International business research compares values versus culture

Share This:

Article by Nick Barnum

The business world is constantly changing, and four students at Dixie State University are researching how values create such a difference.  

Cam Caldwell, an adjunct professor of business, has brought his knowledge in business to the DSU business program. He is giving four young students the opportunity to get a class research project published in an international business journal.

This is the first year Caldwell has taught at DSU, and he wants to bring higher business learning to the university.

“The focus of our class is to help the students to distinguish themselves from other students so they can have a leg up … and get published,” Caldwell said. 

Jia Wei Liu, a senior business major from Wuhan, China, is the brain behind the research project idea. Liu grew up in China and has brought his perspective to business and wants to make a change.  

Liu had the idea to study how Americans rate certain values compared to his home country.  

“Business is about culture, especially international business,” Liusaid. 

The study is called “Value Perception of US and Chinese Business Students: Implications for Application in the Global Economy.”

The study looks at over 147 different business values and how they compare in different situations.  

Liu is a student who came to America with no real purpose but has since found himself as a man that wants to change the world.  In the project research, Liu refers to the “Post Generation.” These are young adults in business, ages 19-27.  

Liu wants to be the example on how to create change, and he is planning to do just that. When Liu graduates he wants to return to China and present his study to universities all over China and help them understand what values can be changed to create a better business environment for the country.  

“If I can’t change the (Chinese) government, what can I do?” Liu said. “I can change the people.”  

A value in particular Liu wanted to look at was “guanxi.”  “Guanxi” is a Chinese value and translates as “the requirement to establish a personal relationship before doing business.” 

America is a very individualistic country and personal connection is mostly unknown within the business world, Liu said. However, in China you are expected to have a personal relationship with whomever you do business with. This means you are loyal to them in business and will always go to them whether it is for you paper needs, or your need for whatever you may need to run a business, Liu said.

The United States has an individualistic view on business versus a Chinese view of collectivism. Liu talked about each of the two business systems having their own perks, but a mix of the two would create a great balance in values for doing business.

Liu said he believes it doesn’t matter what the government does, and it doesn’t matter what businesses may do — what matters is how people act. Liu wants his actions to show his business values and in turn create change in China. It is a strong ambition that drives Liu, and he will not stop until change is accepted, he said.

Liu is working with Eric Burrows, a junior business major from St. George, Vivianna Harris, a senior business major from Gunlock, and McKenzie Thompson, a senior business major from Milford. These four students are all looking to create change in business and want to help Liu achieve his goals.