Archive for the ‘Intercultural Management’ Category
Only 30% of the world now has a higher GDP per capita than China (2013)
In many ways, what we are witnessing is not the ‘emergence of Asia’, but the ‘re-emergence of Asia’
(…) In 1820, Asia accounted for just under 60 per cent of total global output, with China and India together accounting for nearly half of global GDP. This was followed by nearly two centuries of economic decline in Asia, ignited by the European industrial revolution—a trend that has now been reversed. (…)
Jayant Menon, ADB
/retrieved 09.06.2013 at http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/06/09/asia-yet-to-earn-its-future/)
(retrieved 09.06.2013 at http://adnanramin.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/racism/)
China’s economic achievement is so enormous, indeed literally without parallel in human history, that it is sometimes difficult for people to take in its scale. A country which in 1978, when “reform and opening up” was launched, was one of the poorest in the world, has now reached a point where it has a higher GDP per capita than the countries containing the majority of the world’s population. Only 30 per cent of the world’s population now lives in countries with higher per capita GDP than China.
To give absolutely precise numbers, drawing on the newly published data for the world economy in 2012 released by the IMF, the chart shows that by 2012, only 30.2 per cent of the world’s population lived in countries with a higher GDP per capita than China, while 50.2 per cent lived in countries with a lower one. China itself constituted 19.6 per cent of the world’s population at this time.
China is, therefore, now in the top half of the world as far as economic development is concerned, and to avoid any suggestions of exaggeration, it should be made clear that these comparisons are at the current market exchange rate measures usually used in China – although calculations in parity purchasing powers (PPPs), which are the measure preferred by the majority of Western economists, makes no significant difference to the result.
The chart also illustrates China’s extraordinary progress. In 1978, when “reform and opening up” began, only 0.5 per cent of the global population lived in countries with a lower GDP per capita than China, while 73.5 per cent lived in countries with a higher GDP per capita. The transition to a situation where China has overtaken the majority of the world’s population in per capita GDP is the greatest economic transformation in human history, both in terms of the short time frame required and number of people affected.
Given that the data clearly shows China has progressed into the top half of the world economy in terms of economic development, why do some persist with misrepresenting China as being “in the middle” or even more misleadingly dubbing it a “poor” country by international standards?
Such misrepresentations make elementary statistical errors which are familiar to those who analyse income distribution data. For example the following argument is sometimes presented: The IMF World Economic Outlook database gives GDP per capita statistics for 188 countries with China ranking 94th – therefore China is “in the middle”. Another sometimes-cited statistic compares China to the world average – in 2012 China’s GDP per capita was 59 per cent of this average figure – making China appear a “poor” country.
The problem with this “list” method is that it does not take population into account. For example, the Caribbean state St Kitts and Nevis, population 57,000, has a higher GDP per capita than China while India, population 1.223 billion, has a lower one. To say China is “between the two”, as though St Kitts and Nevis and India represent equivalent weights in the world economy, is playing games with words rather than carrying out serious analysis. This elementary statistical rule is particularly relevant given that the number of developed economies with small populations is disproportionately large. The population of countries must therefore be taken into account when calculating China’s real relative position in the world economy.
The second mistake, comparing China to the “average”, makes an error so well known in income distribution statistics that it is somewhat surprising anyone gives it any credence, let alone continues to propose it.
Statisticians know that averages, technically speaking the “mean”, can be disproportionately affected by small numbers of extreme values. It is well known that this applies to incomes within countries as small numbers of billionaires artificially raise average incomes in a way that misrepresents the real situation.
This statistical distortion is clear from international data. Average world GDP per capita, that is world GDP divided by the number of people, is slightly more than $10,000 per year. But only 29.9 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries with GDP per capita above that level while 70.1 per cent live in countries below it. Something with only 29.9 per cent above and 70.1 per cent below is not most people’s idea of an average!
