Document Type


Publication Date



Both Chinese and Anglo-American cultures highlight the importance of interpersonal relationships for successful business. In Chinese and Anglo-American culture respectively, guanxi and networking are linguistic equivalents. However, cross-culturally there are emic differences, particularly of Chinese guanxi, which are not captured by these linguistic equivalencies. As such, Chinese guanxi remain somewhat mysterious to a non-Chinese audience. This study explores the differences between Chinese guanxi and Anglo-American networking through a process of semi-structured interviews with n=10 individuals familiar with both cultural contexts. The data indicate three major themes for Chinese guanxi: a heavy emphasis on reciprocity, a long-term orientation, and culture specific etiquette for building guanxi. Each theme is also furthered characterized by important sub-themes that further our understanding of Chinese guanxi. Implications for enhanced cross-cultural relationships are discussed. Keywords:guanxi, networking, China, American, cross-cultural


This article is available at the J.I.M.S. website.