Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Politics of Affective Relations: East Asia and Beyond




(First Paragraph) There is a general perception that people in the East rely more on guanxi (relations, or informal social networks) to govern economic transactions and manage business activities than people in the West. A large quantity of literature on the difference has been produced. One of the dominant views argues that the difference is due to culture, which is treated as an exogenous variable.1 These studies on culture as the determinant of different management and governance style have helped us gain insight on how businesses are conducted in different regions of the world and on how cultures differ through-out the world. However, attributing the differences in management style and in the mode of business governance primarily to culture does not add to our knowledge on why certain culture prevails in a particular country or region in the first place to shape the management style and the mode of governance, how management styles evolve, and how different management styles and modes of governance interface.


© 2004 Rowman & Littlefield

Originally published by Rowman & Littlefield on pages 217-230 of The Politics of Affective Relations: East Asia and Beyond, by Author Shaomin Li, and edited by Daniel A. Bell and Hahm Chiahark, 2004, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.

All Rights Reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute, or reprint.


0000-0002-7296-084X (Li)

Original Publication Citation

Li, S. (2004). From relations to rules: A theoretical explanation and empirical evidence. In D. A. Bell & H. Chiahark (Eds.), The Politics of Affective Relations: East Asia and Beyond (pp. 217-230). Rowman & Littlefield.