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With whom should you have dinner? A multidimensional framework for understanding political ties in China

Jie Yang, Jieqiong Ma, Yong Zhang and JungHwa Hong

Business Horizons, 2018, vol. 61, issue 6, 891-898

Abstract: Political ties are often considered a critical resource for firms to succeed in China. The way companies build political ties receives noticeably less attention. Academic research traditionally uses the prior government work experience of firms’ top management, in addition to executive membership in the National People’s Congress (NPC) and/or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as surrogates to quantify political ties. However, such measurements only expose the tip of the iceberg and do not sufficiently answer questions about how these connections are organized and controlled. Drawing insights from institutional theory, in this article we introduce a multidimensional framework to shed light on the study of political ties in China. Specifically, by using the framework of regulative, normative, and cognitive institutional pillars, we identify government work experience, political membership, family connections, shared social identity, and instrumental exchange as effective ways of building political ties in China. We also discuss theoretical and managerial implications, as well as limitations to our research.

Keywords: Business in China; Political ties; Institutional theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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