Hong Kong Culture and Business reflective writing

| September 28, 2015

Hong Kong Culture and Business reflective writing

Order Description

The topic of this assignment relates to your insight from your group research project(I will upload my group essay in my account). Firstly, select one key finding from your group research project. This finding could be based on your individual research for this project or your learning from the other group members’ research. You need to pick just one of these findings.
This reflection task is NOT about reflecting on your group work experience and process. For example, we don’t want you to describe which group members did which work components and/or explain how tasks were allocated to each group member. Your insight needs to relate to the content of your “research work” including reading academic publications, watching audio and visual materials and your discussions with group members.
We recommend you to structure your writing using the DIEP structure(I will upload the details of DIEP structure), which will make easier for you to write your reflection.For this assignment, the word limit is expanded to 600 words so you can write more than four paragraphs, while still addressing the Describe, Interpretation, Evaluation and Planning sections. It is recommended that you allocate more words to the I and E sections, as these two sections demonstrate how your insight is supported by academic references. In contrast, you should not write too much in the D and P sections, as these are not the core of your writing. Before you start writing, you need to plan how to structure your reflection.

ASSIGNMENT GUIDE: Critical reflective writing#2 –using DIEP structure

What is DIEP?
D – Describe objectively what you learned
Choose a new insight. It might be something that you understand now (that you didn’t before). Focus on what you learned and give the details of what happened.?Answer the question: ‘What did I learn?’?Some suggested starting phrases: The most interesting (surprising/ important/ significant/ …) (insight/ theory/ thing …) I read (saw/ heard/ realised/ learned…) this week is that …?One thing I realise (understand …) now is that …?A significant issue I have not addressed in my previous writing is … Continue the paragraph with details of what, where, when, etc.

I – Interpret the insight (in one or more paragraphs)
Explain the meaning of the new insight: your understanding/ hypotheses/ conclusions/ connections with other learning/ possible complexities/ questions unanswered/ etc. You can refer to ideas and theory in your course material, in research literature and from other sources to support your explanation of the insight/s. Answer the questions: ‘What might it mean?’ ‘How might this affect other perceptions, concepts, etc.?’ Some suggested starting phrases: This realisation may have important relevance for three reasons. First, it implies … A possible implication/meaning of this new idea/understanding is that …?This (new) understanding of … is likely to mean three things. It could be …

E – Evaluate what you have learned (in one or more paragraphs)
Make judgments about the value of what you have learned connected to observations you have made. Refer to theory from your courses and the literature here too, to show how your insight is connected to discipline knowledge and how your thinking has changed for the better.?Answer the question: ‘How is this useful for my deeper understanding of the topic?’
Some suggested starting phrases: This concept of … is valuable for …/ will change the way I approach …?This understanding is important in a number of ways. First it …?This insight is connected with (theoretical approaches to …/ theories/ concepts/ Having realisedthat …, I wonder if …/ I intend to develop …

P – Plan how this learning will be applied in practice
Comment on relevance to your course, program, future profession, life…?Answer the question: ‘How might this learning apply in my future?’ Use future tense in this paragraph to show transfer of knowledge to the future. A suggested starting phrase: This (new insight) will be useful in this course, in the (bachelor) degree, in my future career as a …, and in my life. In this course, (understanding …) could …

Reflective writing is one method of reflective practice. Reflective writing assignments in this course will enable you to make a link between learning about culture, business practice and your future?career. The purpose of the second writing assignment is to develop reflective practice skills.
The topic of this assignment relates to your insight from your group research project. Firstly, select one key finding from your group research project. This finding could be based on your individual research for this project or your learning from the other group members’ research. You need to pick just one of these findings.
This reflection task is NOT about reflecting on your group work experience and process. For example, we don’t want you to describe which group members did which work components and/or explain how tasks were allocated to each group member. Your insight needs to relate to the content of your “research work” including reading academic publications, watching audio and visual materials and your discussions with group members.
We recommend you to structure your writing using the DIEP structure, which will make easier for you to write your reflection.For this assignment, the word limit is expanded to 600 words so you can write more than four paragraphs, while still addressing the Describe, Interpretation, Evaluation and Planning sections. It is recommended that you allocate more words to the I and E sections, as these two sections demonstrate how your insight is supported by academic references. In contrast, you should not write too much in the D and P sections, as these are not the core of your writing. Before you start writing, you need to plan how to structure your reflection.
Like the first critical reflective writing assignment, this assignment also requires your critical analysis based on acadmic readings.In this way, it differs from simple descriptive analysis. ?Criticalanalysisis a process toenableyoutomakeevaluationsandjudgments byaskingquestions. In this process, you need to use five academic readings to back up your opinions and validate your judgments.
Assignment requirement
1.    Word limit: 600 words (up to 650 words)?A list of references is not counted in this word limit. ?
2.    Number of references: At least five academic references?Government reports, newspaper articles and blogs, etc are not counted as academic ?references. ?

