The many faces of trust and guanxi behavior : Evidence from marketing channels in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-509
Journal / PublicationIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


This study examines how a trusting relationship influences firm boundary agents' guanxi behavior which involves saving face (wei hu mianzi), and affect investment (ganqing tou zi). At the individual level, we decompose trust into its competence and goodwill forms and examine their relative and interactive effects on guanxi behavior. A study conducted among 354 Chinese purchasing managers reveals that both competence trust and goodwill trust promote guanxi behavior, and these two types of character trust are substitutive for each other in terms of motivating the use of guanxi. At the firm level, calculative trust directly affects guanxi behavior and also negatively moderates the effect of competence trust on guanxi behavior. These results imply that calculative trust may substitute for competence trust in facilitating economic transactions and thereby reduce the use of guanxi in business interactions. © 2010.

Research Area(s)

  • Calculative trust, Competence trust, Goodwill trust, Guanxi behavior