Journal article

Leader-follower guanxi: an invisible hand of cronyism in Chinese management

Jiarui Zhang, Carol Gill

Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources | Wiley | Published : 2019


Guanxi social networks are part of the fabric of Chinese society and central to every aspect of Chinese life including work. The relationship between guanxi and cronyism has been researched and discussed by scholars in supervisor–subordinate guanxi (SSG) studies. However, SSG cannot explain the full extent of cronyism in Chinese management, which usually encompasses a network of actors including a supervisor, a subordinate, a third party (called ‘leader’) who has a higher ranking than a subordinate, and possibly an intermediary between a leader and a supervisor in the same organization. Consequently, this paper develops a new construct leader–follower guanxi (LFG) to explain cronyism in Chin..

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University of Melbourne Researchers