Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Questioning guanxi: definition, classification and implications

Contents:

Author Info

  • Fan, Ying
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Despite the growing interests among both academics and practitioners in the west, the concept of guanxi is not much questioned and there is considerable confusion about its implications for business. This paper explores the nature of guanxi by using a multiple definition approach. It defines guanxi as the process of social interactions and argues that the existence of guanxi base (special relationship) does not produce guanxi. The paper classifies guanxi into three categories: family, helper and business; and critically examines the role of guanxi in business. The paper has drawn up some important conclusions. (1) The potential benefits of guanxi are mainly tactical rather than strategic. (2) Guanxi, as a personal asset, cannot be a source of competitive advantage. (3) The guanxi between a businessperson and a government official is inherently corrupt and ethically questionable. (4) As guanxi has an impact on the wider public, it should be studied in the context of all stakeholders. (5) It is more than likely that guanxi's role in business will eventually diminish as China moves towards an open market system.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593102000367
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 543-561

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:11:y:2002:i:5:p:543-561

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/bibliographic
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/bibliographic

    Related research

    Keywords: Guanxi Relationship Business ethics China;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Standifird, Stephen S. & Marshall, R. Scott, 2000. "The transaction cost advantage of guanxi-based business practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 21-42, April.
    2. Steve Lovett & Lee C Simmons & Raja Kali, 1999. "Guanxi Versus the Market: Ethics and Efficiency," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 231-247, June.
    3. Pearce, John II & Robinson, Richard Jr., 2000. "Cultivating Guanxi as a foreign investor strategy," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 31-38.
    4. Yi, Lee Mei & Ellis, Paul, 2000. "Insider-outsider perspectives of Guanxi," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 25-30.
    5. Yau, Oliver H. M. & Lee, Jenny S. Y. & Chow, Raymond P. M. & Sin, Leo Y. M. & Tse, Alan C. B., 2000. "Relationship marketing the Chinese way," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 16-24.
    6. Alston, Jon P., 1989. "Wa, Guanxi, and Inhwa: Managerial principles in Japan, China, and Korea," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 26-31.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Carlsson, Johan & Nordegren, Axel & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 2005. "International experience and the performance of Scandinavian firms in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40, February.
    2. Chen, Yao-Tung, 2011. "A study on the role of guanxi in entrepreneurship and employment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 2049-2053, July.
    3. Siu, Wai-sum, 2008. "Yuan and marketing: The perception of Chinese owner-managers," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 449-462, October.
    4. Trimarchi, Michael & Tamaschke, Rick, 2004. "Coordinations in business interactions between Hong Kong Chinese, mainland Chinese, and Western actors," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 331-357, June.
    5. Karen Wang & Yue Wang & Kai-Ping Huang & Jingsong Deng, 2012. "Heterogeneous networks and resource acquisition of SMEs in emerging economies," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(5), pages 1643-1657, August.
    6. Young, Chaur-Shiuh & Tsai, Liu-Ching, 2008. "The sensitivity of compensation to social capital: Family CEOs vs. nonfamily CEOs in the family business groups," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 363-374, April.
    7. Tatli, Ahu & Vassilopoulou, Joana & Özbilgin, Mustafa, 2013. "An unrequited affinity between talent shortages and untapped female potential: The relevance of gender quotas for talent management in high growth potential economies of the Asia Pacific region," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 539-553.
    8. Khakhar, Priyan & Rammal, Hussain Gulzar, 2013. "Culture and business networks: International business negotiations with Arab managers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 578-590.
    9. Ramasamy, Bala & Goh, K.W. & Yeung, Matthew C.H., 2006. "Is Guanxi (relationship) a bridge to knowledge transfer?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 130-139, January.
    10. Olwen Bedford, 2011. "Guanxi-Building in the Workplace: A Dynamic Process Model of Working and Backdoor Guanxi," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 149-158, November.
    11. Luo, Yadong, 2008. "The changing Chinese culture and business behavior: The perspective of intertwinement between guanxi and corruption," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 188-193, April.
    12. Bingyuan Hsiung, 2013. "Guanxi: Personal connections in Chinese society," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 17-40, April.
    13. Suchuan Zhang & Weiqi Liu & Xiaolang Liu, 2012. "Investigating the Relationship Between Protestant Work Ethic and Confucian Dynamism: An Empirical Test in Mainland China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 106(2), pages 243-252, March.
    14. Faure, Guy Olivier & Fang, Tony, 2008. "Changing Chinese values: Keeping up with paradoxes," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 194-207, April.
    15. Hom, Peter W. & Xiao, Zhixing, 2011. "Embedding social networks: How guanxi ties reinforce Chinese employees’ retention," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 188-202.
    16. Jihong Liu & Yaping Wang & Liansheng Wu, 2011. "The Effect of Guanxi on Audit Quality in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(4), pages 621-638, November.
    17. Holtbrügge, Dirk & Berg, Nicola & Puck, Jonas F., 2007. "To bribe or to convince? Political stakeholders and political activities in German multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 47-67, February.
    18. Fiedler, Marina & Haruvy, Ernan & Li, Sherry Xin, 2011. "Social distance in a virtual world experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 400-426, June.
    19. Frank Bickenbach & Wan-Hsin LIU, 2010. "The Role of Personal Relationships for Doing Business in the GPRD, China – Evidence from Hong Kong Electronics SMEs," Kiel Working Papers 1589, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    20. Liu, Yunshi & Ahlstrom, David & Yeh, Kuang S., 2006. "The separation of ownership and management in Taiwan's public companies: An empirical study," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 415-435, August.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:11:y:2002:i:5:p:543-561. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.