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When we are the foreigners: What Chinese think about working with Americans Paperback – August 22, 2011


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When we are the foreigners: What Chinese think about working with Americans + Chinese Business Etiquette: The Practical Pocket Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463503687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463503680
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

All three of the authors enjoy working, consulting, and researching the cultural aspects of international business. Orlando R. Kelm has published books and articles on the subject of business culture, specializing in the teaching of foreign language for professional purposes and the use of innovative technologies in education. John N. Doggett is an award winning lecturer and frequent invited speaker, specializing in growth strategies, global competition, and entrepreneurship. Haiping Tang is a technology marketer, with expertise in global product launch and China market entry strategies.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amy on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a Chinese student who studies in the United States. I am always interested in doing business between the U.S. and China. This book definitely is a good preparation for anyone who is or wants to conduct businesses in China. Through interesting real life stories, I have learned to systematically recognize the difference between the eastern and western culture.

Being in the States for almost five years, I have experienced both culture deeply and have experienced many culture differences in situations like the "case scenario" presented in the book. I deal with culture differences everyday. However, some of the differences I see daily become hard to notice. I am no longer sensitive to them until this book helped me to recognize them. What's so great about this book is that:It not only helped me recognize the differences, but also taught me a way to deal with the difference.

The conversational tone is very easy to follow. I liked reading of different opinions from both Americans and the Chinese professionals after each case, which allowed me to think about the problems in different prospective. The book also uncovered some common Chinese philosophies that formed the Chinese logic.
I think this book has built a bridge to the culture differences between the U.S. and China and is worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Estuardo Jose Robles on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is solid gold when compared to so much out there about "doing business in China", which at their best are elementary in the value they deliver. This book marks the beginning of a more formal approach for western mainstream business to do business with the Chinese.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert McKeen on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
A great, concise overview of the cultural differences that all too easily surface in Sino-American business interactions. The case studies dealt with perils and pitfalls that, I suspect, many readers on both sides of the Pacific will readily recognize, some perhaps a bit too close for comfort.

Although focused on US and Chinese interactions, this book has some concepts that can be generalized to other cultural clashes and disconnects, particularly in the area of languages and the all-too-often situation of "I think I understand what you said" (but not really, due to semantic subtleties that can require many years study to discern). Although I don't speak Chinese, I do speak Portuguese, spent a decade in Britain and understand how easily it is to understand something at a high level, yet miss some underlying nuances that can come back to cause trouble down the road. Conversely, the comment "native speakers of English seldom appreciate the amazing ability that they have to soften their words, make subtle changes in meaning and adjust their tone" should be required reading and internalization for anyone who goes abroad on an international assignment.

I have long realized that US English uses an amazing number of baseball metaphors and colloquialisms that must leave Chinese and other foreign speakers completely flummoxed at times, as to their content. However, this book serves as a helpful reminder in that area of ambiguity for non native speakers. Many years ago, someone from Britain, who was in the process of relocating to the States to accept a job, asked me to give him a primer on all the baseball expressions that permeate US English, so that he could understand what he would be hearing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric J McGraw on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a business consultant who goes back and forth between the US and China and speaks English and Chinese, "When We are the Foreigners" is a great addition to a reading list for those North Americans (or any country who uses English for business) who either is or will be conducting business in China. It is also an informative read for any Chinese who have a good grasp of the English language and are bound for North America and beyond. A good one for the airplane check-in bag.

I am often wary of the Big China Books who do vast generalizations and put China business in a nice little box. The selling point of this book is its dialogue format of comparing and contrasting communication styles and decoding messages that are often misunderstood and/or lost in translation between cultures with direct and indirect styles of communication. It's easy to fall back on old habits in your native language and culture whichever side of the table you are on, even for people who have been in either country for a while. This book serves as a great preparation checklist before flying over on a plane, walking into a big meeting, or even on a day-to-day basis with your local Chinese or American/Canadian coworkers.

The tone of the book is light from a business perspective but also maintains an academic flavor. This book also serves as a bridge between theory and practice in the business world, where high level executives accuse academics of being too far removed from the action and academics accuse high level execs of executing the "Ready, Fire, Aim!" plan. What this means is you have a book that is an easy read but also rich in theoretical frameworks.
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