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East meets West : toward a theoretical model linking guanxi and relationship marketing

Shaalan, Ahmed; Reast, Jon; Johnson, Debra; Tourky, Marwa E.


Ahmed Shaalan

Jon Reast

Debra Johnson

Marwa E. Tourky


This conceptual study critically examines the separate concepts of guanxi and relationship marketing, explores the differences between the two approaches, and proposes innovative linkages between them. Chinese guanxi develops relationships at the inter-personal level, whereas relationship marketing develops relationships at the inter-organizational level. Both concepts are well known, but a dearth of critical comparison remains in academic literature, even though evidence suggests that managers can use the linkages between the approaches to improve customer recruitment and retention. Through a critical review and synthesis of prior research on guanxi and relationship marketing, this study proposes a novel theoretical model that links guanxi and relationship marketing and develops theoretical and managerial implications of such linkages. As such, this study offers new and valuable insights and benefits for Asian firms, which employ only guanxi-type relationships.


Shaalan, A., Reast, J., Johnson, D., & Tourky, M. E. (2013). East meets West : toward a theoretical model linking guanxi and relationship marketing. Journal of business research, 66(12), 2515-2521.

Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2013
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2013
Publication Date 2013-12
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Journal of business research
Print ISSN 0148-2963
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Issue 12
Pages 2515-2521
Keywords REF 2014 submission; Relationship marketing; Guanxi, Relationship investment; Retention; Theoretical model
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement © 2013, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Journal of business research, 2013, v.66.


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