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Chinese Management Vs. Western Management: Which one will Prevail?  

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“China Huawei readies to take on iPhone”

(Bloomberg: Beijing, July 27, 2017)

Written by: Archan Mehta

Edited by: Asmaa Deraaz & Mona Timor Shehata

Publisher: Amira Haytham

Huawei Technologies is aiming to grow mobile shipments by only a modest amount in 2017, as it gears up to go head-to-head with the hotly anticipated 10th anniversary edition of Apple’s iPhone. The world’s number 3 smart-phone maker, which in 2016 declared it will someday surpass both Apple and Samsung Electronics in market share, is aiming at having shipments ranging between 140 million to 150 million units in 2017—up marginally from 139 million in 2016. It is also putting the finishing touches on its most powerful device yet, the Mate 10.

Huawei is the largest of a coterie of Chinese smart-phone makers that have grabbed global market share via affordable phones with premium specifications. Richard Yu, chief of Huawei’s consumer division, said that the Mate 10 will debut right around the time Apple is expected to to reveal its own flagship device, but will trump the iPhone in many aspects. Yu said in an interview: “We will have an even more powerful product. The Mate 10, which has a much longer battery life with a full-screen display, quicker changing speed, better photographing capability and many other features that will help us compete with Apple.”

There is a plethora of literature on Japanese style of management. But we know very little about Chinese management practices. China is known for its export orientation and there is a common understanding that China has succeeded in its economic growth through export earnings. The common notion for China’s success is that it has become a successful exporter through its low-cost manufacturing. But we have to unravel the causes behind low-cost production in China.

A significant force in the Chinese economy is its Township and Village Enterprises (TVE) owned and operated by village and municipal governments. They are significant players in China; but many of them have low technology and are poorly managed. China made a major shift in enterprise ownership and has faced the rigor of market forces. Though State Owned Enterprises were a new component in China’s industrial production, they became marginalized after economic reforms since 1976. SOEs accounted for just 25% of industrial output, though it is the government’s policy to retain SOEs in key industries. Many SOEs have been converted into joint stock companies.

Chinese management is collectivist in nature and this collectivism is part of the Confucian code of ethics. However, the new generation of Chinese managers are less collectivist and more individualistic. To that extent, the Confucian ethos is receding in Chinese management practices. The Chinese management has for centuries emphasized the values of gunaxi (relationships) and renquing (obligations) even in business transactions. These relationships put emphasis on reciprocity.

But in today’s Chinese management the ideas of obligations and reciprocity are crumbling before the forces of a market-oriented economy. The reciprocity, according to Chinese moral code, maintains trust between parties. A core value in Chinese management practices, which acts against the principle of free market forces, is the family-based collectivism. And the family in China is a core social unit. The business transactions in China are based on the quality of inter-personal relationships. Therefore, the Chinese believe in settling disputes through mediation rather than through court proceedings.

The Concept of a Contract

The Western world considers a contract to be an important instrument for guiding business transactions. The contract defines business relationships and obligations. It is a form of commitment for all parties, which enter into a contract. Contract is a type of agreement, which can be legally enforced and is a basis of adjudication in the case of disputes between parties.

For Western countries, business relationships and personal relationships are separate. As mentioned above, business relationships are governed by a contract. As for Chinese management, however, business relationships are part of personal relationships; they do not make subtle differences between the two. Chinese management, however, does not take “the contract” very seriously.

Instead, Chinese people are pragmatic and may interpret “the contract” to suit their interests when it is possible to do so. This does not mean that Chinese managers do not follow “the contract”; but they interpret the terms and conditions in “the contract” from their own perspective. Thus, “the contract” for the Chinese is not a gospel. For example, the dates mentioned in “the contract” for completion of work on delivery of goods may not be complied by the Chinese management in the strict sense of the terms. In fact, the Chinese consider the penalty attached to the delay in work as a dishonest practice of Westerners. Instead, the Chinese want a lot of flexibility in “the contract.” By contrast, “the contract” is a sacrosanct document for Westerners.

Short Term Vs. Long Term

The companies in the Western world usually take a short-term view of business. They want quicker profits to amortize their investment in business. This is quite in contrast to the Chinese management’s long-term view of business. Therefore, Chinese managers tend to wait for a longer time to spread their business over a larger area, which takes a long period of time. This is because the Chinese value harmony in their culture and Chinese management believes that spreading business in unnecessary haste will disrupt the society and economy.

