How do the characteristics of Chinese culture affect relationships between a multinational companies with its Chinese audiences?
As Dr. Flora Hung acknowledges, the study focuses on interpersonal relationships and discusses how relationships are maintained and what makes them desirable.
· theory-based sampling,
· convenience sampling
· snowball sampling
These three tactics were used in order to recruit representatives of Fortune world 500 companies. Through these sampling techniques, Dr. Hung was able to conduct 20 interviews with people from 18 organizations. These interviewees were contacted by telephone and through email. Some of the people being interviewed were CEOs and public relations managers of the companies.
To analyze the qualitative data, a collaborative social research approach was used. The intent was to build and construct meanings by working with the participants. Dr. Hung took extensive notes while interviewing participants. There was a significant emphasis on getting detailed explanations from the participants that sometimes needed to be clarified or elaborated upon.
Flora compartmentalized data into multiple categories, which made it far easier to organize the collected data and in turn made it easier to come to conclusions based on different aspects of the information.
At the heart of the reasoning behind these interviews was to study the organization’s relationship-building processes with their audiences, which is what is mainly learned from Hung’s overall thesis. Within the analysis of these relationships are many factors, including how organizations are able to make their audiences (the general public) more comfortable in regards to the relationship between the two parties.
Many factors were identified when examining the relationship between cultural influence and multinational companies.
· Detailed greatly was family orientation, the concept of self-Other—which refers to collectivistic cultures that put needs and goals of the in-group before beliefs of the individual - and other concepts such as role formalization and reciprocity.
· Among the findings was that Chinese people tend to try to maintain relational harmony, no matter if they are talking to their superior or an equal.
· Hung puts a great deal of emphasis on “yuan” in public relations. Yuan is considered to be a calming mechanism when a bad relationship takes place.
· This concept tends to shape how people in this culture define relationship types and decide how long the relationships will last.
· Guanxi is another concept that is incorporated into Hung’s research, though it was discovered in a previous study. Guanxi refers to an outsider company that intends to be accepted as an insider, but in order to be considered as such it often has to find someone within the group to form a relationship with.
· Overall, multinational companies believed relationships with governmental officials were vital in maintaining networks and to ultimately being efficient in the workplace.
A limitation was the sole usage of qualitative interviewing. The types of people who were interviewed were limited, as only CEOs, vice presidents, and public relations managers were able to participate.
Therefore, as a result there was another limitation: the inability to interview the companies’ publics. It was desired that a co-orientation method would be used, which would analyze the topics at hand from both the organizational and public points of view. Time constraints and a small budget prevented this.