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This article analyzes how the execution of business strategy for global enterprises is shaped by the dual challenges of communicating in a different national culture and working in a changing economic environment. The article develops a framework from the UPS case in China to illustrate the key components of strategy for US companies operating businesses in China. The article proposes that Chinese-American communication effectiveness can be achieved through overcoming fi ve obstacles: cultural multiplicity, relationship/ task orientation, time concept, business style difference, and language use, while utilizing fi ve facilitators: pragmatism, gender equality, English, American pop culture, and a “big country mentality.”


Originally published in:

Gao, Hongmei and Prime, Penelope (2010) "Facilitators and Obstacles of Intercultural Business Communication for American Companies in China: Lessons Learned from the UPS Case," Global Business Languages: Vol. 15, Article 10. Available at:

Copyright © 2010 by Purdue Research Foundation. Posted with permission.