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Chengxi Xu

DBA Graduate - 2008

Thesis title

Influence of Guanxi Orientation and Relationship Marketing Orientation on the Control Behaviors in Marketing Channels: An Empirical Research


Olivier Trendel
This dissertation defines a guanxi orientation (GXO) as face preserving, affecting, and reciprocal favoring; this definition therefore regards GXO as an individual skill that a person can use to build a relationship with target others. By arguing that there are no obvious difference between GXO and individual relationships, this thesis takes a different perspective than extant literature pertaining to guanxi, which provides insights into the topic but also neglects several aspects of guanxi and create some confusion with regard to its definition, principles, classification, nature, and roles. This thesis also defines a construct of personal relationship quality (PRQ) to test and evaluate the strength of individual relationships. In turn, it explore whether there are connections between Chinese GXO and relationship marketing orientations (RMO) in a marketing channel, to determine how a RMO might influence marketing channel member behaviors and mitigate their opportunism. Marketing channel mechanisms might help mitigate such opportunistic behaviors by members. The results reveal that (1) GXO has no direct influence on RMO but instead works by building greater PRQ among boundary spanners who represent marketing channel members, though it does not provide a significant contribution; (2) PRQ mediates between GXO and RMO, and GXO’s weak influence on RMO only occurs through PRQ; (3) RMO has a significant impact on mitigating opportunistic behaviors among marketing channel members; and (4) marketing control mechanisms such as dependence, contracting, and norms contribute to inhibit opportunistic behaviors by marketing channel members, but this contribution disappears when controlling for RMO.