Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 3, pp 517–528 | Cite as

Confucian Ethics Exhibited in the Discourse of Chinese Business and Marketing Communication



With the internationalisation of the Chinese market, Confucian ethics began to draw researchers’ attention. However, little research has been conducted in the specific application of Confucian ethics in marketing communication. This article fills in the research gap by examining how Confucian ethics underpins the discourse of Chinese Expo invitations. Chinese sales managers’ views are incorporated into the analysis as substantiation of findings. Confucian ethics embraces both qing (emotion) and li (reason) and relevant ethical values such as guanxi (connections), qing, and mianzi (face) play an important role for advertising Expos and trade fairs. The study also highlights the complexities of Chinese Expo advertising that is embedded in inviting behaviour. These findings shed light on understanding Confucian ethics in marketing communications in general and have implications for ethical international marketing and advertising practices.

Key words

Confucian ethics mianzi qing li guanxi renqing reciprocity genre Expo invitations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business School, Faculty of Business, Economics and LawThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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