Cornell Task: 2016' Maoshi Jia

Maoshi JIA
Professor Jason Hogg
FinTech Hackathon
April 24-25, 2017

【Lessons learned about cross-cultural interactions and implications for Chinese firms going global】
It was wonderful experience to be work together with Cornell Tech MBA students on the JD.com project. I did learn a lot though our internal team discussions as well as the presentation sharing session by the top three teams. Here are some lessons I learned about cross-cultural interactions.

First of all, different cultures teach different values, the mindset of foreign business practices is different from Chinese. Through cross-cultural team work, I can understand better on the differences between cultures and adapting my style of communication accordingly, so as to gain the trust of foreign teammates and avoid conflicts. In the case of Hackathon, as it is the first time meeting new friends at Cornell Tech, Cornell-Tsinghua students are willing to develop relationships with Cornell Tech students. As the topic discussed is more on technical perspectives, Cornell-Tsinghua students tend to be very willing to hear and discuss ideas from Cornell Tech students. Cornell-Tsinghua students prefer to be a cooperative team member, consulting with teammates rather than deal with tough negotiations. Due to their finance industry background, Cornell-Tsinghua students are generally less creative on technical topics but look more at the group collective than at individualism, avoiding potential conflicts.

In contrast, Cornell Tech students seems to prefer face-to-face interactions. They are not opposed to strong relationships, but more willing to brainstorm, proposing and modifying creative proposals. Cornell Tech students are more straight-forward, willing to share and debate on their proposal, seeking the best solutions. Even if there are direct conflict or confrontation over issues, they are highly frowned upon. For some Cornell Tech students, if their creative ideas are well recognized, they have huge satisfaction level. They seem to pride themselves on being tough or dominant, but slower, less aggressive style is valued in Tsinghua-Cornell students.

I think while Chinese firms going global, Chinese should learn more on foreign social structure, cultural diversity, negotiation patterns and different ways of doing business. Chinese people should learn more on critical thinking pattern and creative problem-solving capability under stressful time constraint. Besides, Chinese people should be more willing to accept cultural diversity and understand better on formal and informal structures of their counterparties.