Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



International Journal of Business Communication 29:3 (1992), pp. 229–252.

doi: 10.1177/ 002194369202900303


Copyright © 1992 Kathleen Krone, Mary Garrett, and Ling Chen; published by Sage. Used by permission.


This paper presents the results of a preliminary study of selected managerial communication practices in Chinese factories. Members of a delegation of Chinese managers visiting the United States were interviewed to explore: (a) the extent to which Chinese factories conform to a bureaucratic model of organization, and (b) factory director communication within these organization. Of particular interest were their upward and downward communication practices, and their methods for persuading and motivating workers and managing conflicts with problem employees. The results of our investigation reveal a distinctive form of bureaucracy operating within these factories. Moreover, we describe patterns of managerial communication practices that can be traced to cultural context, Chinese ideology, and organizational structure of the state-owned factory in mainland China.