Culture and the Problems of Chinese Management

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

234 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes the relationship between problems of management in the People's Republic of China and Chinese culture. Five problem areas are outlined: (i) organizational structure; (ii) management skills and succession, (iii) Party/management relations; (iv) operational; and (v) motivation and labour discipline. Chinese culture is seen to have four main features affecting organizations: (a) respect for age and hierarchy; (b) group orientation; (c) face; (d) the importance of relationships. It is argued that these can reinforce management problems arising from a planned economy, as well as undermining the legitimacy of formal organization. In the future, it is likely that moves towards Western management methods may not have the desired effects as a result of cultural influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-496
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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