Personal Networking in Russia and China: Blat and Guanxi


Personal Networking in Russia and China: Blat and Guanxi, by Snejina Michailova, Verner Worm. European Management Journal, Volume 21, Issue 4, August 2003, Pages 509–519


Blat and guanxi are terms describing personal networks in Russia and China respectively. They have existed and been practiced for centuries and remain highly relevant today. By employing a social network perspective, we analyse the architecture of blat and guanxi and some of the similarities between them. We also argue that personal networks in Russia and China are products of specific cultural heritages and as such have their own particular configurations and characteristics. Following a dynamic perspective, we examine how blat and guanxi have evolved over time: while they were similar in a number of dimensions during the command economy period, there are interesting signs of increasing differentiation in the post-command decade. The paper outlines important insights for Western managers and expatriates in terms of surviving in and effectively using blat and guanxi.


  • Russia;
  • China;
  • Personal networking;
  • Blat;
  • Guanxi;
  • Differences and Similarities between Blat and Guanxi;
  • Command economy;
  • Market economy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top