What most people understand by an average, the mid-point, is, in proper statistical terms, not the average but the median. Reputable studies on income distribution, therefore, almost invariably use the median, not averages, to avoid this distorting effect of small numbers of extreme values. Using the statistically misleading average, instead of the mid-point, bizarrely transforms the real situation – that China now has a GDP per capita above that of the majority of the world’s population – into giving the impression that China is a poor country!
There are three main reasons why it is important to accurately present China’s level of development.
First, policy must be based on accurate analysis – in serious matters there is no virtue in either optimism or pessimism, only in realism. As the famous Chinese phrase tells us, it is better to seek truth from facts.
Second, accurate presentation is necessary to clearly understand the real economic challenges China faces. For example China’s GDP per capita is now higher than all developing South and South East Asian countries except Malaysia – clarifying why any competitive strategy for China based on low wages is unviable.
Third, China’s position in the top half of the world in terms of GDP per capita makes clear its technological level – China’s economy is now dominated by medium, not low, technology.
Does an accurate presentation of China’s real level of development endanger its international legal status as a developing economy? The World Bank has not yet published new criteria for the GDP per capita necessary to qualify as an “advanced” economy, but the 2011 criteria and statistical data is available and it tells us that the answer to the question is “no”. To classify as “high income”, an economy must have an annual GDP per capita of slightly more than $12,000. Only 16 per cent of the world’s population lives in such economies. It will take 10-15 years for China to achieve “high income” status – although when it does this will more than double the number of people living in such economies.
Achieving the “Chinese dream” requires that the present reality is accurately understood. China has entered the top half of the world’s level of economic development. Only 30 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries with a higher GDP per capita than China. That is the accurate analysis of China’s relative position in the world economy. To achieve the “Chinese dream” requires eliminating not only any exaggerated bombast but also any systematic underestimation
This article originally appeared in Chinese at Sina Finance and in English at China.org.cn.
Is Visiting Professor at Antai College of Economics and Management, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e554717cc988330192aa48c0e8970d
(retrieved 25.05.2013 at http://ablog.typepad.com/keytrendsinglobalisation/2013/05/only-30-of-the-world-now-has-a-higher-gdp-per-capita-than-china.html)
Read more about China and it’s economy from John Ross
Key Trends in Globalisation
Seek truth from facts – 实事求是 (Chinese saying originally from the Han dynasty)
World Economic Outlook (WEO) – International Monetary Fund – Survey 2013
(above retrieved 25.05.2013 at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/pdf/text.pdf, https://laofutze.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/world-economic-outlook-april-2013.pdf)
What that dramatic economic shift means to people, describes Onionjuggler in her Force Feeding Duck Style:
A student told me this story as part of a midterm last year, and I thought it was so cute I would share it with you.
For her fifth birthday, Helen’s* mother wanted to make her a special dinner. She lived in the country, and at that time everyone was very poor, so meat was hard to come by. Her mother had to take the day off to travel to a different town to buy some pork, and in the end was only able to afford enough meat for Helen– the rest of the family would have to make due with the usual vegetables and noodles.
That night, Helen was so excited to eat her fancy dinner. But when her mother handed her the bowl, her older brother pointed at it and said, “Look out! There is a spider on the bottom of the bowl!”
Helen tipped the bowl over to look for the spider, and poured her whole dinner onto the dirty floor. Her mother scolded her brother, but she couldn’t salvage the dinner. Poor Helen cried and cried, and she never forgot that birthday.
*Her real name isn’t Helen– that’s just the name she chose for class.
