Chapter 4: Idiosyncrasies of the Chinese strategic mind
As can be seen from the figure, the framework comprises two parts: 1. The lower part consists of the general (or Western) strategic knowledge that may be applicable to the Chinese context in the form of an ascending scale from zero to ‘complete’ – a Chinese decision maker may know nothing about general (or Western) strategic principles and another may have considerable knowledge of strategic management through reading, management training or education. 2. The upper part displays a Chinese cognitive system in which the language structure shapes the Chinese philosophical and holistic thinking mode, laying the foundation for Chinese culture and the associated components that form part of the Chinese strategic mind. Some Chinese entrepreneurs, for instance, may know nothing about Western strategic theories, with a zero point on the scale, but others may have gained substantial knowledge, for instance, as a result of attending a university in the USA and reading Western strategy books. Porter’s generic competitive strategy, competitive advantage and the competitive advantage of nations may be considered as ‘universal knowledge’, which may help decision makers think about generic strategic options and policy directions, but would not get them very far in business development or competition in the Chinese environment without being combined with Chinese thinking or cultural adaptation.
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