Title: Competitive advantage through good Guanxi in the marine industry

Authors: Pock Keong Ong, Yunus Kathawala

Addresses: Business & Management, University of South Australia, Australia. ' School of Business, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, Illinios 61920-3099, USA

Abstract: Guanxi, a Chinese term, which means special relationships or business connections, has been known to be a prerequisite in doing business successfully, especially in China. Today, this term is quite widely known and not only prevalent in China but is a universal phenomenon. This paper reports research on the study of competitive strategies in the marine industry in Singapore, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and how good Guanxi could be an important competitive strategy. Guanxi can aid a distinctive strategic positioning in China|s competitive environment, and thus it can become an important ingredient in business strategy. But it requires a careful strategy and implementation plan of its own that needs to be aligned with the firm|s business strategy; like it must be managed before it becomes a liability. A good understanding of Guanxi is thus crucial for Western firms intending to succeed in business in China.

Keywords: competitive strategies; sustainable competitive advantage; marine industry; globalisation; Guanxi; Singapore; China; United Arab Emirates; UAE; strategic positioning; business strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2009.023598

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2009 Vol.2 No.1, pp.28 - 55

Published online: 02 Mar 2009 *

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