Hong Kong Management Style

Hong Kong:

Hong Kong is Chinese and, therefore, basically Confucian in its thinking. Many years of colonial presence have undoubtedly influenced local ideas, but centuries' old beliefs such as respect for age and seniority run very deep. Therefore, managers in Hong Kong would expect to adopt a fairly paternalistic attitude to subordinates. Instructions are given and the manager expects them to be carried out without too much debate. The entrepreneurial nature of many of the local firms means that decision-making is centralised, fast and flexible - which contrasts with the more measured approach of multi-national companies.

It can be very difficult for employees to carry bad news to their manager, which may have a severely limiting effect on the amount of information a manager has to base any decisions upon. This can result in crucial information being withheld at the vital time with inevitable negative effects accruing. (If basing your decisions on information supplied from Hong Kong, double check to ensure that all available information has actually been supplied.)

Respect will be shown to the manager simply because he or she has the position of manager. It is the position itself which imbues an automatic right for respect. Therefore, one should show respect to the appropriate person as this makes you seem an honourable person and will stand you in good stead in the future.

As in other Chinese cultures gift giving is endemic. The giving and receiving of gifts is viewed as an element in the ritual of business relationship development. Although relationships may be less important in Hong Kong than on the mainland or in Taiwan, much benefit can accrue from cultivating the right people.

It is not necessary to give expensive gifts - it is the gift-giving which is important. Gifts should be wrapped and are often refused two or three times before being accepted. They are rarely opened in front of the giver.