Toward A Yin-Yang Perspective of Relational (Guanxi) Gatekeeping in China

Seminar

Date: Thursday 27 July, 2017, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: RHMZ03, Mezzanine Floor, Rutherford House, Victoria University

China is an extremely complex and ‘insider-controlled’ market for foreign businesses. This study investigates how Western companies engage with local market insiders through relational gatekeepers.

Hongzhi Gao
Dr Hongzhi Gao

In-depth interviews were conducted with 40 Chinese and Western business managers based in China,Australia and New Zealand. Guided by the Yin-Yang balancing logic, we develop keyconstructs in gatekeeping. These are: (1) insider personal (guanxi) power andoutsider organizational power that coexist as gatekeeping antecedents; (2)gatekeeper resources of status (Mianzi) and favours (Renqing) and gatekeepercapabilities of balancing favourable with unfavourable network momentums (YingShi vs. Zao Shi).

The Yin-Yang balancing logic adds an important new dimension to the understandings of business relationshipsin international business. Both the holistic nature of the insider-outsiderbusiness relationship and the balancing function of relational gatekeepers areclearly established in our study. Our study finally offers managerialimplications for an international company to engage a relational gatekeeperstrategy to break into guanxi-controlled local business networks and manage thelevels of embeddedness in the local networked market.

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About the speaker

Dr Hongzhi Gao is Senior Lecturer in the School of Market and International Business at Victoria University and a Senior Fellow at the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre. Before coming to New Zealand, Dr Gao was chief analyst of foreign loans and risk management for Jilin Provincial Government in China. He was responsible for a number of international projects funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and governments of different countries. Dr Gao received a New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award in 2005 and the Early Career Researcher award from the Marketing Department of Otago University in 2007. He was the recipient of the Emerging Researcher Grant from the Asia New Zealand Foundation in 2008.

Dr Gao’s publications appear in a number of highly-regarded business journals including Long Range Planning, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, European Management Journal. His current interests regarding China include guanxi gatekeeping in Chinese-Western business relationships, corporate response strategies in food safety crises in China, branding and value co-creation in social media in China.

Register now

If you are interested in attending this seminar, please email Lai Ching at laiching.tan@vuw.ac.nz or call 04 463 9549 to register.

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About Hongzhi Gao

Dr Gao received his MCom in Marketing with distinction in 2004 and PhD in Marketing in 2009 from Otago University. He was a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Marketing Department of Otago University 2008-2009.

Before coming to New Zealand, Dr Gao was as a chief analyst of foreign loans and risk management for Jilin Provincial Government in China. He was responsible for a number of international projects funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and governments of different countries. Dr Gao received a New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award in 2005 and the Early Career Researcher award from the Marketing Department of Otago University in 2007. He was the recipient of the Emerging Researcher Grant from the Asia New Zealand Foundation in 2008, and, together with Associate Professor John Knight, an Otago University Out-Of-Season Research Grant in 2008. The most recent grant Dr Gao received was the VUW Faculty of Commerce and Administration (FCA) Research Grant in November 2009.

Dr Gao’s current research interests include intercultural relationship management, international crisis management, product-country-image, SME internationalisation, and branding. His teaching covers a range of marketing and international business subjects, including pricing and channel management (200-level), innovation and new product development (300-level), and international and export marketing (300-level), SME Internationalisation and Export Management (200-level), Applied International Business Research Project (IBUS311), Cross-Cultural Management (IBUS404) and Advanced International Business (400-level). Dr Gao’s publications appear in journals such as Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Long Range Planning, Journal of Marketing Management, Appetite, British Food Journal, and Journal of Business Communication.

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