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Building on the strengths of the first edition, this new second edition is fully updated to include new case studies as well as discussion of China's entry into the WTO. It is an invaluable resource for students of international business and management and practitioners alike.
|1||The road to Cathay||15|
|2||Through a glass darkly: China from a Western perspective||36|
|3||The furniture of the mind||68|
|4||Relationships and regulations||96|
|An ethical interlude||121|
|5||Creating harmony: alternative venture formats in the PRC||131|
|6||The marketing mix||151|
|7||The marketing process||176|
|8||Rightness and correct form: the yi and li of relationships in China||190|
|9||Doing business with the sojourners: the overseas Chinese communities||209|
|10||China and the world||232|
|11||Western and Chinese commercial thinking||239|
Posted December 24, 2000
Review of `Doing Business in China¿ by John Stuttard `Doing Business in China¿ was written by Tim Ambler and Morgen Witzel and published by Routledge in 2000 (ISBN 0-415-22329-6). This is one of the books I wish I had been able to read in 1994 before I was seconded to China to develop and run our business in this exciting country. At that time, there were plenty of books written about history, culture, politics and economics in the PRC. However, there was very little written about business and how to succeed in creating and exploiting business opportunities. What I like about this book is the modesty displayed by the authors, yet the huge store of knowledge and understanding that is contained therein. In the Foreword, Sir Alan Donald writes, `There is no such thing as a Western ¿expert¿ on China, only varying degrees of ignorance¿ and, `Seeking to understand China¿is a long-term process¿. In their Introduction, the authors quote Lord Macartney, who tried unsuccessfully to open up the trade routes in the late 18th century on behalf of King George III, `Everything is covered by a veil¿. They also quote a more recent China hand, Sir Percy Craddock, `This is a big canvas, much of it still dark¿. But the great contribution of these two learned authors is the provision of a huge amount of advice to the newcomer to China and, most importantly, their ability to look at things through Chinese eyes. The book begins with an introduction to China, followed by a review of China from a Western perspective. The third chapter `The furniture of the mind¿ describes the different philosophies that China has experienced and the values that Chinese hold most dear, namely: respect for age, hierarchy and authority; saving and an aversion to conspicuous consumption; face ¿ particularly the concept of giving it; and other cultural dimensions such as motivation through ethics rather than consequence; the emphasis on synthesis and unity; the circular system of elements rather than their diversity; harmony versus self-interest; and certainty rather than the evaluation of risk. The fourth chapter deals with the obligatory subjects of relationships and regulation. After `An ethical interlude¿, that covers rights, responsibilities and the ever awkward subject of corruption, the authors do justice to the concept of creating harmony through alternative venture formats in the PRC. This is followed by advice on the marketing format and the marketing process. There is a huge amount of historical analysis, current fact and common sense advice for the businessman seeking to exploit this huge market. Some issues are left for another book. For example, the authors omit a long dissertation of the Chinese economy for good reasons (there are already plenty of other sources; much forecasting is guesswork; and macro-economic data has limited use in a country of this size). However, by doing so, there is little advice on sectors which are being given priority by the PRC Government or in which foreigners will be competitively advantaged post WTO Accession. There is little coverage of the issues of recruitment, training and culture change ¿ issues that foreign companies wrestle with as they seek to develop and manage their businesses in the PRC. There is little mention of the secrets of containing costs and maximising returns in a volatile and competitive environment. There is also little mention of the thorny problem experienced by all expatriates ¿ that of trying to get head office to understand the realities of doing business in China. But, as the authors point out `China is too vast and complex a subject for there to be ¿one big book about China¿ which tells you all you need to know¿. This is a book that will inform the beginner ¿ and the expert ¿ on the factors that can lead to business success. It is about risk assessment in a country where investment is high risk. `China is constantly changing and yet it is always the same¿ as the authors wisWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2008
No text was provided for this review.