How distinctive are indigenous ways of achieving influence? A comparative study of guanxi, wasta, jeitinho, and "pulling strings"

Smith, Peter B, Huang, Hai Juan, Harb, Charles and Torres, Claudio (2012) How distinctive are indigenous ways of achieving influence? A comparative study of guanxi, wasta, jeitinho, and "pulling strings". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43 (1). pp. 135-150. ISSN 0022-0221

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the cultural specificity of guanxi, wasta, and jeitinho, each of which has been identified as an indigenous process of informal influence. Students in Brazil, China, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom were presented with three scenarios derived from each of the nations sampled. They rated the extent to which each scenario was representative of the locally indigenous process, the typicality for their culture of the events portrayed in the scenarios, and the extent to which these interpersonal exchanges were perceived positively. While each type of scenario was perceived as representative and typical in its culture of origin, each was also perceived as somewhat typical by respondents in additional locations. Informal influence processes may vary between cultures more in frequency than in quality. Rated scenario positivity was significantly predicted by respondents’ values. The United Kingdom–based process of “pulling strings” was rated as typical in all locations and was more positively evaluated than the other influence processes by all respondents. It is concluded that in addition to the pragmatic value of these concepts locally, their comparative testing can contribute to the development of culture-general models of social influence processes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Informal influence, Cross-cultural, Indigenous, Guanxi, Wasta
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 14:56
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 07:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61260

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