Feeds

The biz of biz in China (Part 1)

Avoid the fried squid

High performance access to file storage

Mind the Gap Saturday Mind the Gap Saturday is a feature every Saturday where Blognation China tells its readership the differences - the gap - in the tech, mobile, and enterprise worlds between China and the Western World.

How does business - and corporate culture - work in a People's Republic of 1.3 billion? Whether it's a startup, small or medium enterprise (SME), or a long-established company, here's the start of Blognation China's two part look at the "biz of biz" in China.

Draw your line

The line between commander and obeyer, instructor and the instructed, boss and employee has never been clearer than in China. And it's no big surprise. If the whole Chinese system is of any clue, it's that the big boys at the top gain a seat - and once they do that, rule the country or the company from that spot "high up" there. This has been the way things were done for millennia on end. Change is, of course, coming, but only slowly. For generations, the Chinese have come to understand that if you're ordered to do something, that thing gets done with the least bit of protest.

Chances are, the big-bossism, or laozongism (named after the Chinese word for "big boss", laozong (老总)), is still alive and well. People either fear or come to not like the laozong when the going gets tough. The name of the laozong is sometimes referred to with an expression of displeasure or disdain. Yes, the boss ordered this, but it may not be the smartest idea out there.

If the "boss ordered this", however, it's pretty much done without a fight. People are under the idea that a fight with the boss would be futile - and, at the very worst, could result in that instantaneous pink slip.

The emotions matter

So how do people deal with their laozongs? Believe it or not, some get downright emotional with them. We're not talking about weeping at the boss's feet when the going gets tough, but in China emotions are sometimes so important that they overshadow the legalese - and the rules (that's sometimes a good thing, and at times could be a really bad thing).

Countless employees sacrifice their twopence just to get closer to the seemingly inapproachable laozong. They do their best to please him or her (I once worked for a lady laozong, by the way). A smile on the side of the laozong, or a nod at that, does wonders to brighten many an employee's day.

Emotions matter for another cause: it does its bit in building trust (even if at first fragile, it can easily solidify provided there's a clear effort). When things get rough, the laozong isn't that likely to take someone who he or she knows is with him or her to task. Someone might get a "fried squid" (chao you yu (炒鱿鱼); that's Chinese for getting the pink slip), but if you're on good terms with Mr or Ms Laozong, your chances for being the fried squid are less if there are good emotional connections between you two.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.