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Ingratiation, renqing, mianzi and attraction: a guanxi perspective

Kwok Kuen Tsang, Ting Kin Ng, Ying Wang


The investigation of ingratiation has been influenced by the Western perspective that views ingratiation as attraction-seeking behavior. Nevertheless, it has been questioned to what extent this perspective is applicable to Chinese contexts. Scholars recently suggest understanding ingratiation in Chinese contexts from a guanxi perspective that regards ingratiation as a guanxi management strategy. However, there is a lack of studies that test the predictive power of this perspective to Chinese ingratiation. Thus, the aim of this study is to test the guanxi perspective in explaining ingratiation in Chinese societies. Through surveying 203 undergraduate students who studied in Beijing, this study found that (1) the higher the sense of renqing, the more frequent the use of ingratiation tactics of other enhancement, self-presentation, and favor rendering; (2) the higher the sense of mianzi, the more frequent the use of the ingratiation tactics of other enhancement, conformity, and self-presentation; (3) the higher the sense of attraction, the less frequent the use of the conformity tactic; (4) the effects of the senses of mianzi and attraction on ingratiation were mediated by the sense of renqing. In general the findings suggested that the guanxi perspective is significant to explain Chinese ingratiation as a guanxi management strategy.


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