In this regard our first offering will be ‘China’s Political Economy: from Culture to Cash-Flows.
This 4 SWS course starts on the premise that considerable background and analysis of various layers such as the political economy, history and even philosophy is required to apprehend China. Hence the course is designed to provide students with unique, deeply grounded and relevant frameworks about China and the global challenges it faces ahead. At the same time it will supply actionable ideas about doing business in and with China.
Practitioners of business are adjusting to a radically transforming landscape, with Asian markets, new business models and tremendous resource accumulation as defining elements. China constitutes a unique business environment, often confusing for those accustomed to Western business systems. China develops economically at astonishing rates thanks to its Communist system with a significant legacy of a command economy. It is also an extraordinarily vibrant market economy and the levels of competition found in many industries exceed those found in the West. Understanding this mixture - capitalism with Chinese characteristics or the Chinese Variety of Capitalism - is a major aim of this course. A key to unlock this understanding will be the all-encompassing ‘culture’ layer.
In short, the “CCC-FIM China” course aims to organize the complexity that drives China and the Chinese in the now triumphal march to prosperity (and post-) modernity. Models and frameworks will be portable, that is, they are meant to be deployed along the student’s future. Regardless of whether a student’s China interest is related to business, personal or academic endeavours, the knowledge imparted in China course is meant to contribute to make students well-rounded global citizens.
What is the intersection of business and culture? The course reviews broad trends and major themes in Chinese history, economy and business; major features of Chinese beliefs, values and institutions; and major issues in China’s debate and search for a modern identity and a world-class economy. During the course students will become familiar with analytical frameworks such as the Chinese Variety of Capitalism, government-business partnerships and State-directed Capitalism. At the same time they will be able to ascertain which behavioural features are uniquely, characteristically, particularly Chinese and which ones are shared with other civilizations and hence closer to the ‘universal’.
Students are to acquire new degrees of confidence to manage and comprehend the uncertainty associated with engaging China. Understanding the ‘other’ when you work with Chinese (whether welcoming Chinese investment flows in Europe, or establishing a JV with a local partner in the PRC) will make one a more effective businessperson able to craft win-win long-term business relationships. As a result of the course individual behaviour and decision-making might evolve. The praxis skills thus acquired may serve student beyond China when they engage in international business, whether it is the US, Japan, India, or other emerging nations, and possibly even domestically in their very own context.
A comprehensive understanding of China, of future trends and how the deflecting relationship between business and culture evolves does support ones personal development beyond business. A key objective of this course, consistent with the HSG pedagogical philosophy, is for students to become well-rounded global citizens, global players aware and appreciative of differences, all the while being the holders of an open, tolerant and humanistic worldview.
Ultimately the China learning challenge, like any other challenge, ought to become personal, a mirror of sorts which might assist you in fulfilling the Delphian exhortation to Know Thyself.