Group Essay
Hong Kong Culture and Business Practices

Content    1.    Introduction (Research objectives)
2.    Research findings
•    Culture in Hong Kong
•    Business in Hong Kong
3. Recommendations – Phillip Tran

Research objectives    307 words
Research findings    1827 words
Summary and recommendations    386 words
Total word count    2520 words

Introduction

The fishing village known as “Fragrant Harbour” (Mark Williams, 2009) that went on to become the regional business centre in Asia. Hong Kong, nicknamed “The Pearl of the Orient” (Christine Genzberger, 1994) has experience many difficulties from being handed over to the British while under the Manchu rule then returning to Communist China in 1997. Hong Kong is consisted of two major islands and with many other smaller islands around it, the island city situated on the south coast of China adjacent to the Pearl River Delta (Mark Williams, 2009). This geological area has faced many transitions which greatly shaped the culture and the business practices of the people in Hong Kong.

The aim of this report is to elaborate on the culture and business practices within Hong Kong, also identifying some of the key issues within these areas and recommending on how to combat these problems. A lot of the following issues have been a centre of discussion around Asian media and also references in journals and books. Since the beginning of Chinese governed Hong Kong, the area became an autonomous region of China which in turn it has received massive influx of mainland Chinese migrating into its region which has created major disturbance in cultural issues and norms of the city. Even though mainland Chinese and Hong Kongers share ethnic roots they are both quite different culturally in terms of social norms, behavioral norms and views on hierarchy. The handover also saw more closer ties between the Chinese and Hong Kong elites but there is also the housing boom and the income inequality that has become very apparent .On the other hand business practices between the two people are quite similar, they conduct business with influences of Confucianism and both integrated the concept of Guanxi into their business life like many of their Asian counterparts.
Hong Kong Culture

One of the most significant features of Hong Kong’s culture is how it has been shaped over the years by its Chinese heritage and the time it had spent as a British colony. Hong Kong Island was relinquished to the British in 1841 by China, as a part of a ceasefire agreement made during the First Opium War (BBC 2015). The population of Hong Kong at this time was made up mainly of men who had journeyed from mainland China to Hong Kong to look for work and a small number of British colonisers who make up Hong Kong’s elite upper class (Hung-Kay 1998). Both of these groups had no initial intentions for permanent settlement in Hong Kong. There was a large gap between the upper class British colonialists and the lower class Chinese migrants, which resulted in little to no communication, and the stagnation of the development of one common culture (Abbas 1997).

However, this changed drastically in the 1950s when approximately two million people moved to Hong Kong from China with the intention of permanent settlement after the Chinese Civil War (Hung-Kay 1998). These people brought with them their traditions and culture and integrated them into Hong Kong’s society, leading to the development of a distinct Hong Kong culture. The migrants who established themselves in Hong Kong were mostly peasants, artisans and merchants, who did not hold the same social values and attitudes as the Chinese hierarchy (Hung-Kay 1998). The children of these migrants grew up to be bilingual with the integration of both traditionally Western aspects of education and traditionally Chinese aspects of education (Hung-Kay 1998). These two factors led to Hong Kong’s divergence from Chinese traditions and in 1997, when Hong Kong was transitioned back to Chinese rule, there was disharmony between Hong Kong citizens and mainland Chinese citizens, especially regarding decisions that were made regarding the joint future between the two countries. (Tsang 2004).

