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Liu CH 2008, 'Negotiation across China: how to build and manage guanxi during the negotiation process', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright CH Liu 2008


This thesis examines the practical issue of how to build and manage guanxi during the negotiation process. China has become a major topic of conversation in academic, business and negotiation literature in recent times, as has the concept of guanxi behaviour. However, we know little about how guanxi in non-Eastern cultures, such as Australians, feel about this idea. For this reason, three research questions were developed in the Literature Review. The research methodology is qualitative, based on the interpretivism paradigm using a phenomenology research design. In-depth interviews were conducted with 24 Australian and Chinese participants. The findings were also triangulated using the focus group interviews.

The research data analysis is based on the Stevick-Colaizzi-Jeen method by Moustakas (1994). The results show that guanxi itself is a quality built on relationships, favours, dependence, competency, experience and adaptation rather than inter-organisation relationships. Furthermore, the study of guanxi needs to be done by examining both internal factors (for example, cooperate) and external factors (for example, macro-environment) which influence the negotiation of an enterprise. Finally, guanxi strategies aim to improve: (1) guanxi quality; (2) negotiation performance; (3) competitive position; and (4) competitive advantage for win-win negotiation purposes.

Based on the findings, a new conceptual framework is proposed in an attempt to develop theories of guanxi perception, the influence of guanxi in business negotiation, and guanxi strategies.