Guanxi networks and job mobility in China and Singapore

Yanjie Bian, Soon Ang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


Despite the differences in labor market contexts in China and Singapore, survey data reveal that in both countries jobs are channeled through strong ties more frequently than through weak ties. Moreover, when job changers and their ultimate helpers are unconnected, they tend to be bridged through intermediaries to whom both are strongly or moderately rather than weakly tied. Finally, helpers' job status has positive impacts on job changers'attained job status. We consider guanxi networks of exchange relations common to China and Singapore to account for these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-1005
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Earlier versions of this article were presented to the 1995 International Social Networks Conference (London, 5-10 July), the East Asia Workshop at the University of Chicago (23 April, 1996), seminars at the University of Minnesota, and the 1996 ASA annual meeting (New York, 17-20 August). We thank Linnea Van Dyne, Bonnie Erickson, Joseph Galaskiewicz, and William Parish for their helpful comments. The Singapore portion of the research was assisted by a travel grant from the Life Course Center of the University of Minnesota to the first author, who also is grateful to the institution fora 1995 summerfellowship and a Single Quarter Leave from the College of Liberal Arts that supported the data analyses. Direct corresponde to Yanjie Bian, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN55455. E-mail: bian


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