A challenge that Hong Kong now faces due to how its cultural identity was shaped, is it that it now has many differences from mainland China’s culture. Hong Kong’s business culture is open and flexible and does not hold on to the strict hierarchical processes of Chinese society. Chinese society also has a tight hold over its cultural traditions with moves to incorporate other cultures seen as distasteful. This greatly differs from Hong Kong’s culture, which has incorporated cultural elements from all aspects of the globe, as it welcomes more migrants from different countries into its society (Hung-Kay 1998). One of the ways to overcome this challenge is by utilising education. Citizens of Hong Kong should learn about how China’s culture differs to theirs and similarly Chinese citizens should be taught of how Hong Kong’s culture differs to theirs (Kan 2010). An understanding of the different cultures would lead to mutual respect and understanding, allowing for greater integration between the two countries.

Hong Kong’s culture has transformed through time, from being a colony to Asia’s world city. A traditional Chinese-influenced establishment that became more impacted by British colonialism, Hong Kong started to create an identity of its own with growing diversity.

Hong Kong’s social beliefs are to an extent quite similar with the China’s values. The concept of face and family values including Confucianism and hierarchy do exist within Hong Kong society. Despite the similarities, there has been an ongoing controversy between Hong Kongers and Mainland Chinese. Hong Kongers and mainlanders generally do not get along due to certain different in ways of life, as well as history and political reasons.

Although Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong people generally do not consider Hong Kong and China as one. The cases of Hong Kong and the PRC are illuminating the role of elites of democratisation. Whilst Hong Kong adopts democracy, China remains a single-party state. Although the “one country, two systems” principle was started, Hong Kong, as anyone who has lived or worked in the city knows, is simultaneously China, and not China (McKirdy, 2014) The principle is due to expire in 2047, that Hong Kong “shall safeguard the rights and freedom of the residents.” (McKirdy, 2014)

Putting apart political and historical issues, the culture and lifestyle between Hong Kong and the mainland are vastly different. Hong Kongers and mainland tourists often come into conflicts due to mainlanders’ behaviour not living up to Hong Kong’s strict standards. Culture differences come into play when many things that are considered socially acceptable on the mainland, such as spitting in public, littering and eating on public transport are the main sources of complains from Hong Kongers. (Custer, 2014)

Conflicts between Hong Kong people and mainlanders will take long to resolve, whether or not it will be resolved is a big question. Chinese tourists are most likely not ready to change their behaviour overseas in the near future, and the Chinese government is not letting go of its grasp in Hong Kong politics. Hong Kong’s cultural differences with mainland remain an ongoing issue in the 21st century.

Hong Kong Business Practices

In 1970, the British Government had ended the 150 years governing of Hong Kong and granted the authority back to China Government that Hong Kong has become to the SAR ‘Special Administrative Region’ (Chen, Edward K.Y, 1984). Hong Kong was re governed by China under the “One Country, Two system” policy, which refer to the mainland of China remains socialism and Hong Kong keep operating the capitalism. It is exclusive that Hong Kong remains English as the official language, and to keep the prosperity development of the international business (Yuen, Ky, 2012). For instance, the most of the multinational enterprises has chosen Hong Kong as the threshold for spreading the business in Asia.
In terms of the enterprise development in Hong Kong, the development has been appeared to eliminate some of the threats that China would return to a privy door policy after 1990, and cultivate a faith that China has probably only develop into the communist in name (Chan, H 1996). The incredible growth of the economy has brought the increased the standard of living, notably in the littoral areas. The statistics have shown that nearly 72 percent of enterprises have the confident insight about China’s future. Those occupied with exporting, who had a great association with remote customers and had some Irreplaceable aptitudes in global business, seems to be less agonized over political changes (Thompson & Edmund R 2002). The faith of their part as an extension in the middle of China and the West, they have trusted that their customers would not believe the terrain Chinese and would keep on depending on them, while the Chinese government would keep on elevating their fares to procure more remote trade.
With such a colossal development in chances to work with China lately, numerous Hong Kong organizations have earned great benefits by offering to China or employing shabby work and purchasing modest area ( McDonald, G.M & Zepp, R.A., 1998). The individuals who have overlooked the 1997 dangers and hypothesized in properties and shares in Hong Kong have seen their riches reproduced. The individuals who ceased their speculation arranges after the occurrence in Tiananmen Square later lamented having missed the chance, faulting their confusion for being excessively skeptical and lacking persistence, or out and out misfortune. Naturally, then, with such laments they have tended to invest there before cynicism to the next great and have gotten to be idealistic about Hong Kong’s future.
These respondents were not the only one in their general expanded confidence in China and Hong Kong’s future. Global associations, reserve administrators, and media discourses when all was said in done have proffered hopeful conjectures about China’s future, and Hong Kong’s potential increase from the previous’ thriving, making a good air about the territory’s prospects (Thompson, Edmund R, 2002). Furthermore, the troubles of abroad markets and the miserable viewpoint of the world economy distinctively showed by expanding quantities of individuals who had emigrated before and afterward came back to Hong Kong looking for occupations – consoled the respondents that they had settled on the right choice and ought to in this manner keep on being certain about Hong Kong’s future.

