Together or Separate Checks?

Together or Separate Checks?: Why the East and West Conduct Business in Different Ways Paperback – May 22, 2015 by Shaomin Li (Author)

This cartoon-illustrated volume explains why there are so many great differences in the manner that the East and West conduct business. Unlike conventional works on this topic that usually focus on cultural differences, this book uncovers a deeper, more fundamental reason for the differences between East and West. Based on more than 40 original exclusively-created illustrative cartoons, author and illustrator Shaomin Li argues that the East’s reliance on private relations and the West’s reliance on public rules to conduct business are not merely due to cultural differences. Rather, such differences are related to their different stages of political and economic development. Although the political-economy theory upon which this book is based is complex, the writing, accompanied by the entertaining cartoons, renders the subject easy to understand. Shaomin Li, trained as a portrait artist in China, was commissioned to paint Mao Zedong’s portrait during the Cultural Revolution. After Mao’s death, he began graduate studies in the United States and earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. Dr. Li is currently an Eminent Scholar and Professor of International Business at Old Dominion University. His theory on rule-based and relation-based governance has earned him international acclaim and recognition, including featured articles in The Economist and recipient of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In this book, Professor Li, combining his artistic talent with both his political- economy theory and his business acumen that he acquired as a former executive at AT&T and as a CEO for an IT firm, creates a serious yet enjoyable work that allows readers to better grasp an understanding of international business. The book begins with several simple but often overlooked differences between East and West: when dining together, why do Chinese compete to pay the tab, whereas Americans ask for separate checks? Why do strangers often greet one another in the United States, but not in China? Based on his political-economy theory, Professor Li explains that these cultural differences actually result from the differing political, legal, and economic systems in the East and West! The book offers much more than a fun read; it provides insights for Westerners, especially Western businesspeople, about how to navigate Asia’s relation-based maze, and for Asians to understand the inner workings of a rule-based system. The book is ideal reading for busy executives on a flight abroad, and excellent supplementary reading for international business courses at all levels—undergraduate, MBA, as well as doctoral seminars.

Editorial Reviews
About the Author
Shaomin Li, born during the Maoist era in China, studied painting and drawing with renowned artists Xie Zhigao and Ning Daming. During the Cultural Revolution he was drafted by the People’s Liberation Army to produce works of art. After Mao died in 1976, he was ordered to paint Mao’s portrait for the official state memorial service. When Chinese universities reopened after 1976, Li attended Peking University to study economics. In 1982 he began graduate studies in the United States, earning a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. He later conducted research at Harvard University as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Li now is Eminent Scholar and Professor of International Business at Old Dominion University.

His research focuses on the global business environment, especially the governance environment in societies that are undergoing rapid transformation. Dr. Li has published 12 books and over 100 research articles. His writings have appeared in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and Forbes. His research has also been featured in The Economist. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Governor of Virginia. Professor Li has extensive business experience. He was a director of AT&T EastGate Services and the founding CEO of, Ltd. (Hong Kong). He has also served in an advisory capacity at the United Nations, Fidelity Investments, and Johnson & Johnson.

Product Details
Paperback: 44 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (May 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1511951338
ISBN-13: 978-1511951333
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Copyrights 2019 | IHIK