Questioning guanxi: definition, classification and implications
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.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
|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|
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.:
- Yi, Lee Mei & Ellis, Paul, 2000. "Insider-outsider perspectives of Guanxi," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 25-30.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alston, Jon P., 1989. "Wa, Guanxi, and Inhwa: Managerial principles in Japan, China, and Korea," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 26-31.
- Pearce, John II & Robinson, Richard Jr., 2000. "Cultivating Guanxi as a foreign investor strategy," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 31-38.
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.