(retrieved 25.05.2013 at http://onionjuggler.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/a-short-story/)
China in 2050
(retrieved 13.07.2013 at http://de.ce.cn/photo/right/201211/21/t20121121_597748.shtml)
Learning to do Business in China
The Evolution of BAT’s Cigarette Distribution Network in China 1902 – 1952
(…) Today, a visit to the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum in Durham provides one with a fascinating overview of the history of tobacco, the development of a unique local tobacco culture, and the pioneering role of the Duke family in the manufacture and marketing of cigarettes. Less well-known is the fact that the Duke family was involved in the global marketing of tobacco products well before the term “globalization” was coined. It is reported that immediately after the invention of the cigarette machine in 1881, James B. Duke (1865-1925) leafed through a world atlas to survey the population of foreign countries. Upon coming to the figure 430,000,000 he exclaimed: “That is where we are going to sell cigarettes.” The country was China and from 1890, when the first cigarettes were exported there by the Dukes, sales skyrocketed to 1.25 billion cigarettes in 1902 and to 12 billion in 1916 earning $20.75 million with a net profit of $3.75 million. From 1915 through the 1920s, more cigarettes were exported each year (with one exception) from the United States to China than to the rest of the world combined. British American Tobacco Company (or BAT, a multi-national company formed in 1902 with the Duke’s chief competitors in England) would sell 80 billion cigarettes in China in 1928 alone and amass a total profit of over $380 million between 1902-1948. Leading the way was James A. Thomas (1862-1940), the managing director of BAT in China from 1905 to 1922 (…).
Stanley K. Abe
received 17.11.2012 at http://ducis.jhfc.duke.edu/archives/tobacco/introduction.html
(…) There was an anti-cigarette movement in the early 1900s, but it was more concerned with morality than health. A rise in smoking among women and children fed into a wider concern about the moral decline of society. Cigarettes were prohibited in 16 different US states between 1890 and 1927.
Bonsack’s cigarette machine
retrieved 18.11.2012 at http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/63659000/jpg/_63659428_cigarette_machine_bonsack.jpg
Howard Cox of the University of Worcester says Thomas was one of the first Westerners to understand Chinese ways of doing business, based on networking and reciprocal favours. At first, cigarettes were imported from the US, but manufacturing soon shifted to China. For Cox, this transfer of production technology rather than product marks a move from colonial trade towards the current age of globalisation and multinational corporations. Thomas had his own team of salesmen from the US, but he also formed joint ventures with established Chinese firms to distribute his product. This way of doing business is the norm today for international firms hoping to tap into the Chinese market. (…)
received 17.11.2012 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20042217
Howard Cox about James A. Thomas
(…) Under the managerial guidance of James Thomas, BAT soon began to look beyond (those) limited horizons. On assuming control in Shanghai, therefore, Thomas began to step up local production facilities and recruited an expatriate sales team who, supported by salaried Chinese interpreters, could take these low-priced cigarettes “up-country” and establish relations with the traditional Chinese merchant houses that managed China’s internal trade. During the ten years in which Thomas was in control of BAT’s operations in Shanghai, the company established an extensive network of Chinese dealers who conducted warehousing arrangements for them beyond the treaty ports, and who took responsibility for the distribution of their products to the final consumer. So effective did these links with Chinese merchants become, that, by the latter part of the 1920s, the need for Western salesmen to engage in travelling had more or less ceased.
Traditionally, American tobacco manufacturers had merely employed a few travelling salesmen to make contact with local jobbers and retailers, while the bulk of the trade remained in the hands of independent wholesalers who supplied small retailers with a variety of goods, of which tobacco was only one. However, during the mid-1880s the largest cigarette manufacturers began to set up their own warehouses to serve dealers in the largest cities. The effect of this was to eliminate many commission merchants and some of the largest urban jobbers from the distribution system for cigarettes in the United States.
One of the tasks of these travelling BAT salesmen was to monitor the market conditions in the different parts of the country to which they travelled. This was undertaken through the completion of Form 163, a survey of market conditions which had been designed by Thomas during his early excursions into the field. The form was completed monthly by all of the company’s travelling representatives as they visited dealers, before being returned to the company’s headquarters in Shanghai. It set out the prevailing conditions for each town in terms of population, dealers operating, depot facilities available, stock levels by brand, the local currency exchange rate and the general income levels of the inhabitants. Duke had understood well the importance of accurate information of this kind, and his chief accountant in New York, W.R. Harris, created an accounting system for the American organisation, based around daily reports on brand sales by town, in order to keep stocks flowing smoothly.
