Home' HR Monthly : November 2017 Contents November 2017 HRM magazine 49
For anyone travelling to China
for business or pleasure, Pleco is
considered to be the number one app
for getting to terms with Cantonese.
Available for iOS and Android devices.
If you are struggling to read a
menu, decipher a road sign or need to
translate a Chinese landmark or tourist
attraction into Chinese, this is the app
to get you around and make sure you’re
fed. You can either type in using pinyin
(the romanisation system of Mandarin)
or draw characters in order to translate
them. It has a good dictionary for
converting English into Cantonese
and vice-versa, featuring 15,000
Cantonese-specific words and 16,000
Cantonese example sentences, all with
FREE WITH IN-APP PURCHASES
As an AHRI member, enjoy unlimited
access to more than 10,000 book and
video synopses – any where and anytime.
THE NEW CHINESE:
HOW THEY ARE
BY BARRY LI WILEY, 2016 $32
Left to our own devices,
it’s difficult to develop an
understanding of cultures very
different from our own. We are
at least likely to suffer from a selection bias, where
we assume too much based on the few people from
that culture we’ve met.
But the bigger issue is: how can you discern the
vague effects of culture on personality just from
knowing people? For too many the approach is to
try and prove or disprove cultu ral stereotypes.
As in: “I wonder if this man from Beijing will be
quiet and hardworking.”
On the surface, Li’s aim is simple: to give you
a basic idea of what’s going on in the life of any
given Chinese immigrant in Australia. But his
book is so much more than that, and it’s actually
gripping. The anecdotes are revealing and the
prose is unaffected. The descriptions of hardship –
his, his parents’ and his country’s – have gravity.
This is important because so much of how a
typical Australian will view someone from China
is through the lens of the cultural revolution,
Tiananmen Square and China’s growing economic
supremacy. Li add resses all of these, as well as the
common stereotypes, in a way that emphasises
humanity. For instance, in Li’s telling, most of the
Chinese people you are likely to meet in Australia
have an excellent education. Their parents were
either rich or spent almost all of their money on it.
Also, no Chinese person lives in Australia for
economic reasons – they would stand to earn more
in China. Rather, they come here for the lifestyle.
Why do they buy so much property in Sydney
and Melbourne? You would too if property
rights in your home country had been guided
by Communism for decades. Even today, the
Chinese government doesn’t let people own land.
Everybody leases for 70 years. Though they can
own the buildings on the land, how that will
work when the first leases are up (around 2040)
remains a mystery.
For H R professionals, there’s a guide to
recruiting from this pool of candidates, complete
with explanations for the typical behaviours you
might see. For instance, if they’re of a certain
generation, they will work hard and prefer not
to ask for help, but are anything but shy. They
will quietly but firmly insist on their rights, and
The biggest compliment I can give the book is
that I found myself wishing there was something
like it for every culture. It doesn’t pretend to have
all the answers to the question it poses, but instead
provides a single, lucid response. •••
THE CHINA CHALLENGE:
SHAPING THE CHOICES
OF A RISING POWER
BY THOMAS J. CHRISTENSEN
W.W. NORTON, 2015 $32.75
The Princeton professor and
former State Department official
offers an insider’s analysis of what China’s
rising power means for the US, the world at
large and for China domestically. Christensen
suggests how the US might influence China’s
roles in the political, economic and national
security arenas. getAbstract recommends this to
anyone with an interest in international affairs.
UP IS NOT THE ONLY WAY:
BY BEVERLY KAYE, LINDY WILLIAMS
AND LYNN COWART
BERRETT-KOEHLER, 2017 $36
Today’s employees want meaningful
work and a better work-life balance.
Three consultants, who’ve experienced the six
possible career paths covered here, offer a manual
about the different ways to grow your career. Their
advice is a solid conversation starter for managers
who want to retain top talent and for employees who
are eager for professional development. getAbstract
recommends this guidebook to HR managers.
Century of the dragon
This month we look at books about China and the “new Chinese”.
BY GIRARD DORNEY
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23/10/17 3:47 pm
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