Un-Packing Packaged Cultures: Chinese-ness in International Business
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This paper focuses on how the Chinese are represented in the international business literature. Chinese cultures are packaged to make knowledge about the Middle Kingdom more accessible to a general audience. The ways in which these packaged cultures are framed and constructed will be questioned here. Drawing inspiration from Foucault, this article identifies four traits of a packaged culture – it mediates, it asserts the uniqueness of the culture, it selectively packages the culture and it claims that cultural differences matter in business. These traits will form the basis for comparing and examining three methods of packaging a culture, namely the general-macroscopic, ethnographic present and critical emergence approaches. This paper concludes that researchers should reflect on the power they yield when they represent another culture, and that the general public may privilege theories that are accessible rather than sound.