How to build successful business to business (B2B) relationships in China : an Australian tourism case study perspective

  • David Lindsay

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The thesis develops a greater understanding of Australia-China business to business (B2B)
    relationships in tourism services. The research focuses on Australian inbound tour operators
    (ITOs) successfully conducting business in China. There has been little empirical investigation
    in service sectors like tourism despite China's significant contribution to Australia's balance
    of payments. Building trust and exploring connections and relationships in an Australia-China
    business setting has been studied but not through the lens of cultural intelligence (CQ) and
    within the context of a dyadic Australia-China understanding. CQ is defined as a person's
    capability to deal effectively in situations characterised by cultural diversity. The research also
    draws upon the industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) paradigm to classify and interpret
    ITO interactions, relationships and networks as a base unit-of-analysis (UOA).
    A focal critical case plus complementary smaller cases are investigated and analysed using
    convergent interviewing of Australian ITOs and their Chinese counterparts. Finding Australian
    ITOs successfully conducting business in the Chinese market is not simple as this market has
    been dominated by ethnic Chinese agents. The thesis offers a rare insight of the B2B dyad
    operating in the unique tourism services sector. Key aspects investigated in the thesis include;
    how ITOs established themselves; what lessons ITOs have learnt; what ITOs have been doing
    right, in the right place, and at the right time, and identification of common themes for
    ongoing success.
    The research highlights the importance of establishing long term business and inter-firm
    relationships starting through interpersonal links, bonds and ties. Understanding the holistic
    needs of the Chinese customer is crucial. Organizational frameworks have been developed
    for Australians contemplating a Chinese business venture. Important aspects include scope,
    pace and rhythm of the two-way relationship development that is described here as
    understanding China's guanxi-dominant logic (G-D Logic) and aspects like China's deep view
    of trust (xinren). Australian ITO success is built on deep and sustained personal and firm
    interactions with Chinese counterparts.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Canberra
    SupervisorByron Keating (Supervisor), Raechel Johns (Supervisor), Sharon Jin (Supervisor), Anton Kriz (Supervisor), Raechel Johns (Supervisor) & Raechel Johns (Supervisor)

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