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Cultural Intelligence, 3rd Edition by Kerr C. Inkson, David C. Thomas

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CHAPTER 8

Developing Cultural Intelligence in an Interconnected World

THE BULL IN THE CHINA SHOP

Barbara Bull, the American public relations officer of a Beijing hotel, was annoyed with Weixing Li, a Chinese staff member who had repeatedly turned up late.

“Do you know what you did wrong?”

His response was a blank stare.

“Do you know what you did wrong? Do you know why I am upset?”

Another blank look.

“Do you know what you did wrong?”

“Whatever you say I did wrong, I did wrong,” he replied.

Barbara was taken aback. What did he mean? “I want you to tell me what you did wrong!” she said.

“Whatever you say I did wrong, I did wrong. You are the boss. Whatever you say is correct. So whatever you say I did wrong, I admit to.”

This made her even angrier. ...

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