Marketing has always been recognised as an economic activity involving the exchange of goods and services. Only in recent years have socio‐cultural influences been identified as determinants of marketing behaviour, revealing marketing as a cultural as well as economic phenomenon. Nevertheless, the influence on business activity of cultural differences is obvious but not simple to analyse, describe or categorise. Therefore, the cultural aspect of marketing remains a weak and subsidiary element in the theoretical realm of hospitality management. It has been suggested that cultural differences are an important influence on the successful outcomes of business. This exploratory study examines the new approach to relationship marketing (RM) in the context of eastern culture, to uncover the context and construction of relationships in Chinese society. Traditional Chinese culture stresses the importance of human interaction. The essence of this interaction is kuan‐hsi (personal relationships) which goes far beyond the Western concept of networking as kuan‐hsi is entrenched into every aspect of Chinese society, influencing social, political and commercial relations. The nature of RM theory based on a cultural difference oriented perspective is examined, and the present practice of RM and its specific nature within a Chinese cultural context of hotel management in Taiwan evaluated.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2000
Keywords: Hotels; China; Culture; Relationship marketing
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