The Chinese word, guanxi, distinguishes a kind of relationship that is familiar, consequential for network predictions of performance — and consistent with, but not yet distinguished in, network theory. Phrased in terms of network theory, guanxi is a tie that has become strong through its history such that trust within the relationship is high and independent of the surrounding network. As such, a guanxi tie can function on its own as a strong bridge between groups, bypassing the need for structural embedding in third parties. We use interviews with a stratified probability sample of Chinese business leaders to look for pattern in the ways they use the term guanxi, and the performance relevance of relations they designate guanxi. The discussion positions guanxi within network theory to improve predictions from the theory, and facilitates unambiguous use of guanxi as a concept in the theory.

Guanxi and structural holes: strong bridges from relational embedding

Burt, Ronald
;
Opper, Sonja
2024

Abstract

The Chinese word, guanxi, distinguishes a kind of relationship that is familiar, consequential for network predictions of performance — and consistent with, but not yet distinguished in, network theory. Phrased in terms of network theory, guanxi is a tie that has become strong through its history such that trust within the relationship is high and independent of the surrounding network. As such, a guanxi tie can function on its own as a strong bridge between groups, bypassing the need for structural embedding in third parties. We use interviews with a stratified probability sample of Chinese business leaders to look for pattern in the ways they use the term guanxi, and the performance relevance of relations they designate guanxi. The discussion positions guanxi within network theory to improve predictions from the theory, and facilitates unambiguous use of guanxi as a concept in the theory.
2024
2024
Burt, Ronald; Opper, Sonja
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4063496
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