Important as the American and other foreign salesmen were to the company’s early growth in China, the expansion of BAT’s distribution system also necessitated the increasing participation of Chinese merchants. One reason for this lay in the provisions of the trade treaties themselves which prevented foreigners from owning land outside of the treaty ports and thus presented BAT with severe problems in terms of expanding their network of warehouse provision. To overcome this it was necessary to develop a system of warehouses which were under the ownership of Chinese nationals. In addition, BAT needed to tap into the well-established Chinese trading networks that already delivered goods extensively within China.
Download here the whole pdf, or see below for the online versions.
UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER , Learning to do Business in China: the Evolution of BAT’s Cigarette Distribution Network, 1902-41 by Howard Cox 1997. This is an electronic version of an article published in Business History, Vol.39, No.3, (1997), pp.30-64. Business History is available online at: http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/fbsh
Received 17.11.2012 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=james%20thomas%20cigarettes&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCwQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Feprints.worc.ac.uk%2F221%2F2%2FLearning_to_do_Business_in_China.pdf&ei=J32nULyfCMnNswavtIGAAw&usg=AFQjCNHbO53II9i8xtSNravGLxFi3_qXcQ
James A. Thomas with two Eunuchs
See more about the Life of James A. Thomas in the Duke University / North Carolina, USA http://library.duke.edu/lilly/about/lillyartproj/
Learning Chinese Language or The Journey is the Destination
After the first experience in communicating with Asian colleagues I was convinced, that most of our misunderstandings would be about the poor English. So I decided to learn Chinese language… My first words were 八 (bā – eight) and 〇 (líng). We were unloading a container and had to sort the boxes according to the numbers written on. My boxes were number 8 and 0. It took me about a year to understand, that those “misunderstandings” were not about the language – it was all about the culture.
But the more I learned from Asian cultures, the more I was aware that the language is a key to a culture. So I got a self-learning book and began to learn Chinese language. Soon I found out, that intonation plays a key role in the meaning of words. I went out and bought another book, this time with a CD inside.
First encounter with learning Chinese language (self-learning)
In the mornings, when I was sitting in the bus to my working place, I listened to the recording and improved my intonation (I am a Laofutze, my dad is a Laofutze and we do not care for appearing stupid in public – except for the only aesthete of the family). And after a full working day with great Chinese business partners I simply was too tired of anything Chinese.After about six months my efforts in learning Chinese language faded out.
Second encounter with learning Chinese language (language-tandem)
Since we have a certain amount of Chinese citizens in the town I live in, it was easy to find a Chinese person, who would like to exchange language skills. After several attempts I gave up due to the inefficiency. Teaching a language requires more than speaking it.
Third encounter with learning Chinese language (learning Chinese online)
I came in contact with Ms. Clary Xue, who did an academic research on learning Chinese online. Unfortunately I was too late to take part on this research, but we kept contact. After some months I booked an introduction to Chinese learning InspiringChinese.com . Since Ms. Xue is located in Beijing, we communicated on different online based platforms. The online interactive whiteboard is a great help.
BTW: got a tablet meanwhile. Improves my life.
Ms. Xue checked my skills first. Guess she found some basic ideas about intonation and Pinyin. After one lesson I had a set of vocabularies to cover the first words on a formal encounter. For communication we used VOIP and an interactive online whiteboard. The lesson included “homework” and documentation, which I received a few hours later by email.
After repeating the previous lesson we started with new words. Ms. Xue has a defined curriculum and enlarged my vocabulary to the first sentences. Now I can introduce myself as well as other people. Chinese obviously people like relations, so often a title is attached to the family name (“laoshi Xue” for “teacher Xue”).
There are words for each member of the family, like younger brother “didi” or older sister “jiejie”. In the internet I even found the word “xiaojiuzi” for “younger brother of the wife”.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Lessons 5 & 6
In these lessons Ms. Xue had a hard time with me. Due to personal circumstances I could not focus well on the lessons. Some days later I received an audio file as a review of the previous lessons.
