This article aims to identify critical aspects of Chinese‐Western intercultural guanxi relationships that have largely been ignored as a domain for study in international business and industrial marketing, and to suggest a way forward.
A theme analysis across a range of academic and business journal articles is undertaken to capture major themes involving China‐focused research that relates to international business and industrial marketing, and also to locate critical themes that may have been overlooked.
Intercultural interaction at a personal level is both unavoidable and critical for successfully doing business with China. This study introduces the term guanxi gateway ties to highlight a special class of facilitating relationships that can emerge through interactions between guanxi insiders and guanxi outsiders. Insiders and outsiders can meet and work together in this middle‐cultural territory for the instrumental purpose of obtaining passage through the “gateway”.
Inevitably some journal articles of interest may have been missed in the review due to the chosen scanning boundary. Nevertheless the search method provides a sufficient base to reveal recurrent research themes, and also overlooked themes of potential significance.
Guanxi gateway ties assist companies and individual business actors to find a path through the cumbersome Chinese bureaucracy and hierarchical levels by activating personal relationships.
This study reveals a commonly overlooked perspective of guanxi, that is, as a facilitator of culture‐bridging ties. The conventional business perspective of guanxi can be viewed as evolving from a gated community into an intercultural facilitating mechanism.
Gao, H., Knight, J.G. and Ballantyne, D. (2012), "
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited