Research seminar series at Lancaster University China Centre

I am delighted to present my on-going research with my research collaborator, Dr. Yu Fu at Lancaster University China Centre (LUCC).

You can see the event page at LUCC here and Youtube video here.

Toward a non-essentialist paradigm of culture: A study of Chinese and Japanese management culture

Speaker: Yu Fu and Zoe Zhu, Lancaster University Management School

Place: Online via Teams, co-hosted with the Lancaster University Confucius Institute

Time: May 25, 2021 11am-12pm (UK time)

This study reviews and compares the Chinese and Japanese national culture values and norms discussed in the management studies to illustrate the importance of non-essentialist paradigm of culture facing the key cross-cultural issues faced by organisations when designing and implementing management policies and practices in East Asia. This paper addresses Nathan’s (2010) call of non-essentialist approach on culture studies by acknowledging the importance of exploring and respecting local culture when developing organisation strategies. A comparative review on the notions in the Confucianism shows the limitation of essentialist scholars who used the functionalist approach on culture. The simplification of culture based on functional and essentialist perspective and the lack of interpretive and non-essentialist analysis on the core of its management culture will result in confusing the corporate ideology (what the company say they do) with the reality (what they actually do). Only through an analysis of the continuity, change, and context of a company, we can better understand the culture behind the mask. Thus, the authors contend that the development of national cultural values and norms and their impact of management policies and practices in Japan and China, needs to be investigated in a dynamic context through a long-term view.

Speaker bios: Yu Fu is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Management School, Lancaster University. She delivers lectures in the areas of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour. Her research interest lies in international HRM, particularly national cultural factors in employment. The main focus of her research is to investigate the impact of Chinese cultural values on the Western Transnational Corporations’ HR policies and practices in their Chinese subsidiaries.

Zoe Zhu is an International Teaching Fellow in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Management School, Lancaster University. She teaches management and marketing in the China campus as well as the Bailrigg campus. As an ethnographer, she is interested in corporate culture in the era of globalization, in particular in the formation, dissemination and interpretation of corporate ideology at Japanese company in East Asia.