As a customer of Deutsche Telekom (which provides my telephone and internet line), I sometimes can make phone calls and surf the internet. In trying to improve this state, an engineer of the Deutsche Telekom began his job shortly before the lesson and interrupted it later on.
Today we went through simple conversations. I learned how to invite someone and to make an appointment. Ms. Xue introduced me to the word “le”, which indicates a completion of an action.
One of my favourite words: xǐhuan – to like…
Now I got a little further in conversation.
One year later…
历史 的 茶 在 德国
在 德国 我们 知道 茶 250 年 以前. 中国人 在 Java 卖 茶 给 荷兰人。 25０ 年 以前 啤酒 最 safe drink。 1750 年 茶 也 是 safe drink。开水 对 身体 很好。 德国的 政府 不 喜欢人们 喝 茶。 钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。
Frederick / Friedrich II 岁 68)
他的 外祖父 去 英国。 他 married 王后 Anne 也 是 国王。 他的 名字 George I.
1750 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialization (The „Königlich Preußische Asiatische Compagnie in Emden nach Canton und China – Imperial Prussian Asian Company in Emden/Germany to Guangdong and China” founded in 1751 already was 股份 公司！一半 shareholders 是了 荷兰人。
词 “tea” (德语 “Tee”) 去 广东语 (caa4/taa4)。 欧洲人 说 “tea” 即使 我们 卖 给 广东。 “Tea” 去 跟 船。 别的 国 卖 茶 在 丝绸之路 (silk road)。 俄国人 也 阿拉伯人 说 “Chai” (Tshai). 他们 卖 给 中国 北方。 中国 北方人 说 茶叶 [茶葉] cháyè (tea leaves).
(Europeans transported the tea by ship from southern China, so they also took the Cantonese “taa4”. Other countries transported the tea by land, so they bought in northern China and adopted the Mandarin spelling “chaye”.
1840 英国人 作 茶 在 印度 and grew there with industrial methods for a much cheaper price. They combined an Indian tea-plant with a Chinese one and achieved a tea according to Indian climate.
有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多量 的 茶.
1920 it became popular for young people to go to a “Tanztee” (“Dance-Tea”). 和 茶 和 跳舞。 That young people 跳舞 Charleston and Foxtrott, which was scandalous that time. 1926 我的 外祖母 met 我的 外祖父 at a “Tanztee”.
在 德国 我们 迟到 茶 250 年 以前. 知道(zhīdào)
中国人 在 Java 卖了 察 茶 to the 荷兰人。
以前 175０ 啤酒 最 safe drink。1750年(nián)以前(yǐqián)….
175０ 也 茶 是 safe drink。 1750年(nián)茶(chá)也(yě)是(shì)….
德国的 政府 不 喜欢了人们 喝 茶。 不(bù)喜欢(xǐhuan)
钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。 去(qù)了(le)
Boiled 水 很好 身体。
175０ 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 到(dào)了(le)德国(déguó)
这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialisation 是(shì)
184０ 英国人 作 茶 在 印度 。生产(shēngchǎn)：produce
有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多amount of 茶.
… on my knees.
