The Culture Shock and Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Chinese Expatriates in International Business Contexts

Ling Shi, Lei Wang


This thesis aims to investigate the influential causes of culture shocks experienced by Chinese business expatriates, and meanwhile to reveal their difficulties in the cross-cultural adaptation in international business contexts. The research was conducted on the base of a semi-structured interview and an on-line survey among 80 Chinese business expatriates who came from a wide range of corporations and organizations. Through a quantitative-and-qualitative analysis, eight major influential causes of culture shock were identified, namely, business communication, language, individualism, collectivism, power distance, time orientation, religion, and tradition. The study also found that all Chinese expatriates encountered some cultural shocks in international business context and were greatly affected by communication, language, religious and traditional issues. The study further revealed three major difficulties in the cross-cultural adaptation: poor adaptability of business communication, language barriers and heavy pressure from work duties. Finally, based on the findings, several effective measures for a better cross-cultural adaptation were proposed.

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International Business Research  ISSN 1913-9004 (Print), ISSN 1913-9012 (Online)

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