No book on doing business in China is complete without a section on guanxi, the relationships with others that get things done. However, despite a long history of research, there are still debates in the field. Is it a cultural artifact or a response to lack of institutions? Is it viewed favorably or unfavorably? Is there a difference between guanxi: the relationship, or guanxi the practice? This paper gives the literature as it exists to date on the concept, and attempts to answer the above questions, with a survey administered to the Chinese workers in an American Multinational in China. It finds that while relationships continue to be of great importance in China, the manipulation of those relationships for self-benefit, particularly when seeking employment, is being viewed less favorably workers of a certain age group or employment experience.
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