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Guanxi and Organizational Dynamics in China: A Link between Individual and Organizational Levels

Yi Zhang and Zigang Zhang
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Sep., 2006), pp. 375-392
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25123884
Page Count: 18
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Guanxi and Organizational Dynamics in China: A Link between Individual and Organizational Levels
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Abstract

Guanxi in China is a very ancient concept embedded in the Confucian concept of life and one that is a 'hot' topic in that it is currently attracting increasing attention from both Western and Chinese scholars. One aspect of Guanxi which has been the subject of most of the research of late is the influence of Guanxi on firm performance. However, relatively few studies have examined how Guanxi at the individual level is transferred into a firm to influence its financial performance. This study first reclassifies Guanxi into obligatory, reciprocal, and utilitarian types at the individual level as a means to clarifying the confusion brought above from previous studies. It then provides a conceptual framework in which to systematically characterize the link between Guanxi at the individual level and organizational dynamics: that is, how is Guanxi at the individual level shifted to a firm and how does it affect organizational dynamics of that firm at the organizational level. Finally, it provides a deeper understanding of the financial implications of Guanxi to business firms in China.

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