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The reduction in trade barriers and increased opportunities to trade in the world's most populous country has resulted in profound interest in the Chinese market. Although there is potential to exploit this market there are fundamentals of business interactions which need to be understood by foreign operators. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for marketing research which specifically explores relationships in China (Fang, 2001). As many western managers experience difficulties managing business relationships in the Chinese market, the importance of understanding how relationships are developed and managed in China increases (Bjorkman and Kock, 1995; Itthiopassagul and Blois, 1999).
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