One of the main practices within Hong Kong, and many other Asian countries is the idea of Guanxi. Guanxi is a term used to describe the relationships that are formed when favours are exchanged between parties in an effort to conduct business. In simple terms, Guanxi is the relationships formed and maintained by the reciprocation of favours and the building of trust through ongoing efforts by both parties to create a harmonious business relationship (Yeung, 2007).

The prominence of Guanxi may prove to be a source of frustration to outsiders not accustomed to it, and may even be considered a hindrance or a challenge in doing business. Because it is such a large part of Chinese culture, and is ingrained in the way business is conducted, a person’s relationship with someone can directly influence their business dealings in Hong Kong.

Guanxi is a key determinant in business practices, without the knowledge of Guanxi, many people would not be able to cultivate relationships with those people they are looking to business with. Furthermore, as one of the aspects of Guanxi is that of ‘saving face’ (Park, 2001), those people not aware of Guanxi may hurt relationships by unknowingly causing another party to lose face. For this reason, the prevalence of Guanxi can be seen as an issue to those outsiders who have not practiced it before.

This knowledge ties in with the prevalence of Confucianism found within Hong Kong’s business practices. Because the population of Hong Kong is around 98% Chinese, the mentality of the inhabitants are influenced a great deal by Confucianism, which then reflect the business practices of the region. One of the main aspects of Confucianism is that of social harmony through the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. In Confucianism, hierarchy is an important tool in keeping social harmony (Yang, 2011). This is reflected in businesses throughout Hong Kong, where the manager is seen as a father figure or ruler to their workers (Genzberger, 1994). There is an understanding in the workplace that workers must obey their boss with diligence, and the boss must actively ensure that the needs of their workers are met and that they are taking an interest in the wellbeing of their subordinates.  Both Guanxi and Confucianism lend themselves to creating a harmonious work environment (McDonald, 2012). Because Guanxi is seen as an intangible social currency, loss of face is very serious and any detriment to a business relationship would negatively impact business dealings.

To overcome any issues that may arise due to a difference in business practices in Hong Kong, particularly that of Guanxi and Confucianism, it would be important for someone to spend time observing the societal norms found within Hong Kong’s business environment. A great deal of research would also serve to prevent any miscommunication during business dealings.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The influence that the British cast over Hong Kong is something very apparent; it has created a population of people who don’t see themselves culturally as Chinese or British. From that fact an observation could be made that this group of people cannot identify themselves as either the ones just mention is what makes Hong Kong’s culture and business practices unique. The culture of Hong Kong is Chinese roots that have been molded by Western values, the use of Guanxi and Confucianism in everyday day life is an example of how the people of Hong Kong still retain their Chinese roots (Yadong Luo, 2000). While the use of English, adoption of western names and etiquette is evidence of the western influences from their past colonial rule. From the chaos of being passed around the people of Hong Kong were able to establish their own identity which is unique to them and is not fully belonging to another’s. This is the reason why Hong Kong has become the central business and cultural hub in East Asia, basically the point where east meets west.

It is recommended that the administrators of Hong Kong should hand out booklets before crossing the border detailing the cultural differences and norms in the city, this would give the mainland Chinese an insight and understanding how things are conducted in Hong Kong. This would also help create an understanding of the differences between the two people’s culture and politics, with that acknowledgment and acceptance will become a possibility. It is also suggested to implement a strategy make the housing market in Hong Kong less attractive or decrease the flow of foreign home owners coming into Hong Kong due to the detrimental effects it has on the housing market (Billy Chan, 2015), it’s creating a problem where average people are not able to afford to live in standard living conditions. It is also recommended that Hong Kong’s administrations should implement small programs such as videos on internet or booklets to help foreigners grasp the concept of Guanxi and to incorporate it into their business practices in Asia. Finally, with these recommendations being made it’s important to keep in mind that education on each of these areas is likely the best long term solution and the survival of Hong Kong’s culture and business practices.