This short-term view of business may disturb the several networks of relationships that Chinese management considers valuable. As mentioned above, human relationships or inter-connectedness is highly valued in Chinese business management and Chinese society. One may conclude from the above argument that Chinese people cannot run a successful business either in China or abroad. However, the post-1987 scenario in China has proved otherwise.

In fact, Chinese people are everywhere in South-East Asia as small business entrepreneurs. Chinese entrepreneurs control large portions of the economies of South-East Asia, which shows that Chinese can be superb managers and entrepreneurs. About 1% of the population of the Philippines is ethnic Chinese. Yet, the Chinese control 40% of the economy. In Indonesia and Thailand, both 4% and 10% Chinese respectively, they had controlled half of the business activities in these countries by 1996. In Malaysia, about one-third of the population was ethnic Chinese in 1996 but they control two-thirds of the economy. The same is true for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, which have a majority of ethnic Chinese, and they control a major portion of the economies of these countries. Most Chinese entrepreneurs are former executives of SOEs in China, who identified an opportunity while working for the State and had the contacts to transform that opportunity into a venture.

Concluding Observations

Looking into the Chinese experiment in business management, we are faced with the dilemma of whether the Western way of starting and managing a business is the only way to be a successful organization. These strong points emerge in favor of Chinese management as compared to the Western style of management. Firstly, the Chinese take a long-term view of business and take time to spread their wings in world-wide operations. The Chinese proved their abilities in manufacturing, construction and railroad sectors. Secondly, the Chinese management style proves that it is indeed possible to build business enterprises while keeping human relationships in the center. However, Western management does not believe in the centrality of human relationships in business. Could there be a meeting point between these two cultures?

Thirdly, the Chinese people have built their business organizations on collectivist ethics and some type of centralization in the workplace. In contrast, the Western business practices are based on individualistic ethics and a high personal achievement orientation. Successful CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are heroes in American society. However, such heroes are hardly mentioned in Chinese society because they attribute success to the collectivist culture, team-work and Confucian ethics. Is there a possibility of synthesizing the two systems for better productivity and work ethics? However, it may be added that corruption is rampant in both types of societies and we still do not have a clue as to how to make business practices either in the Western world or Eastern world free of corruption.

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How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?

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Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East

Journalism: Menna Hamdy

Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel

“The most important thing about the certification content is that it helps us to understand the HR science from a global perspective. In addition, to updating us about the new HR trends.

Most of us don’t practice at work all the HR functions, so it allows me to learn about all the HR functions.

Being certified gave me the opportunity to take a role in many projects, as well as participating in many events that added a real value for me.

My mindset started to think about top management decisions and how I can solve the regular issues that happens between top management and unions. I learnt that when proposing any new idea, I should take into consideration how to apply it in a way that fits my company culture

I would advise HR professionals when approaching their HRCI Certifications content study; to try to understand the practical way of each module, and to get acquainted with the HR Expressions and abbreviations as they are very important; they have to study them very well.”

Ezzddin Malek (SPHRi – PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at Misr Capital S.A.E

“I acquired my PHRi and SPHRi certifications in 2017 and it gave me an edge to make 2 steps up in my career from senior HR specialist in 2017 to Head of HR in a multinational company within just 2 years and I was chosen by HRCI to be an exam development panelist since 2018.”

Mina Adel (PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at IRAM JEWELRY

“Knowing the latest internationally applied methods of human resource management and being a certified practitioner from the premier human resources certification institute (HRCI) made me qualified to undertake larger tasks and assume advanced responsibilities in the field of human resources”

Mohannad Albashabsheh (SPHRi- PHRi, Jordan) – HR & Training Section Head in JBC

“Practicing HR Professionally is an outstanding responsibility. Being SPHRi certified facilitated for me the knowledge, skills, attitude and resulting power to be successful HR Professional”

Dana Hasan (PHRi, Jordan) – TA, LD Section Head

“I have got my first HRCI certification in 2014, then I got my recertification in 2017 as PHRi. Getting such certification helped me to grow in my HR career, stand as a distinguished HR professional in international and multinational companies. 

One of the main reasons that enabled me to work for big companies and be a business partner is having a professional certification.

