Effective Executive Journal
BRICS Workplace Comparisons: Influence of Chinese and South African Cultural Orientations

Article Details
Pub. Date : March, 2020
Product Name : Effective Executive
Product Type : Coaching and Mentoring
Product Code : EECM30320
Author Name : Ying Zhou, Kurt April
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



For international enterprises, the ability to adaptively manage people from different cultural backgrounds is key to their success, even their survival. In the light of China's 'Belt and Road' strategy, this paper looked specifically at the Sino-South Africa cultural similarities and differences, underpinned by context-specific beliefs and values emerging from Southern African and East Asian philosophical societal/workplace traditions. Using survey data collected from 644 Zulu and Chinese, non-managerial employees, this paper compared Ubuntu and Confucianism cultural values with reference to the six-dimensional model established by Hofstede (2011). The findings revealed that there were important differences in five out of six of Hofstede's dimensions. Compared with the Chinese group, the Zulu group displayed less 'power distance', 'collectivism', and 'femininity', and were more 'uncertainty averse', 'short-term-oriented', and 'restrained'. This paper contributes to the cross-cultural management and human resources literature by comparing two BRICS countries' societal cultures that have been neglected in research.


With the gradual implementation of the 'Going Global Strategy', the transnational operations of Chinese enterprises have become an important trend in the past few years. In particular, there have been growing ties between China and South Africa, after the formal invitation extended to South Africa by China to join the BRIC association (now known as BRICS association of five major emerging national economies-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2010 (Kumo et al., 2015).


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