The word culture can yields different meanings to different people; for instance, it is thought as recognition of good art, music or food. For biologist, culture can be seen as a colony of microorganisms (bacteria) developing together. From a human perspective, culture simply refers to how people live. It is perceived as how people conduct their day to day lives as individuals, while having a consideration for all the other members of that given society. It further refers to properties of an individual or a society that are developed and cultivated from deep concern and regard for what is regarded as excellent in the society. It is usually created out of the society’s desire to always nurture a better generation than the previous one, as well as, make people in such a society to have a combination of what may be regarded as modest practice in all (Giskin & Walsh 2001, p. 32)
Chinese approach to the above considerations while developing their culture did not significantly deviate from the above desire, and so they developed a culture that would make them a better people altogether as it will be seen later. A close study of Chinese culture can be a task requiring a lot of dedication. The culture of any community is intimately related to history, geographical location as well as the surrounding communities. One thing that someone should note while studying the Chinese culture is their value for negotiations. Chinese in the course of their history have valued negotiations to foster the following: firstly, to cultivate great respect for the senior, appreciate and conform to hierarchy, pursue harmonious relationship among themselves and avoid conflict at all cost. There have been many phases in the Chinese history mainly because of the various dynasties that arose. Through many of these dynasties, transformations of cultural forms are observed. One common thing in the history of Chinese is that all the dynasties were instrumental in pioneering the various changes in the cultural forms. The above has been one aspect of Chinese that continues from the imperial to the democratic china that is observed in the nineteenth and even the twentieth century (Zou, 2011, p. 23)
The general public in china has always followed the directions of the rulers in the society in modeling, as well as, shaping their various aspects of lifestyle. The Chinese Neolithic culture displays a culture of a very artistic community. The evidence of their settlement is seen as the remains of their artifacts mainly along the rivers. The culture is divided in the communities mainly based on the artifacts they made. From such early times, the Chinese have upheld an agrarian lifestyle over the time. Most rural populations through the history have worked on their wheat and rice plantations. The organization of these groups of people is usually on family basis. The hierarchies of family units bind people together. Moreover, the Chinese have learned over a long time to show obedience to the senior people in the family, as well as, the societal hierarchy. People who have held positions of power at various levels in the Chinese history are usually trusted and their decisions are binding to all. This is very important in understanding how Chinese negotiate as the agreement with the leader of the group will mostly mean an agreement with the whole group.
Morality is one attribute that has been observed throughout the history of china. It was inspired by Confucianism which encouraged the use of negotiations for conflict resolution. This was timely as it came at a time when china had just suffered a civil strife. It became another pillar of Chinese culture for several millennia. For about two millennia, the Chinese curriculum was based on Confucius, he describe in great depths how a kingdom united and embracing good morals would last, be politically stable and be safe from attacks. He went ahead to describe how various relationships between the various members of the society should be. Almost all the relationships he described were hierarchical in nature and he went describing how the ruled should obey and honor the rulers. Many years passed and the ruled have been doing as advised, the rulers on the other hand show benevolence to their subjects. Strict observation of the above wisdom has yielded harmony as well as prosperity to the people and the nation of china. The rulers are the voices of the ruled. However, they represent the ruled with total benevolence and consideration.
Lao Tsu, the founder of Taoism brought another concept that was an important building block to the Chinese culture. According to him, there are two forces that are always equal and opposing one another. According to Lao, the way to any challenge in life would be to find a favorable balance between the two forces. He brought up the yin and the yang concept. These two forces make one whole and cannot be broken or separated. Through this understanding, the Chinese have learned to always find a way between forces and they have applied this in their business world for a long time. They have learned to let their enemies or their rivals to destroy one another after which they take their way between the forces. The Chinese usually uses this rule to compromise their stand and find a common ground, which has been done through negotiations (Hucker, 1975).
Other aspect that makes the Chinese have a more holistic view or approach f things is their pictography. The Chinese words are usually pictorial characters and are usually in tens of thousands. This helps the Chinese kids to have a bigger view of something; it has been confirmed by modern scientist to enhance a way of processing information in a more holistic way, in business or in other forms of negotiations. They have over the time trained themselves to piece together parts of information into the whole concept of a negotiation, and prepare well for it.
Culture is dynamic and in most cases responds to human needs of a given society. In history, the Chinese have had many and long instances of aggression by their neighbors, this contrasts sharply with their way of life in which, they have learned to remain calm and avoid quarrels. However, Chinese sometimes are wary of foreigners because of the above reason. This makes some attempted negotiations with them at times to be treated with suspicion. Due to the great importance they place in negotiation, their culture places a lot of weight in preparation as well as execution of various negotiations. Through their skills, it is easier to gain an upper hand in various parts of it as expounded further in this piece of work.