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Say It Right Series

Business and culture

Posted by marcelbdt July 18, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

I have a friend, who works for an electronics related company in Europe. This company has recently  bought another company in China. The European headquater is quite happy about the work done by the Chinese engineers, but they do have some difficulties in cooperating.

There are many facets of this, here is one. The main office in Europe would like to be informed as early as possible about emerging problems - but as it is, they will never hear anything from the China branch except that everything is going well. Even if it is not. To the Europeans, it seems that the Chinese are afraid of loosing face and hide difficulties from the main office as long as possible. Which is not what the company wants.

My theory is that this is about break down of communications, and about cultural differences. Does anyone here have an idea about how to solve the problem, so that the main office gets early warnings about problems, and the Chinese branch does not loose face?

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