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The dynamic processes of quanxi development in Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship

Given the increasing complexity of innovation and entrepreneurship, Chinese innovators and entrepreneurs often develop guanxi in order to establish collaborations. In this pattern of open innovation, mutual resources based on guanxi are able to benefit the guanxi actors. Therefore, how innovators and entrepreneurs develop guanxi may have an impact on the outcome of their innovation and entrepreneurship. Existing guanxi development models taking de-relational substantial ism treat guanxi development processes as comprised of individual guanxi constructs, which are substantial elements acting by their own powers. In consequence, the focus of existing studies is placed on investigating the guanxi constructs, and the processes of guanxi development are intended to reduce to these isolated guanxi constructs. However, Chinese guanxi is an intricate social phenomenon, and people develop guanxi within certain contexts. Thus, no guanxi construct can be separated from its situated contexts and act independently. In practice, guanxi constructs relate to each other dynamically, so their relational nature is more significant in developing guanxi. This research criticises the existing studies on guanxi development as static and lacking the support of empirical research. A combined philosophical approach of structuralism and relationism has been taken to explore the processes and dynamics of guanxi development among Chinese innovators and entrepreneurs. This approach addresses the relational nature of guanxi constructs, which then reflects the intricacy of the Chinese guanxi phenomenon and the dynamic nature of guanxi development. Therefore, this relational and structuralist approach is more relevant for understanding the guanxi development processes. Drawing on relational sociology and structuration theory, a theoretical framework is constructed to show the pattern of structural interactions involved throughout the entire process of guanxi development. With empirical evidence collected from fieldwork, it is demonstrated that the structural interactions between guanxi actors and their situated relational contexts constitute the dynamic processes of guanxi development. This research challenges existing models, especially their philosophical perspective of de-relational substantial ism . By extending the focus of study to include the relational nature of guanxi constructs, this research fills the gaps in the literature on the dynamics of guanxi development, and proposes a theoretical framework of dynamic guanxi development processes with empirical support.
Date January 2015
CreatorsWang, Lei
PublisherUniversity of Bristol
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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