To prepare me for my ASEAN Education Forum, my lecturer borrowed me a book titled Conflict Management in the Asia Pacific: Assumptions and Approaches in Diverse Culture, written by various authors writing each specific country and edited by Kwok Leung and Dean Tjosvold.
I have only read 2 chapters – the introduction and the conflict management in Korea – but I love it so much! The book explains how cross-cultural business in Asia Pacific could bear many conflicts due to the different culture – East-West, Japan-China, for example. The book is divided to twelve chapters where each chapter discusses a specific country, written by natives of that country.
It is very interesting to see people of different culture interact with each other, and how the two cultures could clash because of simple little things. For example, the Eastern culture that upholds harmony and seeks for relationship and social satisfaction in doing business and the Western culture that is more quality, output-based and seeks for market share and profitability in doing business. Eastern people would rather avoid conflict and keep their thoughts all to themselves and try as hard as they can to please their business partner personally. Western people, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. This can lead to a clash that will be considered rude for the Eastern people, and the Western people would feel the Eastern people ineffective in doing their work.
In an era where cross-cultural communication is abundant, studying these things and understanding how to manage the conflict is very crucial. For you who aren’t familiar with the subject, try reading “Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension” and see the scores of each nation. For me, it gives insight on how we should act with people from other culture, especially in business.
Studying these things is amusing! I am looking forward for the class in the upcoming semesters. Will definitely take it!