyang. The eastern and southern coastal areas occasionally suffer natural hazards like typhoons, flooding, land subsidence, and earthquakes (CIA Fact Book, 2019). China is home to volcanoes categorized as historically active like Kunium, Hainan Dao, and the Changbaishan. However, these have all been registered as inactive in recent centuries.
China is facing significant issues with regard to its environment. For instance, air pollution stemming from the uncontrolled emission of sulfur dioxide particulates and green house gases released from its coal fired industries is of great concern (CIA Fact Book, 2019). Not only does this not result in the downpour of acid rain but also results in decreasing public health outcomes for inhabitants within and around heavily industrialized regions. China is regarded as the largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world due to it’s over reliance of fossil energy for energy production. Its population to the north often encounters water shortages. Untreated waste from population dense areas results in water population (CIA Fact Book, 2019). Industrial development, land reclamation, deforestation, aquaculture, and natural habitat destruction as well as trading in endangered living species has led to the deterioration of the environment along coastal regions. There are numerous cases of poor land management practices that have led to gradual desertification of productive regions as a result of flooding, soil erosion, landslides, dust storms, and drought (CIA Fact Book, 2019). China is privy to num