The influence of guanxi on physical distribution service quality availability in e-commerce sourcing fashion garments from China

Towers, Neil and Xu, Kiki (2016) The influence of guanxi on physical distribution service quality availability in e-commerce sourcing fashion garments from China. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 28. pp. 126-136. ISSN 0969-6989

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Abstract

The purpose was to investigate the influence of guanxi (personal relationships) on availability within physical distribution service quality (PDSQ) for sourcing high street fashion garments from China via e-commerce. The research reviewed articles on guanxi and although it is still widely considered important its contribution and nature appears to be changing as Chinese business practises and sourcing policy have matured over time. Qualitative research was used in two Chinese based case study companies with detailed access through semi structured face-to-face and telephone interviews. The findings suggest that personal relationships through guanxi can facilitate e-commerce availability of fashion product, particularly where there is limited lead time in the sourcing activity, although its form and application in each case study company and their respective supply network was not as widespread as had been previously reported. The form of guanxi was observed as personal relationships but some aspects of co-operative relationships were also found. Since the paper is based on a phenomenological ontology the findings are largely exploratory. Future research should focus on understanding physical distribution service quality and personal relationships in other sectors. Guanxi by definition is an unstructured array of socially-based relationships without a simplistic rationale or logic. By understanding how guanxi is applied in a supply chain management context will aid those practitioners involved in an e-commerce Chinese business practise.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guanxi; Physical distribution service quality; E-commerce; Chinese garment sourcing; Case study methodology
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Marketing and Retail
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Neil Towers
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2015 11:37
Last Modified: 02 May 2017 09:25
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2767

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