What you will study
Business dealings with China are on the increase. More and more people are realising that they need to do more than have knowledge of a list of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of Chinese etiquette. Following rules such as presenting business cards with both hands, or not opening gifts in front of your hosts, can help a business meeting or negotiation be successful. But to create positive, long-term business relationships, what you’ll need is an understanding of the much broader context of Chinese culture and values that permeate Chinese business contexts.
This short course introduces you to some core Chinese cultural beliefs and values. Using stories and reflections from Westerners who have lived and worked in China, it will also highlight some potential challenges you may face.
China is a huge country with diverse cultures, and this course focuses on just a few fundamental aspects of Chinese culture, engaging you with reflective activities. You’ll gain a critical appreciation of different approaches. You’ll develop a better understanding of Chinese business culture, and more effective communication in Chinese business contexts.
This course is divided into four units:
- language, culture and intercultural competence
- hierarchical society and power relationships
- guānxi, miànzi and building trust
- harmony, gift-giving and traditional festivals.
As part of the course you will learn some useful expressions in Mandarin Chinese, share your thoughts with other students via a dedicated online forum, and keep an online downloadable record of your thoughts and answers to some questions, which will help you consider and reflect upon a number of cultural scenarios.
By the end of the course you’ll have developed a degree of cultural intelligence and intercultural sensitivity that can be applied beyond Chinese-speaking cultures.
Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.
You will learn
In the context of working within Chinese culture, whether this be business trips, hosting delegations, partnerships with Chinese organisations, or simply doing business in this market, this course aims to help you:
- raise your cultural awareness and improve your intercultural competence
- develop and integrate intercultural skills and strategies in Chinese business contexts
- reflect on and deepen your understanding of why China is a hierarchical society, and its impact when conducting business in China
- explore the concepts of guānxi, Confucius values, harmony and miànzi that underpin Chinese business dealings
- communicate more effectively with the Chinese people you interact with
- master some essential Mandarin Chinese expressions.
The course is taught entirely online. You will have access to online forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in, as they are an excellent source of support and information. These forums combine self-help from fellow students with input from language specialist learning advisers.
This course is made up of 4 units, with each unit expected to take 8–9 hours to study. In total, you'll need around 36 hours to complete. The course will be open for 16 weeks to allow you to complete your study at your own pace.