European Entry Decisions in China: The Role of Cultural Perceptions

  • Katiuscia VaccariniEmail author
  • Francesca Spigarelli
  • Ernesto Tavoletti
  • Christoph Lattemann


This chapter investigates to what extent and how perceptions of culture affect European investment decisions to China. First, it analyzes managers’ perceptions of “culture.” Secondly, it examines whether European managers’ perceptions are based on a European culture or on national cultures, and whether intra-China cultural differences are considered. We adopt a multiple case study research design composed of a panel of six European companies investing in China in the green tech industry. We use quantitative and qualitative analyses and a three-step data collection process. Results show that: (1) managers’ perceptions vary over time, between the pre- and post-market entry operation; (2) the cultural aspect is not considered by European managers before approaching China; (3) only after entering the Chinese market, European managers realize the relevance of culture; (4) they perceive China as a single entity rather than intra-China cultural differences; (5) when approaching China, European managers’ perceptions are based on a national culture (intra-Europe) rather than a common European culture; (6) the cultural dimension goes along with language, which, in specific cases, is perceived as a higher hurdle than culture.


Cultural distance Psychic distance Cross cultural Culture Managers’ perceptions European culture National culture Intra-China cultural differences European investment decisions to China Green tech industry 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katiuscia Vaccarini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesca Spigarelli
    • 2
  • Ernesto Tavoletti
    • 3
  • Christoph Lattemann
    • 4
  1. 1.Free University of Bozen-BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  2. 2.University of MacerataMacerataItaly
  3. 3.University of MacerataMacerataItaly
  4. 4.Jacobs UniversityBremenGermany

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