How Does Trust Relate to Guanxi in the Chinese Workplace? An Integrated Dynamic Model

  • Olwen Bedford
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Indigenous Psychology book series (PASIP)


This chapter illuminates the relationship between ‘guanxi’ (particularistic ties between two people) and trust in a workplace context. First, a review of sociological and historical perspectives on guanxi is presented in order to identify broad similarities between guanxi and interpersonal trust. Their component parts are analyzed and compared to the prevailing Western model of workplace trust. Four cultural differences in the meaning of affective bonds are identified: expectations for the boundaries, content, length, and moral norms of the relationship. The implication of these differences is that the Western model of workplace trust may not be suitable for describing Chinese workplace relations. A new integrated model of dynamic guanxi and trust processes that reflects indigenous Chinese values is proposed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olwen Bedford
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore

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