Guanxi practices and trust in management: A procedural justice perspective

Chao C. Chen, Ya Ru Chen, Katherine Xin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

268 Scopus citations


Taking a procedural justice perspective, we examined the effect of guanxi practices in human resources management (i.e., making human resources management decisions on the basis of personal relationships) on employees' trust in management in Chinese organizations. Two studies were conducted. In the first, a survey study, we found a negative effect of guanxi practices on trust in management, which was mediated by perceived procedural justice. In the second, an experimental study, we found that the negative effect of guanxi practices varied as a function of guanxi bases: favoring a nephew or a hometown fellow lowered trust, but favoring a college schoolmate or a close friend did not. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


  • Chinese management
  • Guanxi
  • Procedural justice
  • Trust

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