Exploring Western and Chinese business relationship paradigms

Dorothy A. YEN, Bradley R. BARNES

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Dorothy A. Yen and Bradley R. Barnes 21.1 INTRODUCTION Along with globalization and rapid economic growth in the Far East, international buyer-seller relationships involving Western and Eastern counterparts are increasing in importance in both academic and practitioner discourse. This chapter aims to provide a comparative overview relating to the Western literature on business relationships and the Chinese notion of guanxi, translated as ‘relationships’ and ‘connections’ (Luo 1997a; Seligman 1999). Specifically, this chapter will compare Western theories on buyer-supplier relationships with the Chinese guanxi paradigm by highlighting their differences and similarities. The chapter will help to identify some gaps within the current literature so that future frameworks can be built for further examination on cross-cultural business relationships. In order to provide an in-depth discussion on the similarities and differences between the Western and Chinese literature, this chapter begins by providing a general overview on Western buyer-supplier relationships and the Chinese guanxi theory. Then, the two relationship paradigms will be compared in terms of their origins, concepts and area of focus. A discussion will follow, outlining some of the key constructs that are used in Western and Chinese literature. Finally, a brief conclusion will be presented to summarize our discussion and highlight further research that may be of interest to you and other readers. 21.2 WESTERN RELATIONSHIPS Much of the early research on Western buyer-seller relationships tended to originate from North America and Europe. In Europe, the literature dates back to the early 1970s, when a group of….

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Institutional Approaches to International Business
EditorsGeoffrey WOOD, Mehmet DEMIRBAG
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781849807692
ISBN (Print)9781849807685
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Geoffrey Wood and Mehmet Demirbag 2012.


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