The 華山論劍 and Huh categories both begin with a post explaining what each category’s purpose is. So why doesn’t The China Bash category have a statement? Part of that reason, is the immediacy of the train wreck. I felt that it had to be talked about as soon as possible. Mainly however, there was no real defined purpose, other than to talk about Chinese-related issues. So far, it’s been an amalgamy of posts gathered from various blogs, with my snotty little comments. This contrasts with the original intent of covering western bias on China coverage. That used to be covered by www.anti-cnn.com –which has since moved on from merely criticizing western media to actually having pro-China, anti-American news articles. In the end, this couldn’t be the right niche to get into.
Yet today, I find this article:
“Why Chinese make Bad Managers”
The title serves a purpose: To shock you into reading it. Just as Amy Chua’s “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” article on the Wall Street Journal served as a publicity stunt for her book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother“. I don’t know if “Why Chinese make Bad Managers” is a publicity stunt, but the contents within are just as offensive, making overarching statements about race, and they both grab everybody’s attention to read them.
But despite costly and patient attempts to train and develop local management, multinationals still import expatriate managers. So why do Chinese apparently make such terrible managers?
The first paragraph is a lovely way to start off implying that multinational corporations always import expatriate managers due to incompetance, rather than strict labor laws that make firing Chinese citizens a nightmare.
In the land that invented the bureaucracy, management theory and practices have existed for millennia, codified in classic texts such as The Art of War and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. That Chinese would equate management with warfare helps explain why they’re so singularly bad at it. Mao Zedong’s idealism may be long dead and buried, but his politics is alive and flourishing in Chinese offices.
Another great job at connecting bureaucracy to the Chinese, to give that inefficiency effect. Nevermind that all state-level societies developed a bureaucracy independently of China.
To ease their own violent paranoia, Chinese managers instil and augment violent paranoia in their staff. To maintain absolute control, they will practice divide-and-conquer by constantly changing favourites, spreading innuendoes and rumours and lies, and acting arbitrarily and violently to induce terror. They won’t compose memos or read financial statements, but they’ll probably have watched ‘The Godfather’ dozens of times, and have memorized The Art of War. China’s management problem isn’t that there aren’t enough alpha males—it’s that there are too many.
The author would do well to read a book called “Good Boss, Bad Boss“, a book that describes bad bosses of all types –types of bad, not types of race.
He then goes on to legitimize his statements with:
As a Chinese manager of a bilingual and bicultural work environment…
That’s like the person trying not to sound racist claiming, “Many of my friends are black!” Just because you’re ethnically Chinese, doesn’t give you a license to make sweeping statements about other Chinese.
He got his substantial amount of support in agreement, but he got a fair amount of criticism as well. One comment that sticks with me is:
A “lifetime of interacting with different people in challenging situations” “self-control is a by-product of self-understanding, which itself is a result of a lifetime of making mistakes, coming to terms with failure, and starting over.” Could this be self-cultivation?
“I need to manage myself, to restrain my ego and emotions, to understand my limitations and control my expectations.” Could these be humility and introspection?
All of these traits, like “empathy” and “self-reflection” sound so … Confucian and Buddhist! They should be eminently Chinese, in the best of the Chinese humanist tradition.
It’s too bad this ethical approach doesn’t seem to exist much in China in this era. But while it’s a shame, all is not lost. Each of us has the ability to turn things around in our own lives — that’s what we are responsible for, and in this way, we can start influencing society for the better.
The author is no different than 柏陽(Bo, Yang)， author of “醜陋的中國人“(“The Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture“). Denegrading your own race and its culture, while carrying a “holier than thou” attitude. This is a continuation of left-wing Chinese from the Early Republican Era, following earlier European missionaries, who proposed that China’s modernization was being held back by its culture and by extension, its language, and called for its abolishment.
This worshipping of all things foreign, is no different than Chinese people cosplaying in Nazi uniforms:
http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/pictures/nazi-chic-cosplay-chinese-netizen-reactions.html this beats that Chinese guy wearing a sweater with a swastika saying “White Power” I saw in Macau, back in 2008
In short: It’s stupid.
And hence, a new purpose is born for this category: To attempt to safely navigate between foreign idolatry and ethnocentrism, that plagues the modern Chinese psyche, and explain how this could effect policy-making.