The IMP Contribution to Understanding Business With China: Paper Presented at the IMP Annual Conference, 2010

Jonathan Wilson, Ross Brennan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A cursory inspection of the output from IMP research will quickly show that issues to do with business in China are a reasonably common topic. Our purposes are to pull together all of the IMP papers concerning business in China in order to evaluate whether or not key themes can be identified in this research, and to evaluate the overall contribution to knowledge made by this work to the field of business-to-business relationships and networks in business with China. A
systematic search of the online IMP database, augmented by a manual search of the proceedings of the IMP Asia conferences, generated a total of 58 relevant papers. Of these, 20 were directly concerned with Chinese cultural values, 27 were more broadly concerned with doing business in China, and 11 were more peripherally concerned with China, perhaps including China as a component of a wider Asian study. The 58 papers were analysed using three methods: conventional literature review, quantitative content analysis, and text mining. The key findings are that IMP research addressing business with China has largely adopted IMP conceptual frameworks, and only secondarily frameworks based on Chinese cultural values. Explicit consideration of Chinese cultural values is found in comparatively few IMP papers addressing business in China. Furthermore, there are few instances where IMP researchers adopt an integrative theoretical approach, using both core IMP concepts and key Chinese cultural business concepts. Although considerable attention has been paid to the concept of guanxi by IMP researchers, other key Chinese cultural business concepts are used comparatively infrequently. Keywords: China, relationships, networks, guanxi
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2010

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