(retrieved 12.12.2012 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkvGhSDFo6s / http://www.sexymandarin.com)
Hans im Glück
幸 运儿 ／ 汉斯 很 高兴
很都 年 以前 有 一个人， 他 叫 汉斯 。 汉斯 工作了 七 年. 现在 他 要 去 在 他的 妈妈家。
他的 老板 给 了汉斯很多 的 金子， 汉斯 的 妈妈 家在 很 远.。汉斯 很 高兴。
在城市 很 热，有人和马，（or 有人卖马）， 汉斯 买了一匹 马。 汉斯 很 高兴。可是他 不会 骑马， 汉斯 不 喜欢 马了。
他 看到了 牛。 他 觉得 牛 比 马好。 牛 有 牛奶 和 肉。 他 用马 换了 牛。 汉斯 很 高兴。但是 这头 牛 没有 奶。
ìng yùn ér ／ hàn sī hěn gāo xīng
hěn dōu nián yǐ qián yǒu yī gè rén ， tā jiào hàn sī 。 hàn sī gōng zuò le qī nián . xiàn zài tā yào qù zài tā de mā mā jiā 。
tā de lǎo bǎn gěi le hàn sī hěn duō de jīn zǐ ， hàn sī de mā mā jiā zài hěn yuǎn .。hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。
zài chéng shì hěn rè ，yǒu rén hé mǎ ，（or yǒu rén mài mǎ ）， hàn sī mǎi le yī pǐ mǎ 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。kě shì tā bù huì qí mǎ ， hàn sī bù xǐ huān mǎ le 。
tā kàn dào le niú 。 tā jué dé niú bǐ mǎ hǎo 。 niú yǒu niú nǎi hé ròu 。 tā yòng mǎ huàn le niú 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。dàn shì zhè tóu niú méi yǒu nǎi 。
在 城市 有 人 和 猪在一起。 汉斯 觉得 猪 最好。 他 用 牛 换了 猪。 汉斯 很 高兴。
在 城市 另一个 人 说： “你 从 小偷那里买了猪， 如果 国王 你 看到， 你 有 麻烦。 如果你用猪换鹅，就没问题了！” 汉斯 很 快 用猪换了 鹅。 他 很 高兴。
在 别的 城市 他 看到 Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer 做 刀子 最好. Scherenschleifer 说： “我 有 很好 的 石头。 如果 你 有 石头 你 可以 总是 赚钱。” 汉斯 用 鹅 换了 石头，他 很 高兴。
zài chéng shì yǒu rén hé zhū zài yì qǐ 。 hàn sī jué de zhū zuì hǎo 。 tā yòng niú huàn le zhū 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xìng 。
zài chéng shì lìng yí gè rén shuō ： “nǐ cóng xiǎo tōu nà lǐ mǎi le zhū ， rú guǒ guó wáng nǐ kàn dào ， nǐ yǒu má fán 。 rú guǒ nǐ yòng zhū huàn é ，jiù méi wèn tí le ！” hàn sī hěn kuài yòng zhū huàn le é 。 tā hěn gāo xìng 。
zài bié de chéng shì tā kàn dào Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer zuò dāo zi zuì hǎo . Scherenschleifer shuō ： “wǒ yǒu hěn hǎo de shí tou 。 rú guǒ nǐ yǒu shí tou nǐ kě yǐ zǒng shì zhuàn qián 。” hàn sī yòng é huàn le shí tou ，tā hěn gāo xìng 。
现 在 汉斯 到了 妈妈的城市附近。 天气很 热 ， 汉斯 要 喝水。 在 河里他 喝水， 石头 丢了。 他 很 高兴， 因为, 现在 他 不 用带着石头去找妈妈。 汉斯 很 高兴。 在家里 汉斯 很 高兴。
xiàn zài hàn sī dào le mā mā de chéng shì fù jìn 。 tiān qì hěn rè ， hàn sī yào hē shuǐ 。 zài hé lǐ tā hē shuǐ ， shí tóu diu1 le 。 tā hěn gāo xīng ， yīn wéi , xiàn zài tā bù yòng dài zhe shí tóu qù zhǎo mā mā 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。 zài jiā lǐ hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。
Study Droid: nice DIY flashcards for Android smartphones.
Individualism – Collectivism and Accountability in Intergroup Negotiations
However, for those who place a high emphasis on collectivism, cooperative behavior and harmony with others, especially with persons with whom one is similar, is normative and is likely to ensure positive evaluations in accountable negotiations.
In the low-accountability condition, those who had high levels of collectivism reported less cooperative intentions and behavior, and achieved lower outcomes, as compared to representatives with low levels of collectivism.
