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Career Success Networks in China: Sex Differences in Network Composition and Social Exchange Practices


  • Nailin Bu


  • Jean-Paul Roy



Through structured interviews with 108 senior and middle managers in China, we compared the composition and social exchange practices of Chinese male and female managers' career success networks (CSNs). The results indicated that most of the CSN ties formed by both male and female managers are with men, especially power ties. Male and female managers differed in the extent to which they engaged in instrumental and expressive transactions with same- and opposite-sex CSN alters, reciprocated the help provided by CSN alters, and socialized outside of the workplace with opposite-sex alters. The implications of these results for career success in China are discussed. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Nailin Bu & Jean-Paul Roy, 2005. "Career Success Networks in China: Sex Differences in Network Composition and Social Exchange Practices," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 381-403, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:asiapa:v:22:y:2005:i:4:p:381-403
    DOI: 10.1007/s10490-005-4116-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xiao-Ping Chen & Chao C. Chen, 2004. "On the Intricacies of the Chinese Guanxi: A Process Model of Guanxi Development," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 305-324, September.
    2. Robert Westwood & Andrew Chan & Stephen Linstead, 2004. "Theorizing Chinese Employment Relations Comparatively: Exchange, Reciprocity and the Moral Economy," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 365-389, September.
    3. Jack Hirshleifer, 1997. "The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation," UCLA Economics Working Papers 771, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs," TSE Working Papers 11-259, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Yunxia Zhu & Alison M. Konrad & Hao Jiao, 2016. "Violation and activation of gender expectations: Do Chinese managerial women face a narrow band of acceptable career guanxi strategies?," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 53-86, March.
    3. Yuan, Jia & Zhang, Qian-Ming & Gao, Jian & Zhang, Linyan & Wan, Xue-Song & Yu, Xiao-Jun & Zhou, Tao, 2016. "Promotion and resignation in employee networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 444(C), pages 442-447.
    4. Yong Han & Yochanan Altman, 2009. "Supervisor and Subordinate Guanxi: A Grounded Investigation in the People’s Republic of China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 91-104, April.
    5. Kang, Eugene & Ding, David K. & Charoenwong, Charlie, 2010. "Investor reaction to women directors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 888-894, August.
    6. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2016. "The old boy network: The impact of professional networks on remuneration in top executive jobs," SAFE Working Paper Series 123, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    7. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Gulati, Kajal & Lybbert, Travis J., 2015. "Information networks among women and men and the demand for an agricultural technology in India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1411, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Diego Quer & Enrique Claver & Laura Rienda, 2007. "Business and management in China: A review of empirical research in leading international journals," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 359-384, September.
    9. Stephen Frenkel & Karin Sanders & Tim Bednall, 2013. "Employee perceptions of management relations as influences on job satisfaction and quit intentions," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 7-29, March.
    10. Chi-Sum Wong & Ping-Man Wong & Kenneth Law, 2007. "Evidence of the practical utility of Wong’s emotional intelligence scale in Hong Kong and mainland China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 43-60, March.

    More about this item


    social networks; homophily; China; sex difference; guanxi;


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