Comparing Chinese and Arab Cultural Constructs: Guanxi and Wasta

Roudaina Houjeir, Amna Khan, David Brennan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Abstract

We start from the premise that cultural considerations are important both to understand inter-firm
relationships and networks (from the scientific perspective), and to manage relationships and
networks (from the managerial perspective). The focus is on cultural constructs from cultures other
than the Global West, with a specific focus on guanxi from Chinese culture and wasta from Arab
culture. Using qualitative data gathered in China and the UAE, we explore the differences and
similarities between guanxi and wasta in the context of business-to-business relationships. Clearly,
both constructs are important in relationship management within their relevant cultural contexts.
Many similarities are observed, for example in connection with the importance of family connections
as an antecedent and trust as a consequence of guanxi and wasta. Both constructs are associated with
‘face’ and ‘face saving’. Nevertheless, significant nuanced differences are identified between the two
cultural constructs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2017
EventINDUSTRIAL MARKETING AND PURCHASING GROUP IN ASIA 2017 - DoubleTree by HIlton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 5 Sept 20178 Sept 2017
http://www.imp2017.com/conference-program.html

Conference

ConferenceINDUSTRIAL MARKETING AND PURCHASING GROUP IN ASIA 2017
Abbreviated titleIMP IN ASIA 2017
Country/TerritoryMalaysia
CityKuala Lumpur
Period5/09/178/09/17
Internet address

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