However, the current research suggests that negotiators’ behavior depends both on the nature of the negotiation situation, as well as on negotiators’ collectivism. Applying this to cross-cultural investigations, this suggests that broad generalizations about the negotiation styles of cultural groups, which does not take situations into account, are likely to be inappropriate.
Michele J. Gelfand / University of Maryland at College Park
Anu Realo / University of Tartu, Estonia
Journal of Applied Psychology , 1999, Vol. 84, No. 5, 721-736 – retrieved 08.12.2011 from http://www.bsos.umd.edu/psyc/gelfand/index.html
Interpersonal Communication Theory of Schulz von Thun (Four Sides Model)
Friedemann Schulz von Thun (*06.08.1944) enlarges the Watzlawick Model of communication by adding two more layers: the Self Revealing Layer and the Appeal Layer. These four Layers shape the Square of Communication (Kommunikationsquadrat):
Content Layer (CL) aka Sachebene (facts)
Relationship Layer (RL) aka Beziehungsseite (what I think of you)
Self Revealing Layer (SRL) aka Selbstkundgabe (who I am)
Appeal Layer (AL) aka Appellseite (what I want you to do)
Get his material here or download a pdf from Schulz von Thun directly here. For more information please visit his website http://www.schulz-von-thun.de/ or check his portrait at the Akademie für Konflikttransformation.
German users may refer to additional information on his website.
Deutschsprachige Besucher finden hier weiterführende Informationen.
“Muender und Ohren” / Tongues and Ears – Applications of Schulz von Thun`s Theories
Chinese Ears and Chinese Tongues
„Words cannot express a thought completely“ noted Confucius about the I Ging. He was aware of the limitations of language. For expressing a thought, Confucius needs the impression (picture), the character (logograph) and finally adds his finding (or taking action).
Chinese characters are logographs. That logographs derived from images or pictographs. Some Chinese logographs are still similar to the pictograph. Read more about Chinese and western characters at Logographs and Phonographs – Visualisation of Language
Logographs are not meant to express a thought precisely or distinguish different approaches. A single character can have different meanings, so it needs a lot of imagination, or active listening to understand a message. Sentences need to be “encoded” or interpreted by the recipient. (See E.T. Hall – High Context Cultures.) To understand the specific content it needs additional information (context).
Chinese Sender / Chinese Tongue
Content Layer (less distinct) In Chinese culture the Content layer needs additional information to understand. It is influenced by other layers more than in German culture. When the Content Layer leaves space for different interpretations (in respect of other layers), it harbors the risk of misinterpretations. Words are chosen more carefully for leaving enough space for the recipients.
Relationship Layer (highly distinct) How a content is delivered may also indicate the relationship between the sender and recipient. For making sure, that the CL is completely understood, the RL must be taken into account. The same content can have very different meanings depending on the recipient. Relationships have a long perspective (Long Term Orientation) and should be treated with priority.
Self Revealing Layer (less distinct) Harmony in Asia means a well structured hierarchical system in a “natural balance”. In order to keep this balance, a Chinese sender tends to avoid the Self Revealing Layer. Stressing the Self Revealing Layer indicates a deep gap between the sender and recipient or used as harsh critic. (It is still perilous in most parts of Asia to express personal political ideas in public.)
Appeal Layer (highly distinct) Since the Relationship Layer plays such a dominant part in communication, personal wishes are not clearly said but expressed in appeals.
Chinese Recipient / Chinese Ears
Content Layer (less distinct) The unspoken additional context leaves space for different interpretations. A Chinese recipient would not react spontaneously to certain words, but rather to situations. Words itself represent only limited information for Chinese recipients. A Chinese recipient usually adds different sources for information (body language, situation, sound,…) by himself. The Content Layer is only one layer of others and represents only a part of the message. Other layers may play a more important part in understanding a message.
Relationship Layer (highly distinct) The way the content is sent plays an important role to understand the content itself. The content depends on the estimated value for the recipient and can vary.
