The role of Guanxi in supply management practices

Peter K.C. Lee, Paul K. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guanxi has been identified as having an important influence on business behavior. This paper investigates the influence of guanxi on three elements of supply chain management: strategic purchasing, outsourcing, and supplier development. Survey data was collected from 175 companies in the electronics sector of Hong Kong. The results indicate that guanxi has a significant influence on these three supply management constructs. The managerial implications are examined from a relationship perspective and in terms of transaction cost economic theory. The failure to appropriately assess the impact of guanxi-based supply management practices can have a detrimental effect on organizations attempting to enter the Chinese market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-467
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2006
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Guanxi
  • Supply Management
  • Strategic Purchasing
  • Outsourcing
  • Supplier Development


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