Chinese Teams


Despite being highly hierarchical in approach to structure and organisations, the Chinese remain consensus-oriented and it goes without saying that consensus players make good team members. The whole cultural emphasis is on group orientation with individual needs and desires being sublimated to the greater good of the whole. People belong to a number of groups but the ones with the strongest pull would be the family, the dan wei and the Party.

One of the downsides (from a Western perspective) of this strong group orientation is a perceived lack of individual initiative. It would be unusual for an individual to act unilaterally without involving other members of the group. Standing out from the crowd can be viewed as very negative and result in personal difficulties.

Always try to give detailed and complete instructions.  In a culture where the boss is the boss, people tend to do what they are asked to do, seeing anything beyond that as possible insubordination.  If things don't happen that you wanted to happen, start by reviewing your own instructional style - if your instructions were a bit vague, it is likely that there will be a degree of confusion.