Self Revealing Layer (less distinct) The way the sender stresses the Self Revealing Layer points at the recipient, and not to the sender. When stressed, than for pointing at the recipient, and not to the sender.
Appeal Layer (highly distinct) The Appeal Layer is highly developed in Chinese culture. The “Chinese Appeal Ear” notices all indirect expressed wishes to balance the relationship. It helps to understand the Content Layer and corresponds with the relationship Layer. Neglecting the Appeal Layer can lead to deep conflicts in relationships.
German Ears and German Tongue
German language is meant to express information very precisely. Grammar includes different conjugations and declinations for transporting as much information as possible in the most efficient way. It does not need additional information (context) to understand a specific message (See E.T. Hall – Low Context Cultures.)
German Sender / German Tongue
Content Layer (highly distinct) A German sender expresses himself as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings. In opposite to Chinese senders, language is not regarded as a source of misunderstandings. Abstract information can be expressed comparatively well defined. Clear words are regarded as honest and true. The Content Layer is also used for expressing “the unspeakable”. Criticism is widely used to show how much the sender cares.
Relationship Layer (less distinct) Relationships are shown in deeds and not in words. Being punctual or keeping promises is widely felt as a sign of sympathy, respect and honesty. Neglecting settlements can cause severe damage on a relationship.
Self Revealing Layer (highly distinct) Expressing (and/or discussing) personal thoughts and moods is often felt as “being close to someone”. It is essential for any relationship to share those personal matters. Different opinions are respected or appreciated.
Appeal Layer (less distinct) German senders usually do not respect the recipient’s situation. Messages are clear and usually do not content hidden messages. Therefore Germans are respected as trustful and honest, but also naive and awkward.
German recipient / German Ears
Content Layer (highly distinct) Germans tend to stress the Content Layer in communication. A German recipient focuses on this layer most, neglecting other layers. The content of a message can be understood without or a minimum of additional information. Small Talk is often seen as unpleasant and inefficient. Often German senders “hide” other layers within the Content Layer. Emotions or “unspeakable messages” are drawn into the Content Layer. “True and honest” words can be felt as insult, and often enough meant this way.
Relationship Layer (less distinct) The Relationship Layer is not very distinct in German culture. A relationship is often shaped on the Content Layer. Authenticity and reliability make a person trustful. Keeping settlements is a good way to show respect and/or sympathy.
Self Revealing Layer (highly distinct) German culture is highly influenced by the idea of individuality. Sharing very personal thoughts can be a good way to approach other individuals. A German recipient needs this information to establish a relationship. A person holding back personal thoughts is regarded as not trustful, hiding something or “being fishy”.
Appeal Layer (less distinct) On the Appeal Layer the German recipient is mostly numb. The ability of “active listening” is not much developed. It is hard for a German recipient to understand implicit messages. Not corresponding on the Appeal Layer is often felt as “cold” or impersonal.
(Adopted/translated from Lei Wang/Cologne, Münder und Ohren, 2008)
Communication Theory of Paul Watzlawick (*25.06.1925 + 31.05.2007)
Watzlawick defined 5 different Communication Postulates (Axioms)
- One cannot not communicate. Even silence already contains a message.
- Human being communicate both digitally and analogically.
- Relationship has content and a relationship aspect. Facts and data is transported on the “Content Layer”. How this message should be understood is transported via the “Relationship Layer”. The relationship layer is mostly is unconsciously transported by body language (especially facial expressions), gestures or the tone. Encoding and decoding of these information plays an important part in communication.
- The nature of a relationship depends on how the two parties punctuate the communication sequence.
- All communication is either symmetrical or complementary. Every communication string is circular. It is an interaction between two or more partners. Behavior is a reaction on a previous situation. It also is impulse, boost or reduction of further actions. If previous behaviors or messages dominate the way we communicate, it can cause conflicts.
(received 12.02.2014 at http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Theory/watzlawick/)
Read more about the development of Watzlawick`s ideas by Schulz von Thun here.