Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Qi, X. (2012). A case study of globalized knowledge flows: Guanxi in social science and management theory. International Sociology, 27 (6), 707-723.


This article examines globalized knowledge flows through a case study of the treatment of theChinese concept of guanxi in social and management science journals. Three forms of concept–theory relations are postulated which effectively correspond with different patterns of knowledgeflow. The treatment of this concept in 214 refereed journal articles published from 1999 to2009 indicates that the concept guanxi, which possesses capacity for theoretical development, ispredominantly treated merely as an object of study rather than the basis of theoretical elaboration.A continuing dominant pattern of knowledge flows from the metropole to the periphery is thusindicated. The mechanisms of continuing asymmetrical knowledge flow are discussed, includinglanguage used, site of publication, channel of transmission and method as factors generating thisoutcome.