Social exchange in China: The double-edged sword of guanxi

Danielle E. Warren, Thomas W. Dunfee, Naihe Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


We present two studies that examine the effects of guanxi on multiple social groups from the perspective of Chinese business people. Study 1 (N = 203) tests the difference in perceived effects of six guanxi contextualizations. Study 2 (N = 195) examines the duality of guanxi as either helpful or harmful to social groups, depending on the contextualization. Findings suggest guanxi may result in positive as well as negative outcomes for focal actors and the aggregate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-372
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


  • Bribery
  • China
  • Favors
  • Guanxi
  • Social capital
  • Social exchange


Dive into the research topics of 'Social exchange in China: The double-edged sword of guanxi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this