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Is guanxi always good for employee self-development in China? Examining non-linear and moderated relationships

journal contribution
posted on 2017-02-01, 00:00 authored by Shuang Ren, Doren Chadee
The nature of work and careers in China are constantly evolving as a result of market-oriented economic transition in the country. Increasingly, employees are required to be proactive and self-starting in skill and competency improvement for employability. Employee self-development (ESD) involves considerations embedded in a wide range of relationships including both work and non-work domains. This research draws from social exchange theory and information processing theory to investigate how guanxi, a relational phenomenon unique to traditional Chinese culture, influences ESD. Drawing from the experience of a sample (n = 404) of employees in China, an inverted U-shaped relationship between guanxi and ESD is found, suggesting that initial positive influences of guanxi on ESD diminish after reaching an inflexion point. We also found that these influences are stronger for gender congruent employee-supervisor dyads. The theoretical and managerial implications that too much guanxi is not necessarily good for ESD, particularly in the presence of gender congruence, are also discussed.

History

Journal

Journal of vocational behavior

Volume

98

Pagination

108 - 117

Publisher

Academic Press

Location

Maryland Heights, Mo.

ISSN

0001-8791

eISSN

1095-9084

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier