by Mike Bellamy in "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" book
Compared to their counterparts in the West, China’s managers and factory owners tend to focus more on generating revenue in the short term rather than thinking long term strategy. This is especially true of the mangers born in 1960 and before who lived thru the tremulous times of the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward.
Times were so bad in China during the youth of this group that these days they still live by the creed “one bird in the hand is better than two in the bush”, because back then you may wake up to see that you have been sent to the country side for re-education and you can’t bring your bush OR your bird with you! This generation of factory owners is very focused on making stable profits on each order rather than taking short terms risk or losses in exchange for a future potential payoff.
The young managers and factory bosses (born 1965 and after) also have short term mentalities, but for different reasons. Themes of “economic stability” and “optimism about the future” have only come into play during the past 15 years, but in these present “economic boom years” young managers and factory owners see other young Chinese getting rich all around them and they have a tremendous “me too” drive to earn revenue in order to have a large home, new car and provide for their children in a way that is leaps and bounds better than what the past generation was able to provide. As Deng Xiaoping put it “too be rich is glorious”.
What does this short-term mentality mean for sourcing?
Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. He is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.