Rethinking Guanxi and Performance:Understanding the Dark Side of Sino–U.S. Business Relationships

Abosag, Ibrahim and Yen, Dorothy and Barnes, Bradley and Gadalla, Eman (2020) Rethinking Guanxi and Performance:Understanding the Dark Side of Sino–U.S. Business Relationships. International Business Review. 0-0. ISSN 0969-5931

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Previous studies on guanxi (關係) have focused on how guanxi contributes positively to business relationships, without addressing the pivotal role that guanxi plays in managing the dark side of business relationships. Such a role includes direct reduction of the dark side in business relationships but guanxi also plays a key mediating role providing further reduction of the dark side. Specifically, this study investigates guanxi’s influence on conflict, opportunism, and switching intention in Sino–U.S. business relationships. Drawing on data from over 270 Chinese firms, the findings reveal that whilst guanxi is undermined by relationship uncertainty and enhanced by performance, guanxi does indeed reduce the dark side of Sino-U.S. business relationships. Chinese buyers’ guanxi with U.S. suppliers significantly reduces their switching intention, opportunistic behavior, and the perceived levels of conflict in such relationships. Chinese buyers therefore employ guanxi as a tool to reduce the burden associated with the dark side of business relationships.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Business Review
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Business Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Business Review, ??, ??, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101775
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23 Nov 2020 14:57
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 09:41