Guanxi In Chinese Business.

Essay by Hailey1211University, Bachelor's October 2005

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1.0 Introduction.

Since China implemented its open door policy in 1979, this country has been experiencing fast development in many areas. It attracts many western businesses to find opportunities in this large market. However, just like our Chinese people often said "everything has two sides", westerners find that although China has large markets, their culture is difficult to handle, especially something with regard to "guanxi".

This essay will focus on this special culture of guanxi, which includes the definitions of guanxi, the role of guanxi in China and how should a western firm make use of guanxi when doing business in China.

2.0 The definitions of Guanxi.

Guanxi is a kind of network, but this kind of network is oriented in Chinese culture, that is the reason why so many westerners feel confused if they just regarded guanxi as a social relationship. More and more western businessmen found guanxi, which is quite different from their social network, is a key factor leading to business success in China.

In order to do business successfully in China, the best way is to understand the concept of guanxi. There is no certain definition of guanxi. In fact guanxi is an ambiguous and complicated cultural phenomenon. And Tsui and Farh (1997, p.59) remark "the literature (both Chinese and English) shows no consensus in the translation of the term 'guanxi'. However in generally speaking Guanxi could be divided into two aspects: first is the explicit aspect and second is the implicit aspect.

2.1 The explicit aspect of Guanxi.

From the explicit aspect, guanxi is a kind of relationship referring to spheres in Chinese society. At the center are the family, and then the extended family, and nonfamily members who provide special services to the family such as friends (Selmer, 1998). Relationships, which are bonded...