The Cross-Culture Challenges in Marketing Relationship Creation. Understanding Chinese Guanxi, Renqing, Lian, Mianzi, Xinyong, and Xinren from the Direct Experiences of Polish Managers (Beyond Hofstede’s Approach)
Close relationships with all members of the market environment are now widely accepted by academics and practitioners as an excellent way of creating a sustainable, competitive advantage. However, views on exactly which activities constitute the essence of market relationships may differ significantly in various cultural contexts. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of Chinese culture on market relationship creation, focusing on specific guanxi networks with closely related indigenous cultural aspects, such as renqing, lian, mianzi, xinren and xinyong, in order to reveal their implications for the functioning of foreign companies in China. An emic approach was predominantly implemented in this analysis, in addition to a polemic on the commonly used assessment methods of culture impact that is based on Western evaluation and bipolar culture dimensions. The information presented is based on research carried out on thirty-eight cases of Polish companies in China that used a semi-structured interview technique with individual managers directly responsible for operations in this market. It is reinforced with a broad literature overview and many years of the author’s direct observations. In addition, some practical recommendations and further research are suggested.
Abramson N.R., Ai J.X., Using Guanxi-Style Buyer-Seller Relationships in China: Reducing Uncertainty and Improving Performance Outcomes, “The International Executive” 1997, No. 6.
Batonda G., Perry Ch., Influence of Culture on Relationship Development Processes in Overseas Chinese/Australia Networks, “European Journal of Marketing” 2003, No. 11–12, Vol. 37.
Bartosik-Purgat M., Uwarunkowania kulturowe w marketingu międzynarodowym [Cultural Factors in International Marketing], Poznań 2004.
Berry J.W. , Imposed Etics-Emics-Derived Etics: The Operationalization of a Compelling Idea, “International Journal of Psychology”1989, No. 4, Vol. 24.
Berry J.W., Introduction to Methodology [in:] Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology, H. Triandis, J.W. Berry (eds.), Boston 1980, Vol. 2.
Björkman I., Kock S., Social Relationships and Business Networks: The Case of Western Companies in China, “International Business Review” 2001, No. 4, Vol. 4.
Brown P., Levinson S., Politeness: Some Universals in Language Use, Cambridge 1987.
Chen M.J. , Inside Chinese Business: A Guide for Managers Worldwide, Boston 2001.
Dunning J.H. , Kim Ch., The Cultural Roots of Guanxi: An Exploratory Study, “The World Economy” 2007, No. 2, Vol. 30.
China Statistical Yearbook, Beijing 2010.
Fang T., Kriz A., Cross-Cultural Challenges to the IMP Paradigm: Evidence from Chinese Markets. IMP Conference, Bath, 07.09.2000 (conference materials).
Fang T., From “Onion” to “Ocean” Paradox and Change in National Cultures, “International Studies of Management & Organization” 2006, No. 4, Vol. 35.
Fukuyama F., Zaufanie. Kapitał społeczny a droga do dobrobytu [Trust. The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity], Warszawa 1997.
Ganesan S., Determinants of Long-Term Orientation in Buyer-Seller Relationship, “Journal of Marketing” 1994, No. 58.
Goffman E., Embarrassment and Social Organizations, “American Journal of Sociology” 1956, No. 62.
Goffman E., On Face-Work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements of Social Interaction, “Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes” 1955, No. 3, Vol. 18.
Grönroos Ch., From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing. Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing, “Management Decision” 1994, No. 2, Vol. 32.
Grönroos Ch., Relationship Marketing: Strategic and Tactical Implications, “Management Decision” 1996, No. 3, Vol. 34.
Gummesson E., Are Current Research Approaches in Marketing Leading Us Astray? , “Marketing Theory” 2001, No. 1.
Gummesson E., Making Relationship Marketing Operational, “International Journal of Service Industry Management” 1994, No 5, Vol. 5.
Gummesson E., Qualitative Research in Marketing: Roadmap for a Wilderness of Complexity and Unpredictability, “European Journal of Marketing” 2005, No. 3–4, Vol. 39.
Ho D.Y., On the Concept of Face, “American Journal of Sociology” 1976, No. 81.
Hofstede G., Bond M.H., The Confucius Connection: From Cultural Roots to Economic Growth, “Organizational Dynamics” 1988, No 4, Vol. 16.
Hofstede G., Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values, Beverly Hills 1984.
Hu H.C., The Chinese Concept of Face, “American Anthropologist” 1944, No. 1, Vol. 46.
Hui Ch., Graen G., Guanxi and Professional Leadership in Contemporary Sino-American Joint Ventures in Mainland China, “Leadership Quarterly” 1997, No. 4, Vol. 8.
Hwang K.K., Face and Favor: The Chinese Power Game, “The American Journal of Sociology” 1987, No. 4, Vol. 92.
http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/statistic/foreigninvestment/201101/20110107381641.html [access: 25.08.2011].
http://www.nccccurricula.info/glossary.html, National Center for Cultural Competence [access: 20.06. 2011].
Kajdański E., Chiny. Leksykon. Historia, gospodarka, kultura [China. Lexicon. History, Economy, Culture], Warszawa 2005.
Konecki K., Studia z metodologii badań jakościowych. Teoria ugruntowana [Studies in Qualitative Methodology. Grounded Theory], Warszawa 2000.
Kvale S., Interview. Wprowadzenie do jakościowego wywiadu badawczego [InterViews. An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing, London 1996], Białystok 2004.
Kim J.Y., Nam S.H., The Concept and Dynamics of Face: Implications for Organizations Behavior in Asia, “Organization Science” 1998, No. 4, Vol. 9.