I advise each professional: Invest in yourself, strengthen your experience with knowledge”

Mariham Magdy (PHRi, Egypt) – HR, Strategy and Management Consultant & Trainer

“As an HR Trainer & Consultant I believe that one of the most important benefits of the International Certification by the HRCI is how efficiently it builds the mind-set of the HR professionals acquainting them with the technical know-how for HR, spoken and standardized in an international language.

The HRCI exerts sound efforts to provide learners with valuable framework that can help them understand technically correct the processes of the different HR functions.

The HRCI Certification enabled me to understand the HR science from an international perspective, which gave me confidence in my work as an HR practitioner and Trainer.

The knowledge learnt throughout the certifications content designs for us a reliable road-map for the right steps to follow for decision making in HR.

I strongly recommend the certification for each professional aiming to progress his/her career in the HR field. Take a step today that you will thank yourself for it tomorrow”

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Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways

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Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

What special recommendations would you share with CIPD students to encourage them to progress in their study?

ICS Learn Student:

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable. Everything seems to be unpredictable, but that is okay! Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it as positive reinforcement to yourself. Add value to yourself. Break through the situations in life. Continuing to learn will bring you academic and professional value to be the person whom you always want to be.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How did the online set-up provided by ICS learn supported you to finish your CIPD Certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As a CIPD student, I am very glad that I choose ICS Learn as my platform. The online set-ups are very easy to go through and convenient to manage time. Especially as I am a full-time worker, it is very challenging to manage time for study or attend classes. However, ICS Learn supports you with recorded classes and fast responsive tutor support. That connection always made me feel that I was in a live classroom.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the CIPD has helped you to progress on your professional path and opened new doors for different career opportunities?

ICS Learn Student:

CIPD is an internationally recognised professional body. Most employer’s value and recognize the professional certification of CIPD. Being a CIPD Member gives professional values to my CV, especially in the field of Human Resources Management.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your HR practice at your organization changed after acquiring the CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

My organization recognized me as an HR student as I am successfully achieving my professional qualifications with CIPD. I feel more confident as they look at me as someone whom they can rely on professionally at any given task.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What special support have you received from your Tutors at ICS Learn that evidently helped you to finalize your certification?

ICS Learn Student:

During my study period, the support that I received from all ICS Learn tutors is special. Personalized feedback with regards to any assessments helped to achieve pass grades. I highly appreciate that all my tutors are available to answer or clarify any inquires related to my assignments or theoretical doubts in the one-to-one online chat forum.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The online administrative support is one of the most important things an online global learner need, how was it flexible to proceed with such important certification through the online platform of ICS Learn?

ICS Learn Student:

ICS Learn is one of the best and most recommended online learning providers. The online admin support is a click away as we all are connected in different time zones in the world. That is very important as an online global learner. They do not only support academically but also technically. As a path connecter to the CIPD body, ICS Learn have a very professional admin team.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your problem-solving techniques changed in dealing with HR challenges after finalizing your CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As an HR student, a CIPD qualification will enrich you with academic techniques. I have improved lots of skills that are helping me to handle challenges in a patient and professional manner. All the studies are practical scenarios rather than theoretical ones which allows me to improve as an individual and improve my behaviours as a people person.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What would be your next academic degree in mind after the CIPD?

ICS Learn Student:

I would like to do a master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

9- HR Revolution Middle East: Do you believe HR/L&D professionals shall create communities of practice to encourage one another in finalizing their CIPD certifications and nurture the profession that way?

ICS Learn Student:

Yes, I do believe so. Being connected to a community that is driven by the same goals and targets is encouraging. It also helps to build confidence and practice some of the professional behaviours by supporting each other. Sharing each other’s knowledge and giving feedback and different viewpoints always achieves a better outcome.

10- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the needed competences for an HR professional to excel in his/her CIPD studies?

ICS Learn Student:

The field of HR is dynamic and our ability to process and understand it requires self-motivation. Growing in your job means being receptive to new ideas, wherever they may come from. HR professionals who never stop learning are well-positioned to translate well thought out industry trends and data into actionable insights. CIPD is the perfect gateway to our dream career. They support choosing the right course to up-skill your HR practice and stay motivated remotely.

THANK YOU

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تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان

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شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان.

