1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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Going Global: How to succeed in international business! 9

won the Cold War

, it’s over now. This is a new world. Forget the

idea of being number one in the world. Look us in the eye when
you talk with us

.”

9

For Westerners, both the language and the

tone are atypical, and even shocking, given the source. In his
book,

The Return of Asia: The End of Western Domination

(2008), Mahbubani emphasized that in the future, the 12% of the
global population living in the West will no longer be able to dictate
to the remaining 88% of the world how they should live. So why
should China adopt Western ideas regarding management? Per-
haps we need to reverse the hypothesis. Perhaps it is not the Chi-
nese, but rather we who have the problem working with foreign
cultures!

For most people, the concept of globalization is inseparable

from with the export of Western goods, values and management
models. The hope is that China, India and innumerable other rap-
idly emerging countries will one day understand our ways of think-
ing, and through increasing economic prosperity, democracy will
naturally replace authoritarian regimes. When the Chinese Prime
Minister visited Germany in June 2011, the German Foreign Minis-
ter Guido Westerwelle was asked, on the evening news no less, if
Germany can cooperate with countries whose values and norms
are so vastly different, particularly given that it is very much in our
interest to do so, he referred to it as

Change Through Trade

. So-

ciologists refer to the phenome

non as ‘ethnocentrism’, the belief

that one’s own values and national culture are the normative base-
line for standard behavior. Professor Mahbubani calls it a

double

standard

, and rightly claims that a diverse and multi-ethnic nation

like China, with a very long and vast history and culture of its own,
would and should determine its own pace of social reform.

9

Interview in Spiegel under the title “Der Westen ist Hochnäsig”; in: Der Spie-

gel Nr. 34, 2011, p.87ff., here p. 89.

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