Larsen T., Rosenbloom B., Communication in International Business-to-Business Marketing Channels: Does Culture Matter? , “Industrial Marketing Management” 2003, No. 32.
Lee D.Y., Dawes P.L., Guanxi, Trust, and Long-Term Orientation in Chinese Business Markets, “Journal of International Marketing” 2005, No. 2, Vol. 13.
Leung T.K. P., Lai K., Chan R.Y. K., Wong Y.H. , The Role of Xinyong and Guanxi in Chinese Relationship Marketing, “European Journal of Marketing” 2005, No. 5–6, Vol. 39.
Luo Y., Guanxi: Principles, Philosophies, and Implications, “Human Systems Management” 1997, No. 1, Vol. 16.
Luhmann N., Trust and Power, Chichester 1979.
Luo Y., Guanxi and Business, Singapore 2000.
Luo Y., Guanxi and Performance of Foreign – Invested Enterprise in China: An Empirical Inquiry, “Management International Review” 1997, No. 1.
McAllister D.J., Affect-and Cognition-Based Trust as Foundation for Interpersonal Cooperation in Organizations, “The Academy of Management Journal” 1995, No. 1, Vol. 38.
Mitręga M., Marketing relacji. Teoria i praktyka [Relationship Marketing. Theory and Practice], Warszawa 2005.
Moorman Ch., Zaltman G., Deshpande R., Relationships between Providers and Users of Market Research: The Dynamics of Trust within and between Organizations, “Journal of Marketing Research” 1992, No. 3, Vol. 29.
Morgan R., Hunt S., Relationship Marketing in the Era of Network Competition, “Marketing Management” 1994, No. 1, Vol. 3.
Nakata Ch.C., Cultural Theory in International Marketing: An Ontological and Epistemological Examination [in:] Handbook of Research in International Marketing, S.C. Jain (ed.), Cheltenham 2003.
Park S.H., Luo Y., Guanxi and Organizational Dynamics: Organizational Networking in Chinese Firms, “Strategic Management Journal” 2001, No. 22.
Pye L.W. , Chinese Negotiating Style: Commercial Approaches and Cultural Principles, New York 1982.
Redding S.G., Ng M., The Role of Face in the Organizational Perceptions of Chinese Managers, “Organizational Studies” 1982, No. 3, Vol. 3.
Rice C., Consumer Behaviour: Behavioural Aspects of Marketing, Oxford 1993.
Schramm M., Taube M., Institutionenökonomische Anmerkungen zur Einbettung von Korruption in das Ordnungssystem chinesischer Guanxi-Netzwerke, 2001 http://www.uniduisburg.de/FB5/VWL/OAWI/ARBEITSPAPIERE/paper60.html [access: 11.04.2007].
Simmons L.C., Munch J.M., Is Relationship Marketing Culturally Bound: A Look at Guanxi in China, “Advances in Consumer Research” 1996 , No. 1, Vol. 23.
Sivakumar K., Nakata C., The Stampede toward Hofstede’s Framework – Avoiding the Sample Design Pit in Cross-Cultural Research, “Journal of International Business Studies” 2001, No. 3, Vol. 32.
Standifird S.S., Marshall R.S., The Transaction Cost Advantage of Guanxi-based Business Practices, “Journal of World Business” 2000, No. 1, Vol. 35.
Sapir E., The Status of Linguistic as a Science, “Language” 1929, No. 4, Vol. 5.
Sułkowski Ł., O potrzebie niefundamentalistycznego dyskursu w epistemologii zarządzania [Non-Fundamentalist Manner of Conducting Management Sciences], “Organizacja i Kierowanie” [Organization and Management] 2006, No. 1.
Sztompka P., Zaufanie. Fundament społeczeństwa [Trust: The Foundation of Society], Kraków 2007.
Tse D.K., Lee K., Vertinsky I., Wehrung D.A., Does Culture Matter? A Cross-Cultural Study of Executives’ Choice, Decisiveness, and Risk Adjustment in International Marketing, “Journal of Marketing” 1988, No. 4, Vol. 52.
Tsui A.S., Nifadkar S.S., Ou Yi, Cross National, Cross-cultural Organizational Behavior Research: Advances, Gaps, and Recommendations, “Journal of Management” 2007, No 3, Vol. 33.
Usunier J., Lee J., Marketing Across Culture, Edinburgh 2005.
Wang Y., Zhang X.S., Goodfellow R., China Business Culture-Strategies for Success, Singapore 2003.
Williamson O.E., Calculativeness, Trust and Economic Organization, “Journal of Law and Economics” 1993, No. 1, Vol. 36.
World Investment Report, 2005.
Wu J., An Analysis of Business Challenges Faced by Foreign Multinationals Operating the Chinese Market, “International Journal of Business and Management” 2008, No. 3, Vol. 12.
Yang C.F., Familialism and Development: An Examination of the Role of Family in Contemporary China Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan [in:] Social Values and Development: Asian Perspectives, D. Sinha, H. Kao (eds.), New Delhi 1988.
Yeung I.Y. M., Tung R.L., Achieving Business Success in Confucian Societies: The Importance of Guanxi (Connections) , “Organizational Dynamics” 1996, No. 2, Vol. 25.
Yoko Brannen M., Culture In Context: New Theorizing for Today’s Complex Cultural Organizations [in:] Beyond Hofstede. Cultural Frameworks for Global Marketing and Management, Ch. Nakata (ed.), London 2009.
Zhang Y., Zhang Z., Guanxi and Organizational Dynamics in China: A Link between Individual and Organizational Levels, “Journal of Business Ethics” 2006, No. 67.
Zucker L.G., Institutional Theories of Organization, “Annual Review of Sociology” 1987, No. 13.
- There are currently no refbacks.