Business communication in interactions between mainland Chinese and western firms through Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries

Trimarchi, M. and Liesch, P. W. (2006) Business communication in interactions between mainland Chinese and western firms through Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries. European Journal of Marketing, 40 11-12: 1210-1235. doi:10.1108/03090560610702786

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Author Trimarchi, M.
Liesch, P. W.
Title Business communication in interactions between mainland Chinese and western firms through Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries
Journal name European Journal of Marketing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-0566
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/03090560610702786
Volume 40
Issue 11-12
Start page 1210
End page 1235
Total pages 26
Editor A. Gilmore
D. Carson
Place of publication Bradford, U.K.
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
350212 International Business
720403 Management
1503 Business and Management
Abstract Purpose-The paper aims to analyse the nature of business communication and its influence on relationships development between Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries sourcing from Mainland Chinese sellers involved in manufacturing for sale to Western buyer firms. Design/methodology/approach-A case study-driven methodology with purposeful sampling is applied to yield maximum variation in the sampling to elicit underlying tendencies and generative mechanisms that exist within and across the multiple cases of relationships. Findings-The paper finds that Mainland Chinese sellers and Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries tend not to have the close ties that might be expected. Mainland Chinese sellers constrained their use of social information, requiring Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries to use commercial information transfers to evaluate the trustworthiness of their Mainland Chinese partners. An ingroup/outgroup bias exacerbates the modesty bias of the Mainland Chinese and also hinders learning through the transfer of technical information within these Chinese interactions. On the other hand, Western buyers tend not to prefer social information interactions with their Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries, requiring these intermediaries to emphasise commercial information interactions to evaluate the trustworthiness of their Western buyers. Research limitations/implications-This research uses a restricted sample of case study respondents. Representative sampling across multiple contexts will assist in testing the generality of the findings. Practical implications-For the West to source increasingly attractive manufactures from Mainland China, Hong Kong intermediaries will remain fundamentally important even though this creates further interactions. The aggregate of these multiple exchange arrangements is less problematic than would be the case if Western business were to deal directly with the Mainland Chinese. Originality/value-This article sheds light on the nature of business communication interactions in a group of relationships between Hong Kong Chinese intermediaries and Mainland sellers, and buyers from the West. Implications for relationships development among the Chinese and Western actors are identified with propositions framed to guide further investigation.
Keyword Business
Communication processes
Buyer-seller relationships
Hong Kong
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2007 Higher Education Research Data Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 06:33:00 EST