Guanxi-Building in the Workplace: A Dynamic Process Model of Working and Backdoor Guanxi [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 104 (1):149-158 (2011)
Guanxi is a complex construct of Chinese social interaction. Previous studies have focused on implications of guanxi for business outcomes; few have examined guanxi development, which is the purpose of this study. Two theoretical modes of dynamic guanxi processes in the workplace are proposed: working guanxi and backdoor guanxi . The two modes differ in frequency of interaction, frequency of exchange of favors, and how clear the parties are on what each stands to gain from a particular interaction. Although face is expected to play a role in the development of each, the type of face that is most important differs. For working guanxi , lian (personal character) is most important. For backdoor guanxi , mianzi (status) is most important. Backdoor guanxi is the mode most likely to be associated with corruption, bribery, and client–patron relations. The psychological and social processes underlying development of these two modes of guanxi are explored and a basic model proposed as a basis for future research on guanxi , face, and ethics.
Keywords Face   Guanxi  Workplace relations  Chinese culture  Business ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-0895-9
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