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Guanxi is the foundation of business success in Chinese and other Eastern cultures, but little is known about the extent to which guanxi influences brand outcomes in channel relationships. The purpose of this study is to propose a novel theoretical framework of interpersonal and interorganizational guanxi relationships in a sales channel context and how these relationships influence brand outcomes.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conceptualize, develop and validate new scales measuring interpersonal and interorganizational guanxi and test the proposed model with a field study to validate the effects of guanxi on brand loyalty. The causal relationships between interpersonal guanxi and brand attitudes and affect are confirmed in a separate field experiment.FindingsFindings show that interpersonal guanxi is antecedent to interorganizational guanxi, and these two constructs have significant and differential direct and indirect effects on brand attitudes, brand affect and brand loyalty.Originality/valueNew multidimensional scales measuring both interpersonal and interorganizational guanxi were developed. Both interpersonal and interorganizational guanxi are conceptualized as second-order reflective constructs measured by the reflective first-order guanxi elements of personal and firm trust, personal and firm long-term orientation, xinyong (integrity), reciprocity, interaction and face.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 27, 2021
Keywords: Marketing channels; Interpersonal guanxi; Interorganizational guanxi; Regulatory focus; Brand loyalty; Personal selling
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