Guanxi management as complex adaptive systems: A case study of taiwanese Odi in china [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 91 (3):419 - 432 (2010)
In China, guanxi is the basis on which Chinese exchange a lifetime of favors, resources, and business leverage. Guanxi is considered a unique construct and a product of Confucian values and the contemporary political and socioeconomic system in Chinese society. With its cultural embeddings guanxi , as the social norm of conduct, functions as complex adaptive systems that expand and interconnect to become well-knit social networks; meanwhile the functions of well-fixing and self-reinforcement of the guanxi networks ( chuens ) are synergetically activated internally, externally, and interactively, which shows their extreme flexibility of adaptation. Taking as a case study an outside direct investment (ODI) Taiwanese firm in China, we address and conduct a survey to examine the effect of guanxi on management. Results of the research suggest that guanxi is not limited to interpersonal links; it is also the switch that activates social networks and that reconciles interpersonal and internetwork mismatches to influence management efficacy.
Keywords culture   guanxi  complex adaptive systems
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Harrison White (1993). Values Come in Styles, Which Mate to Change. In R. Michod, L. Nadel & M. Hechter (eds.), The Origin of Values. Aldine de Gruyer 63--91.

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