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Title: Cross-cultural engagement in China : problems, potential and opportunities
Author: Palmer, Sarah Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 0473
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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The challenges experienced by an individual operating within a cross cultural business setting arise from a number of factors related to and emanating from its context as a whole. This study explores the observations and experiences of design and engineering practitioners within the Chinese context and aspires to understand what factors affect their ability to function effectively and impact a potentially successful outcome to a project. It seeks to identify the historical, contextual and cultural factors which most affect the cross cultural experience both from an individual and a practice-based level and understand how the influence of Westernisation is changing the contextual characteristics of China, using observations and experiences communicated by participants. How practitioners learnt to respond to, plan for and adapt to the context and its challenges has been explored. The study also sought to identify how employees can be developed and supported in order to gain experience within this transforming context and identify the appropriate pedagogical strategy in order to achieve better contextual and cultural understanding. The study concluded that practitioners needed to experience the context first-hand in order to holistically understand the cultural issues and effectively adjust and respond the setting. Being in-context and having direct contact with their Chinese counterparts also afforded UK practitioners better opportunities to build relationships with them, which is shown to develop trust, improve communication and enhance the potential of a successful project outcome. Further, as data shows that companies are adopting an mentor-led experiential learning pedagogy in context in order to develop their staff for cross-cultural engagement, a degree of theoretical knowledge of culture, wider contextual issues and the implications of these would aid practitioners in being able to understand, interpret and thus respond effectively to the challenges which arise from the cross-cultural business setting.
Supervisor: Reynolds, Dave Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available