China's Management Revolution: Spirit, Land, Energy (International Management Knowledge) Hardcover – 24 Nov 2010
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'Chinese entrepreneurs have made remarkable progress by following the Western business model. At the same time, through their diligence and practicality they have become more mature and created their own unique Chinese business model. In 'China's Management Revolution,' Mr. Charles-Edouard Bouée sums up the features of the Chinese management model, which integrates Western business culture with Chinese business wisdom. It's a great contribution to the enrichment of the global management model.' - JIN Zhiguo, Chairman of Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd.
'This book is a genuine attempt in unraveling the dynamics of what's called "Chinese-style management", against the backdrop of China's rise as an emerging economic power. In writing this book Charles-Edouard Bouée has done a good service as well offer an insider's perspective for international businessmen who want to do business in China. As a leading strategist, he understands that he is in the business of offering good and practical solutions.' - Lifen Zhang, Associate Editor, Financial Times, Editor-in-Chief, FTChinese.com
'Eloquently written, this book presents important new insights for management theory and practice from China – where private entrepreneurs' wholehearted embrace of the US management style has given way to a distinctly Chinese way of doing business. Bouée, a French investment banker with an American academic degree and head of a European consultancy's operations in China, brings a profound understanding of different management styles to his exploration of this shift.' - Soumitra Dutta, Professor of Business and Technology, Academic Director, eLab, INSEAD
'China has been delivering economic miracles. However, it remains a mystery how Chinese enterprises are managed. While the Chinese endeavor to learn from Western experience, they have retained their unique management philosophy and culture. We should therefore try to understand the diverse management styles of Chinese companies as they are playing a more active role on the global stage. This book is a timely guide for Western readers to help them understand the truth of Chinese management.' - Ning Xiangdong, Professor, School of Economics and Management, and Director, Center for Corporate Governance, Tsinghua University
China is facing many new business challenges as a result of rapid growth and a changing world economy. How can managers develope the skills they need to cope with these challenges in a changing world?See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Mr. Bouée succeeds in covering all important items of that topic. He starts with the latest history of China and how the country easened the isolation to the western countries and how the Olypmics of 2008 changed the image outside and inside the country. The biggest part of his book is the explanation of three basic topics he recognized in his researches: spirit, land and energy. This means, that Chinese managers take more care of the history, culture, society and people in China. In the last part of his book Bouée looks into the present and the future of this new managment style.
Bouée discovered nine characteristics of the new Chinese management style, which are inspired by the above-named spirit, land and energy: Dynamic, adapted, flexible, synthetic, mutual, consensual, spiritual, disciplined and natural. These nine characteristics are showing, that this new management style is the exact opposite of the uncompromising American management style. For sure, every manager wants to make the highest profit. But the way of getting there, is changing.
Conclusion: In summary, the book is a qualified source for anyone who is interested in business (especially in Asia) and who wants to start a business in China or with Chinese partners. Bouée describes, in a very comprehensive way, how the old structures of management in China are changing into an new epoch. 5/5!
The book cover says that Mr. Bouée is the president of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Asia. This experience in the business world of the far east is to be felt in the whole book.
This late development of an own Chinese management style explains Bouée with the fast growth of China's economy.
For years, the American style of managing has been seen as the ultimate management style. But nowadays, the Chinese managers refrain from this uncomprimising and act after the principle of spirit, land and energy. Bouée recognized, that the Chinese managers take more care of the spirit, which includes the history and the culture of China, the land, which includes the people and the ressources of China and energy, which means, that a single person is never more important than the group. These three attributes characterize this new management style, which is more and more used by the Chinese managers.
Bouée succeed in describing the past, the present and the future of these interesting development. This book is really recommendable for all who are interested in business themes, especially in the Chinese business.
"Only" 4 of 5 stars, because I would like to read more practical examples.
