Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Summer 2006

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies (MLS)


Political Science


Arthur Morin


Globalization is the name of the game and, for better or worse, the rules of engagement have been established by an international system that encompasses Western-based principles and practices (Marsh & Dreyer, 2003). China's economic reform program is aimed at sustaining "rapid economic growth in order to compete in the global economy" (Hamrin, 2003. p. 28). China is accomplishing this endeavor primarily through foreign trade with the United States - but can this growth be sustained or will cultural differences pose obstacles that curtail China's continued integration into the global economy? In order to answer this question it was necessary to explore the cultural aspects of mianzi (losing or saving of face) and guanxi (the building of relationships) and their impact on Sino-U.S. business relations. Therefore, the author conducted a survey completed by Chinese university students (in China) on the eve of their transition to the workplace to uncover those cultural values and beliefs that may negatively impact successful Sino-U.S. business relations. The findings support the hypothesis that the cultural aspects of mianzi and guanxi will pose obstacles in U.S.-Sino business relations.


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© 2006 Candace M. Mehaffey-Kultgen

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