Paper info: The role of trust, adaptation and dependence in Chinese business relationships: The case of a multinational pharmaceutical
The role of trust, adaptation and dependence in Chinese business relationships: The case of a multinational pharmaceutical
University of Manchester
Manchester Business School
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.
The reduction in trade barriers and increased opportunities to trade in the world's most populous country has resulted in profound interest in the Chinese market. Although there is potential to exploit this market there are fundamentals of business interactions which need to be understood by foreign operators. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for marketing research which specifically explores relationships in China(Fang, 2001). As many western managers experience difficulties managing business relationships in the Chinese market, the importance of understanding how relationships are developed and managed inChinaincreases (Bjorkman and Kock, 1995, Itthiopassagul and Blois, 1999). The limited research that has been conducted into business-to-business relationships in China, suggests that three relationship constructs, adaptation, dependence, and trust are important and interrelated with guanxi (Leung et al, 1995, Wong, 1998). The difficulties Western managers are having in managing business relationships (Bjorkman and Kock, 1995, Yeung and Tung, 1996, Itthiopassagul and Blois, 1999), needs further investigation (Trimarchi, 2002). This research attempts to understand the role and differences in these relationship concepts in the western and Chinese context. The objective of this research is to explore and describe the role and interplay of trust, adaptation and dependence in Chinese exchange business-to-business relationships. Thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers from a multinational organisation, which is based in China, and fifteen with their nominated local suppliers.