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The value of guanxi for small vegetable farmers in China

The value of guanxi for small vegetable farmers in China Purpose – Following a guanxi value – buyer‐seller relationship quality – marketing behaviour scheme, this paper aims to explore how traditional guanxi supports small vegetable farmers in modern markets in China. Design/methodology/approach – Fieldwork was performed in Jiangsu Province, PR China. A stratified random sample of 167 vegetable farmers provided data for empirical testing with partial least squares analysis. Findings – The findings suggested that the value of guanxi networks is an antecedent to buyer‐seller relationship quality and marketing behaviour in China. Guanxi networks improve the quality of buyer‐seller relationships in terms of interpersonal trust and satisfaction. Buyer‐seller relationships influence smallholders' transaction relationships, their participation in modern markets and choice for formal contracts. Guanxi networks not only support Chinese small‐scale vegetable farmers to get access to modern high‐value markets (e.g. supermarkets and international markets), but also encourage informal transactions in the vegetable business. Practical implications – Guanxi networks play a critical role in the modern marketing environment in China. Marketing strategies based on personal relationships should be further enhanced in order to increase participation of smallholders in modern markets. Originality/value – Quantitative evaluation of the effects of the Chinese cultural embedded concept of guanxi in the Chinese agrifood sector fills in an important research gap. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

The value of guanxi for small vegetable farmers in China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/00070700810868933
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Following a guanxi value – buyer‐seller relationship quality – marketing behaviour scheme, this paper aims to explore how traditional guanxi supports small vegetable farmers in modern markets in China. Design/methodology/approach – Fieldwork was performed in Jiangsu Province, PR China. A stratified random sample of 167 vegetable farmers provided data for empirical testing with partial least squares analysis. Findings – The findings suggested that the value of guanxi networks is an antecedent to buyer‐seller relationship quality and marketing behaviour in China. Guanxi networks improve the quality of buyer‐seller relationships in terms of interpersonal trust and satisfaction. Buyer‐seller relationships influence smallholders' transaction relationships, their participation in modern markets and choice for formal contracts. Guanxi networks not only support Chinese small‐scale vegetable farmers to get access to modern high‐value markets (e.g. supermarkets and international markets), but also encourage informal transactions in the vegetable business. Practical implications – Guanxi networks play a critical role in the modern marketing environment in China. Marketing strategies based on personal relationships should be further enhanced in order to increase participation of smallholders in modern markets. Originality/value – Quantitative evaluation of the effects of the Chinese cultural embedded concept of guanxi in the Chinese agrifood sector fills in an important research gap.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 18, 2008

Keywords: Arable farming; Small enterprises; Trust; Customer satisfaction; Contracts; China

References