Bouee discusses Chinese business culture in the models of Spirit, Land and Energy. In spirit he outlines the sometimes conflicting philosophies of Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism, their interplay with Maoism and their effect on perceptions of leadership. Using the metaphor of Land he covers those aspects of Chinese society that are immutable and uncontrollable, including the role of the Communist Party. Bouee sees the CCP as direct descendants of the Imperial administrator class, while entrepreneurs are the latter day merchant class, and argues that the creative tension between the two works to China's benefit. The chapter on Energy provides commentary on entrepreneurial drive in China and also on fears that progress may start to undermine that entrepreneurial energy. Chinese businessmen, Bouee suggests, are motivated by a desire to contribute to the health of society as a whole, that they see themselves as patriots - and American ones do not.
In the final third of the book Bouee develops his theme by exploring what he calls the nine qualities of Chinese management - dynamic, adapted, flexible, synthetic, mutual, consensual, spiritual, disciplined and natural - and contrasts Western and Chinese styles before making some predictions about future developments. Perhaps most controversially - for a senior partner in a strategy consultancy! - Bouee identifies one of the most striking differences between Chinese and Western styles as being over strategy - and hence the quotation used as my title for this review (p. 138). The Western model, derived from Harvard and its business schools, is to overemphasise the importance of detailed strategic plans, of "focus" and of energetic but inflexible implementation. The emerging Chinese style, in contrast, prefers to emphasise vision and tactics, eschewing a detailed strategy in between because it inhibits flexibility and in part at least because too detailed a plan can lead to loss of "face" if not achieved.
There are also, in the course of the book, ten case studies on Chinese entrepreneurs - nine men, one woman - which give a clear idea of how their personal business styles fuse Chinese and Western approaches in different measures.
M. Bouee does, I think, set up some straw men in developing his argument. He contrasts large but owner-managed Chinese private companies with multi-national, mostly American-based publically quoted corporations which prioritise shareholders, customers, suppliers and employees, in that order. While such companies may be representative of those that have set up shop in China, they are not representative of all Western businesses. Some of the most successful Western companies have deliberately turned that on its head. (Steve Jobs, interestingly, is referred to as being a "Chinese style" manager.) I do fear too that Bouee sees China through rose-tinted spectacles: when he said that "while "Bismark's iron fist makes an occasional appearance...for the most part the authority wielded is the authority exercised by a father over his children, rather than the authority exercised by the strong over the weak" I spluttered metaphorically and remembered events in Tienanmen Square in 1989, amongst others.
Early in the book he references the work of HBS professors Data, Garvin and Cullen, who in their critique of American business schools -Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads - suggested that management can be developed into three components: knowing, doing and being. MBA training, they suggested, emphasises the knowing at the expense of the practical complications of doing and almost entirely at the expense of being. The Chinese model, Bouee said, emphasised the being and doing. I haven't read Datar et al's work as yet, but on the face of it, based on my own experience of a British business school, it's a fair criticism. The MBA school is not, however, the only influence on Western business. There are many successful entrepreneurs in the West who were too busy creating businesses to attend business school, they are characterised by that same be-do-know pattern as ascribed to the Chinese style. Bouee will also be aware that a whole new model of business education has developed in the West over the last thirty years - coaching. Coaching puts a much greater emphasis on being, on effective doing, while bringing in new knowledge and techniques last, and only if necessary. Management is indeed evolving.
Charles-Edouard Bouee is clearly passionate about China and Chinese entrepreneurialism. Like him, I am sure that Chinese business people will develop new business models and styles of management and leadership - with its internal market of 1.3 billion people, rapid growth and a culture stretching back three thousand years or more, it would be extraordinary if it did not. I thoroughly recommend this book on at least two levels, even if you're not currently writing a business plan for your Shanghai subsidiary. Firstly, it's the source of some new and different ideas about what makes for a good manager and leader. Secondly, it's a fascinating insight into business in China, already the world's second biggest economy and which, in all likelihood, will become the world's largest one within a couple of decades or so.
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