Beyond Simplifications: Making Sense of Paradoxical Chinese Values in Chinese-Western Business Negotiations

Marleen Spijkman*, Menno D.T. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Previous research has drawn attention to the coexistence of paradoxical Chinese values in modern China, which might influence Chinese-Western business negotiations. In this study, we empirically investigate this phenomenon from the perspective of Western business negotiators. In two interview rounds, 17 seasoned Dutch negotiators were asked about their experiences when negotiating with Chinese business partners. The results confirm the coexistence of paradoxical Chinese values in business negotiations and identify four patterns in which traditional and modern values may occur: random, contextual, transitional, and simultaneous occurrence. On the basis of our findings, we argue that there is a need for Western negotiators to develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and paradoxical values from the Chinese worldview of Yin and Yang.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-149
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Issue number1
Early online date5 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • China
  • cross-cultural communication
  • cultural differences
  • paradoxical values
  • Yin and Yang
  • business negotiations

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