Sunday, our first full day in Hangzhou, started with a great breakfast buffet on the seventh floor of the hotel. Then the group departed for a walk around the West Lake, located directly across from the Lakeview Hotel. The weather was pleasantly warm with sunny skies, quite an improvement over the prior twenty rainy days. With these improved conditions on a non-work day for the locals, the lakefront was packed with hundreds of people.
After this brief excursion, the group traveled to Zhejiang University, home to the top entrepreneurship program in China. Gangfeng Zhang, Associate Professor in the School of Management, lectured to both our Kelley students and Zhejiang students on the topic of "Cultural Factors for Managing Businesses in China." He offered multiple examples of differences in communication, leadership styles, organizational behavior, and contractual negotiations and obligations. In particular he emphasized the focus on relationships and intuitive, moral decision making in the Chinese context and how this has posed challenges to Westerners unaccustomed to conducting business in such a manner. The students also learned about difficulties with cross-cultural language exchange, including differences in pausing when speaking, inflection, and body language.
When the lecture concluded, a small group of Kelley students stayed behind to have dinner with Zhejiang students. The remaining students returned to the hotel, and many of them ventured out to the surrounding area to enjoy dinner and do some shopping.
The staff from Kelley were treated to an exquisite dinner by Zhong-Ming Wang, Professor and Executive Dean of the School of Management at Zhejiang University. Professor Wang will be coming to the Kelley School of Business in April as part of a visiting delegation.