يعتبر شهر مارس بكل عام بمدينة ودمدني السودانية شهر مختلف ومتميز وذلك لأنه على مدى 7 أعوام متتالية يشهد على تنظيم حدث لمؤتمر تيدكس العالمي، وجاءت النسخة الثامنة التي كانت بيوم 27 مارس 2021 نسخة متميزة ومنفردة بجمال أفكارها ومشاريعها وتنظيمها الذي تم الأشراف عليه من البلدين الشقيقين، وكانت المشاركات شاملة لكل المجالات التي تهدف لتنمية المجتمع والفرد ونذكر منها:

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم وكيف استطاعت أن تتجاوز كل تلك الصعاب بإرادة قوية حتى تم تسميتها باسم صاحبة الإرادة وتعتبر ياسمين الآن من الشخصيات الملهمة في السودان.

تحدث محمود منسي (جمهورية مصر العربية) على أعادة بناء الدول والمجتمعات بعد الثورات وجاء الموضوع مناسباً للمرحلة التي يمر بها السودان الشقيق وأستطاع محمود إلهام الشباب السوداني لأخذ دور في بناء البلد وذلك بتفاعلهم مع موضوعه.

تحدث كذلك أحمد رجب (جمهورية مصر العربية) على فكرة رقصة التانجو وعلاقتها بالإدارة والقيادة داخل المؤسسات.

وكذلك سها هيكل (جمهورية مصر العربية) وجهت رسالة توعوية للمجتمع لتغير نظرته تجاه الفنيين باعتبارهم شريحة مهمة في المجتمع، وأن محاربة العنصرية والتمييز في شتى مجالات العمل.

بينما وعد عصام (جمهورية مصر العربية) تحدثت عن الصعوبات التي تواجه طلاب الثانويات خصوصاً في تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية وكيفية التغلب عليها بنصائح سهلة بسيطة ومباشرة ووضحت وعد أن اللغة عبارة عن مهارات تكتسب وتمارس.

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم

ومن المشاركين كذلك من البراء عثمان (دولة الأمارات العربية المتحدة) الذي تحدث عن تجربته مع الاكتئاب وكيف استطاع تجاوزه بتوجيه طاقته تجاه ممارسة هوايته وهي الموسيقى وكيف أن ممارسة الموسيقى تساعد على التوازن النفسي.

فاطمة أحمد (جمهورية السودان) التي دعت للمحبة والسلام وتقبل الاّخر لبناء سودان جديد مستعرضة تجربة رواندا.

وكذلك تحدثت ماب خالد (جمهورية السودان) على أهمية التوعية بالعلاج النفسي وتجربتها في إقناع الحكومة لتضمين العلاج النفسي في التأمين الصحي وتوعية المواطنين بالصحة النفسية.

وعن السياحة تحدث بشغف محمد مجذوب (جمهورية السودان) وعن تاريخ السودان الذي يمتد ل 7000 سنة وعن حضارة الفراعنة داعياً الحكومة للترويج للسياحة في السودان معتبرا مؤتمر تيدكس مدني مؤتمراً يساهم في دفع عجلة السياحة بالبلاد وذلك للمشاركة الكبيرة من المتحدثين والجمهور من المناطق المختلفة.

وتحدثت أصغر المشتركات أسيل يوسف (جمهورية السودان) عن إمكانية استغلال الموهبة لمصدر دخل وتنميتها بالممارسة داعية شباب جيلها لحذو طريقها وختمت خنساء سيربال (جمهورية السودان) المؤتمر بحديثها على دور الممرض في المنظومة الطبية.

بالإضافة إلى الإعلامي إيهاب مجدي من مصر معد ومقدم فقرات برنامج المؤتمر، بالمشاركة مع الإعلاميين السودانيين خالد علي وآية عابدين.

وبختام المؤتمر قدم محمود منسي درع الأكاديمية العربية للعلوم والتكنولوجيا والنقل البحري للمنظم د. وائل العائد الذي شكر بدوره الأكاديمية العربية على دورها الكبير في إنجاح المؤتمر باعتبارها الشريك الأساسي وشكرها للمنحة التي تم تقديمها للمؤتمر وقام كذلك بتوجيه الشكر لكل الجهات التي ساهمت في إنجاح المؤتمر:

السيدة مونيكا وحيد، ممثل شركة تاركو للطيران مكتب مدني

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