Western managers who delegated the “guanxi” or relationship-building function need to audit their China operation.
Ever since I published the eBook – Guanxi for the Busy American – I’ve been on the receiving end of an endless stream of jaded Old Hand derision and criticism. It usually takes the form of a fast-paced 2-Step. First they declare that they are tired of hearing the overworked and
misused phrase, “guanxi” and they don’t bother with it anymore. The next step is to delegate the entire relationship-building process to a trusted Chinese associate or agent. (A typical response to any mention of the g-word: “I don’t bother with guanxi nonsense since it isn’t really necessary and never helps westerners anyway. Instead I have, over the years, built up a strong relationship with my Chinese partner/lawyer/director/wife/classmate.”)