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Guanxi and Business Ethics in Confucian Society Today: An Empirical Case Study in Taiwan

Dennis B. Hwang, Patricia L. Golemon, Yan Chen, Teng-Shih Wang and Wen-Shai Hung
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 89, No. 2 (Oct., 2009), pp. 235-250
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40295052
Page Count: 16
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Guanxi and Business Ethics in Confucian Society Today: An Empirical Case Study in Taiwan
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Abstract

Guanxi, or social networks common in Confucian cultures, has long been recognized as one of the major factors for success when doing business in China. However, insider networks in business are certainly not confined to Asian cultures, nor is the attendant possibility for corruption. This study obtained original data to investigate current Taiwanese perceptions of (1) how guanxi is established and cultivated; (2) how guanxi actually is practiced now and people's acceptance of it; and (3) the effects of guanxi on business operations, employment/promotion, and social justice and fairness. The researchers also hope to (4) verify some arguments made by pioneering researchers. The authors speculate on how these attitudes may affect behavior in business transactions in hopes of making readers more aware of differing cultural values that may create unexpected ethical dilemmas. They suggest that professional ethical codes should provide guidance on the practice of guanxi in a Confucian society and that special emphasis or training in interpreting those codes may be required.

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