Such self disclosure initiative is not without risk the risk of sharing

Such self disclosure initiative is not without risk

This preview shows page 12 - 14 out of 20 pages.

Such self-disclosure initiative is not without risk, the risk of sharing personal information with strangers or mere acquaintances, with whom a potential guanxi may not be realized. Further, premature self-disclosure is considered inappropriate and research in the West shows that self-disclosure that occurs in a later stage promotes a relationship (Chaikin and Derlega, 1974; Won-Doornink, 1979). However, to the extent self-disclosure is essential for discovering and establishing guanxi bases, the potential guanxi parties have to be willing to take and respond to the initiative of self-disclosure. Failure to reciprocate self-disclosure is a clear sign of not wanting to pursue the relationship. Mutuality therefore implies reciprocity. Given the desire to lay down bases for future guanxi , reciprocity is an essential complement for the initiative of self-disclosure. In any case, the more mutual self-disclosure, the more guanxi bases will be discovered or created. Building guanxi: Enhancing quality Expressive and instrumental interactions. After two persons get familiar and establish some common bases, they may engage in a wide variety of transactional activities to move from an outer to an inner circle. As has been identified by Jacobs (1982) and Yang (1994), personal interaction is the key for building guanxi . Personal interactions can be generally di- vided into two types: expressive and instrumental interactions. Expressive interactions refer to more social-oriented activities such as celebration parties of marriages, births, birthdays, and promotions. Instrumental interactions, on the other hand, refer to pragmatic transactions and exchanges related to work or business. Mutual help in finding employment, job assign- ment, information exchange, work place cooperation, business transactions and so on are examples of such instrumental interactions. While the initial familiarization activities aim at establishing bases, these transactional activities aim at moving closer, which essentially means improving the quality of guanxi in terms of building trust ( xing ), affection ( ganqing ), and obligations ( jiaoqing ). Guanxi building activities and Xing and Qing. Expressive and instrumental interactions are targeted respectively at affection and affective trust on one hand and obligation and cognitive trust on the other. Based on the theory of relative separation of the sub-systems of a society (Luhman, 1982, 1990) and the resource theory of social relations (Foe and Foe, 1984), social expressive activities should have greater impact on affective trust and ganqing , whereas instrumental activities should have greater impact on cognitive trust and jiaoqing . Granted, it is not always easy to tell if a given interactive event is purely social or business becausethemeansarealwaysalignedwithends;instrumentalendscanbeachievedbymeans
Image of page 12
ON THE INTRICACIES OF THE CHINESE GUANXI 317 of social and expressive interactions. The fact that so many negotiations and business deals are conducted at a dinner table seems to testify to the blurring of social/expressive and business/instrumental distinctions. Nevertheless, personal and informal social interactions
Image of page 13
Image of page 14

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 20 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture