Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 2/6): Lewis got something to tell ya’

Richard Lewis in his book “When Cultures Collide” breaks down the world’s cultural types into 3 categories:

  • active,
  • reactive, and
  • multi-active.

/!\ Scroll down to the bottom to read the “bottom line of this article ;)

Morocco’s cultural profile is more of a multi-active type, while Chinese culture falls into the reactive type, which translates into the fact that:

Moroccans…

  1. talk most of the time
  2. do several things at once
  3. plan grand outline only (we have great plans but we don’t execute. That’s why a year ago, when you and your friend came up with that great idea at Bert’s, you didn’t follow up on it =)
  4. are emotional
  5. display their feelings
  6. confront emotionally
  7. have good excuses (always ;-)
  8. often interrupt.
  9. are people-oriented.
  10. rely on feelings before facts.
  11. see truth as flexible
  12. are impatient
  13. display unlimited body language
  14. seek out the key person
  15. interweave the social and professional

Chinese…

  1. listen most of the time
  2. react to partner’s action
  3. look at general principles
  4. polite and indirect
  5. conceal their feelings
  6. never confront (you definitely should read The Art of War by Sun-Tzu)
  7. must not lose face
  8. don’t interrupt
  9. are very people-oriented
  10. use statements as promises (that’s why you might hear nothing from them for a while; because if it has been said and hasn’t been done, they will lose face)
  11. prefer diplomacy over the truth (which can be frustrating… but not as worse as the silence treatment.)
  12. are patient (as mentioned in my previous article, Chinese are Long-term oriented)
  13. use subtle body language (poker face pros!)
  14. use connections (remember Guanxi?)
  15. connects the social and professional

In my opinion, what should you keep in mind?

We talk too much (verbally and physically), social life can become a burden to our professional life (or vice-versa), and we are impatient and have issues carrying out our plans from outline to process execution.
On the other, Chinese listen and don’t give you the chance to see their cards (unless you get them drunk ;), also their social life complements their work environment as they start building their network since a very young age starting from their family.

For more check out:

Part1: Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 1/6): According to the Hofstede 6-D Model
Part3: Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 3/6): A Practical Perspective on the Pre-Negotiation Phase
Part4: Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 4/6): A Practical Perspective on the Negotiation Phase
Part5: Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 5/6): A Practical Perspective on the Post-Negotiation Phase
Part6: Similarities and Differences in Business Culture between China & Morocco (Part 6/6): A Comprehensive Summary
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