East meets west: Tacit messages about business ethics in stories told by chinese managers


Abstract
This article examines how culture influences Chinese managers’ perception of some western management instruments, such as codes of ethics and performance evaluation systems. The research is based on analyzing the tacit messages in “stories told” by managers and reviewing some of the barriers that may hinder understanding. Major obstacles lie in failing to ‘read’ each other’s cultures correctly. Assumptions and biases are left alone instead of being addressed openly. Western management systems and tools do not necessarily function equally well in the Chinese culture, unless they are reassessed and adapted. Some recommendations for managers and further research are given.
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