Accommodating for 'Difference': Developing a Context for Arts Practice in Shanghai

Joy Scott


One of the main reasons why misunderstandings occur between Chinese and western arts managers could be attributed to the differences in perception between the two cultures. The aim of this paper is to encourage Western arts managers to consider the power of culture and perception, and the impact of this on work performance, when working in a Chinese city such as Shanghai. This paper argues that in order for Western arts managers to work more effectively in Shanghai it is essential that there is both an acknowledgement and acceptance of difference between Chinese and Western cultures, subsequently requiring a different way of thinking and doing things. Furthermore, this difference manifests itself in the work environment in the way the two cultures construct their own definition of reality. For this reason it is important that Western arts managers not only develop an understanding of Chinese traditional and contemporary culture, but that they also explore the appropriateness and value of their own Western training and experience in reference to its application in Shanghai.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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