Guanxi in Academia: A Study of Guanxi’s Influence between Undergraduates and their Professors

Open Access
Yu, Sean Francis
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Mark Shriver, Thesis Supervisor
  • Timothy Michael Ryan, Honors Advisor
  • Stephen Joel Beckerman, Faculty Reader
  • guanxi
  • China
  • social connections
  • networking
  • undergraduates
This research paper outlines guanxi in several respects: its definition, implementation, guanxi bases, and its influences in academia. This paper will primarily focus on exchange and reciprocity guanxi’s influence among undergraduate students and their professors. Two surveys were carried out to measure guanxi’s statistical significance among undergraduate business students. Interviews were conducted at the Pennsylvania State University. One survey was carried out in Beijing Foreign Studies University and the other at the Pennsylvania State University main campus. The BFSU results were used as the control group to measure the differences from international Chinese PSU students. The results suggest both perceived differences and similarities between the two sample groups regarding guanxi’s influence.