Business in China and Canada



Businessin China and Canada

Culture is a predominant factor that influences business practices. As a result, cultural awareness is significant essentially whenoperating in diverse business environments. This paper seeks tocompare and contrast the Canadian and Chinese culture and thepossible challenges that business people may face when interactingwith these cultures.

Although the Chinese and Canadian culture exhibit outstandingcultural differences, the two societies have certain similarities. Astudy conducted by Warner(2013) to examine human resource management practices in Chana andCanada discloses that in both cultures, performance was actuallyconsidered an important factor. This is influenced by the fact thatin both societies, the task behavior of the employees were directedtowards good performance. Consequently, it can stated that people inboth Canada and China are results-oriented and believe in qualitywork. Hardworking employees are therefore considered valuable. Whensetting up a business in both societies, it is essential to put intoconsideration the fact that hard work is important for both themanagement and the employees.

Certain elements of the business etiquette in both societies arealso similar. For instance as a sign of respect, greetings areconsidered essential for the parties involved in business. In bothChina and Canada, business negotiations and meetings have to beginwith greetings which acts as a sign of respect and also as a way ofcreating familiarity among the business people.

Variations exist between the Canadian and Chinese cultures. One ofthe main differences is thatthe Canadian society isindividualistic while China’s culture is grounded on collectivism. According to Hofstede’s Theory of cultural differences, in theindividualistic society each individual is expected to just look intotheir own issues and those of their family.Collectivism on theother hand entails concern for all members of the society and joiningthe integratedgroups that exist in society (Hofstede, 2001).

Businessetiquette also varies in both societies. For instance in China,business people fear loss, they also consider respect for elders assignificant. Other key attributes when conducting business with theChinese people include patience, modesty and politeness. In theCanadian context, business etiquette is characterized by need tofulfil the individualistic goals, as a result most business peopleare assertive and they maintain eye contact to indicate confidence.

Challengesthat can be experiences when dealing with both cultures

Chineseculture is one of the most distinct cultures that exist in the globe.When looking at the Chinese Language, it is evident that the Chineselanguage is quite different both in written and spoken language. Themanner in which the Chinese speak and even write down words greatlydiffers from the English language. A major challenge that can beexperienced is the issue of language as a barrier when conductingbusiness. It is therefore essential to study the Chinese language andalso use a translator in order make business transactions easier(Zinzius, 2004).

Another possible challenge that can arise when conducting businesswith the Canadian’s is the difficulty to implement team work.Hofstede, (2001) highlights that in the individualistic society,tasks usually prevails over relationship. Additionally, the word ‘I’is indispensable in many conversations as opposed to ‘’We.’’ What is apparent is that this sort of attitude basically means thatimplementing team work would be difficult because people want to meetgoals as individuals as opposed to collectively.

In conclusion it can be stated that despite the existing culturaldifferences between the two societies, it is possible to develop asuccessful business if cultural awareness is attained.


Hofstede,G.(2001). Culture’sConsequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions andOrganizations Across Nations.:Sage Publications.

Warner,M. (2013).Human Resource Management ‘with Chinese Characteristics’:Facing the Challanges of Globalization. Routledge.

Zinzius,B. (2004). Doing Business in the New China: A Handbook and Guide. Greenwood Publishing Group