Author: sleepye

How does "guanxi" work for American life? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2005-5-26 09:06:50 |Display all floors

Reply: sleepye

I feel human being is the same - whenever and wherever a shortcut could be found, the human nature of lazy and greedy would appear. But when a society has some laws and rules to regulate human behavior, it would make big difference from the society has no or little of such.

Myself and many others found jobs through guanxi in America and other western countries. So far all of my jobs were found through my guanxis and I feel nothing wrong about it.

I think the big difference between China and America is, guanxi is still a major and very effective way to make money in China but in America it is not major or effective way in most cases. You can still find some businesses were granted by guanxi in America but it is not main stream of businesses in this country. In China, it is.

It makes big difference that in China gaunxi determine your future, so instead of working on creating more new technologies or business opportunities, people in China keen to work on more and better guanxis. Meanwhile in developed western countries, people work on creating new technologies and new business opportunities.

I feel China is moving onto a better and cleaner society but still long way to go.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-5-26 09:10:17 |Display all floors

i have to slightly disagree with linking favoritism and networking..

i like to think they are two seperate events...though i can see how you'd refer to them as being the same.

favoritism is post-employment and usualy  happens after you get into the workplace...

networking is pre-employment....just connetions....knowing people.  I don't see how networking/gaunxi can be considered negatively.  people will always help the people they know beofre helping a stranger...i don't see anything wrong with that at all.  

does guanxi mean something more than 'connections/networking'?

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-5-26 10:33:56 |Display all floors

who U know is more improtant than what U know

Network, or guanxi, is thought to be part of people's life, ability and qualification as well. It's not a question of fair or not. There're no clean or fair games in the world. So accept what you are, and where you come from.
Bill Gates felt free to drop out Yale, because he could afford the loss if he failed. He got connections inside IBM, because he was able to write computer operation programs when nobody else could. So IBM hired him , he came up with ideas, and succeeded.
If you can do something better than anyone else, you will make a fortune without too much Guanxi ----ideas, i mean. But if you have none ideas or connection, count on it, you will have to fight, not against the society, but against youself.
Class difference dose exit, as far as I can see.
The more money you have, the better chance you will get to know some big guys.
Sometimes family background really counts, but not always, even in China.
Sleepye, I think you sometimes imagine things. I hope you don't have this misunderstanding that things are better in China that in the States.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-5-26 10:57:10 |Display all floors

Well said, Money Talks , Bullshit Walks :)))

Both of you, canchin and luf have made a good explanation for this ambiguous word"guanxi".

hi,  Mike, "guanxi" in its original meaning, must be equal to "networking". But with the development of the social life, this neuter has been deviated from its original meaning. In most case, it does carry the negative connonations like"favorism". While when i raised the question at the very beginning, I tried to interpret or identify it as a neuter.

Funny enough , there are quite a lot of Chinese words has been deviated from its original implication. For instance, "xiaojie" which is a genneral address to a young lady is now to be used to refer to some secret escort women. "tongzhi" aka comrade in its original meaning, now it is used to refer to "homosexuality" ...

Anyways, I quite agree with luf that China is on the way to shake off the "guaixi" shadow. Take sleepye and any other of my friends in Guangzhou, all of us found our jobs in the talent market, no any "guanxi" at all. " Guanxi" still works well for some state run enterprises probably, but it certainly finds no place in modern enterprises, especially in big cities.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-5-26 11:06:49 |Display all floors

Reply: who U know is more improtant than what U know

Class difference dose exit, as far as I can see.
The more money you have, the better chance you will get to know some big guys.
Sometimes family background really counts, but not always, even in China.
Sleepye, I think you sometimes imagine things. I hope you don't have this misunderstanding that things are better in China that in the States.
=======================
To be honest, I have never had the intention to compare the States wtih China on this point, ie. whether people make success depending on "guanxi". I do think SOME things are better in China than in the States, and vice versa. It is quite reasonable.

Days ago I got some information on the  diversification of social classes in the States, and the above two posts from NYTIMES made me think about the Americans' lives. I wonder whether "guanxi" is also common for Americans. According to all of your contributions, I have learned something. Just like canchin and luf said, I have found there are much more similarites for human beings, sometimes national boudaries really mean nothing.

Money talks, bullshit walks. The world is now stepping up a stage, all the social issues seem to be identified with $.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-5-26 22:02:39 |Display all floors

"guanxi" works not just for American life, but all of us.

Business is people. Better people do good networking. Best businesses happen with better people. That's why we need "guanxi", or say "network", right?

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Post time 2005-5-26 22:20:18 |Display all floors

my experience with american guanxi

i am currently looking for a new job in seattle and will end my current job here in washington, dc.  so in terms of finding a job, i think i can speak from immediate experience.

i got my current job by responding to an ad in the newspaper.  at that time, i didn't know too many people and didn't have as many professional contacts.  now, however, i contact friends to ask them about certain job references to get opinions or ask if they know anyone who might be able to refer me.  i do this whenever i can, because it will increase my chances of getting an interview.

however, i still think the most important factor in me actually getting the job is my work experience, my education background, training, skills, and the impression i make during the interview.  networking will only get my foot in the door, but i don't expect someone to hire me just because i am a "friend of a friend."

also, when i came back from my last trip to thailand, i brought a wooden vase (about $10 value)  for my supervisor because i appreciated he had to take on extra work while i was gone.  the next day, he gave me a thank-you card from his wife.  i think he did this partly to show fairness and that he was not receiving gifts just because he is my supervisor.

these are my experiences with american guanxi.

ts

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