Western managers in China joint ventures should take advantage of their positions, as representatives of a prestigious entity, to store up capital with local decision makers through quanxi, or relationships. These are a potent instrument in protecting one’s interests. In fact, they are more powerful than written documents, which are seen as a necessary ritual when dealing with Westerners.
There is a fundamental difference in the way Western and Asian firms approach business. Basically, for Western companies the business comes first and then the relationship follows. With Asian firms the relationship is developed first and the business flows from the relationship. Thus, a basic strategy for Asian organizations is the development of a web of relationships, or guanxi, that will eventually pay off with business opportunities. The development of long-term relationships requires time and
Winner takes all. One key Western marketing dimension is the glory of victory in competition. Such an adherence to victory often means that, akin to Atilla’s hordes of yesteryear, there is no mercy for the vanquished. Not everywhere are such approaches supported, desired or accepted. Often, the goal becomes for the victor to mend fences, reinvigorate a feeling of togetherness and provide a cause for standing together. In many societies it is expected that one not take advantage of what could be