Title: Can new corruption legislation drive guanxi out of business? - Western and Chinese multinational managers' perceptions

Authors: Lyubov Berweger; Dieu Hack-Polay; Mahfuzur Rahman

Addresses: EurAsia Center AG, Zurich, Switzerland ' Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, UK ' Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, UK

Abstract: The study examined executives' attitude to and perception of guanxi and the ethical ramifications of guanxi practices in relation to Western values and ethics. The research involved semi-structured interviews with 12 high level Western and Chinese multinational executives. A contribution of the paper is to highlight that, though it challenges some deeply rooted Western stances on ethical values, guanxi remains a necessary passport to access Chinese business. The executives believe that the tenacity of guanxi is associated with the ongoing strength of Chinese culture and economy. Thus, while some Western executives may feel uneasy about guanxi in modern business, their Chinese counterparts do not perceive guanxi as contravening ethics. The managerial implications for organisations centre on the need to assess guanxi as social capital. The research contributes to fill empirical gaps related to using guanxi as social capital to enhance international business.

Keywords: guanxi; HRM; business negotiation; ethics; Chinese market; social capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2021.118584

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2021 Vol.15 No.4, pp.376 - 396

Accepted: 27 Mar 2020
Published online: 08 Oct 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article