References

•    Abbas, A 1997, Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong
•    BBC 2015, Hong Kong Profile – Timeline, BBC, Britain, viewed 2nd August 2015,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-16526765
•    Hung-Kay, L 1998, ‘Hong Kong History and Culture’, Chinese Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 30, issue 3, p.16-22
•    Kan, F 2010, ‘The functions of Hong Kong’s Chinese History, from Colonisation to Decolonisation’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, vol. 42, issue 2, p.263-278
•    Tsang, S 2004, A Modern History of Hong Kong, I.B Tauris & Co Ltd, London

•    Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo 2011, Competing Chinese Political Visions: Hong Kong vs Beijing on democracy
•    J. Oliveira, P. Cardinal 2009, One Country, Two Systems, Three Legal Orders – Perspectives of Evolution
•    Kit-Chun Lam, Guicheng Shi 2008, Factors Affecting Ethical Attitudes in Mainland China and Hong Kong
•    Hong Kong – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette [http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/hongkong-country-profile.html] accessed 8th September
•    China vs Hong Kong [http://chineseculture.about.com/od/Chinese-Pop-Culture/fl/China-vs-Hong-Kong.htm] accessed 8th September
•    ‘One country, two systems’: How Hong Kong remains distinct from China [http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/29/world/asia/hong-kong-protest-backgrounder/] accessed 8th September

•    Chan, H 1996, ‘Fear of the needle? The future of Hong Kong Business’, Business Horizons, 39, 1, p. 30, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 September 2015.
•    Chen, Edward K.Y., 1984. ‘Hong Kong’. Vol.12(5), pp.481-490. Viewed on 8 September 2015.
•    Kai Xun, S. Jie, Y & Rui Qian, S, 2008. ‘ Competitiveness assessment system for China’s construction industry’, p. 97-109. Viewed on 8 September 2015.
•    McDonald G.M., Zepp R.A, 1998. ‘Ethical perceptions of Hong Kong Chinese business managers’. Vol. 7(11), p 835-845. Viewed on 8 September 2015.
•    Thompson, Edmund R, 2002. ‘Competitiveness concerns in Hong Kong: business fears and government incomprehension’. The Pacific review, Vol. 15(3), p.443-467. Viewed on 8 September 2015.
•    Yuen, Ky, 2012. ‘The Hong Kong perspective’ Vol.481. p.258. Viewed on 7 September 2015.

•    Genzberger, C 1994, ‘Hong Kong Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business with Hong Kong’, World Trade Press, USA
•    McDonald, P 2012, ‘Confucian foundations to leadership: a study of Chinese
business leaders across Greater China and South-East Asia’, Asia Pacific Business Review, June, p. 472
•    Park, S.H 2001, ‘Guanxi and organizational dynamics: Organizational networking in Chinese firms’  Strategic Management Journal, May, p. 457
•    Yang, F, Tamney, J 2012, ‘Confucianism and Spiritual Traditions in Modern China and Beyond’, Koninklijke Brill, The Netherlands
•    Yeung, H.W 2007, ‘Handbook of Research on Asian Business’, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

•    Christine Genzberger (1994). Hong Kong Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business with Hong Kong. California: World Trade Press. p127-130.
•    Mark Williams. (2009). The Lion City and the Fragrant Harbor: The political economy of competition policy in Singapore and Hong Kong compared. THE ANTITRUST BULLETIN. 54 (3), p533-552.
•    Gordon Mathews. (2008). Hong Kong people encountering the nation in South China. In: Dale Lü and Jiewei Ma Hong Kong, China: Learning to Belong to a Nation. New York: Routledge. p131-144.
•    Billy Chan. (2015). Hong Kong’s Decade-Long Property Boom Could Be Ending: Chart. Available: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-16/hong-kong-property-price-boom-seen-nearing-end-chart-of-the-day. Last accessed 13th September 2015.
•    Yadong Luo (2000). Guanxi and Business. London: World Scientific Publishing. p1-74.

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