The interpretation of globalization amongst Chinese business leaders: a managerial and organizational cognition approach

The interpretation of globalization amongst Chinese business leaders: a managerial and organizational cognition approach

Chinese business community reaping benefits of globalisation

Since the 1980s China is one of the few countries that has embraced and benefited from economic globalisation. Much of what has been reported about the impact of globalisation is based on macroeconomic and social analyses, often neglecting the meaning and impact of globalisation at the individual level. This paper aims to bridge this gap by presenting the results of a survey of a sample of 128 Chinese business people and professionals in Beijing.

The survey respondents were asked about their feelings about globalisation as Chinese citizens, and what they thought its impacts might be on Chinese society. Their answers revealed that most of the respondents view globalisation from the economic perspective rather than from the cultural convergence or political convergence perspective. Most significantly, they view globalisation as representing one economic system in the world – which is capitalism. They view globalisation not only as economic activities but as a
philosophical and ideological (not cultural) shift in the way the world conducts economic activities.

Some practical implications derived from this survey include:

  • these respondents might oppose globalisation process if it encroaches traditional Chinese values - they appear to be comfortable with the economic system and philosophy that forms the foundation of globalisation but less comfortable with its assumed Western liberal values
  • it is not clear from this sample what role Chinese business people and professionals would like government to play in the economy
  • the more China continues to benefit from economic globalisation, the more policymakers and key
    stakeholders would view globalisation as positive and vice-versa.