Guanxi and saving face are the two most important business philosophies in China. As I understand it guanxi is the steps you take to maintain a long term relationship. This term is quite hard for most of the western society to understand. To properly perform guanxi you must familiarize yourself with another person to show that you two have similar values. Any example of this would be; expressing to the other that you grew up in the same area, went to the same school, share a friend, have the same beliefs and the list goes on. Once you have established guanxi a benefit might be a trade-off of services, you scratch my back I'll scratch your back. We do similar thing like this back home but they are more in depth with it. Saving face is the process of keeping one image or reputation. This I am not really sure about because I have heard different thing from one professor to the next. Saving face should be like not speaking bad about a particular individual in front of others, you should do It behind closed doors, and you should never do it behind their backs. Now having said that another professor had a lecture on Chinese management styles, ones that worked in China but failed in the United States. The professor explained that the workers would line up and the supervisor pull one person up front and explain to the others that this worker was not performing their job up to standards. They took this style of management to their manufacturing plant in North Carolina and their turn overrate was through the roof. Then they changed the style and the worker that went in front of the others praised, this was a better approach but it still did not work well. They finally drop doing this all together. I believe that this style of management is rare and that most find saving face very important, at least in higher ranking positions.
Guanxi and Saving Face
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