Embedding social networks: How guanxi ties reinforce Chinese employees' retention

Peter Hom, Zhixing Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Going beyond traditional inquiry into social support from local organizational constituents, this project examined how diverse resources from mutually affiliated contacts within and beyond local work environs boost propensity to stay in firms. We deployed Burt's (1992) name generator and network closure index to more fully assess guanxi networks in China, which comprise strong, dense, and multiplex ties. Specifically, we tested how closed guanxi networks promote job loyalty among Chinese nationals, while investigating how high-commitment human resource management (HRM) systems moderate network effects. We collected egonet data from 417 employees in four high tech firms in China. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that guanxi network closure increases propensity to stay, whose effects high-commitment HRM reinforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-202
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • China
  • Guanxi
  • High-commitment human resource system
  • Network constraint
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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