1st Edition

Explaining Guanxi
The Chinese Business Network

ISBN 9780415384186
Published January 29, 2006 by Routledge
184 Pages

USD $71.95

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Book Description

Guanxi, a system of Chinese business relationships, is often described, but is rarely fully understood. Though it seems intangible, there is no doubt that it has contributed significantly to the success of Chinese entrepreneurs and the places where they work. Translated loosely as ‘personal ties’, this simple explanation belies a complex and nuanced system. Guanxi has often been criticised as nepotism - unfair, inefficient, even corrupt, and generally detrimental to business and economic growth… but if it is that bad, how does it survive?

This insightful book unravels the origins of Guanxi and provides a much-needed explanation of the phenomena. It investigates:

  • why it was initiated and developed
  • what function it serves
  • how it is maintained
  • why it is such a dominant phenomenon in Chinese business life

Combining economics, law and culture, this clear and concise book looks to the future of Guanxi based on its history. Drawing on cultural, organizational and economic studies, it takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating these various topics into a coherent explanation of Guanxi ensuring that this illuminating book will be equally useful to students of Asian business as to practitioners working within this market.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. What is Guanxi?  3. Explaining Guanxi  4. Analysing Guanxi  5. The Influence of Chinese Culture  6. The Influence of Law in Imperial China  7. The Rationality of Traditional Legal and Cultural Systems  8. The Future of Guanxi

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'Having spent the last twenty-six years running a major construction company with operations in Greater China I found this book to be valuable, readable and relevant. Any serious business professional or academic with interests in China will benefit from the insights of the authors.' - Martin Hadaway, former CEO of Gammon Construction, China, Hong Kong & Taiwan