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Parochialism and Implications for Chinese Firms’ Globalization

  • Jing Betty Feng (a1), Leigh Anne Liu (a2) and Chunyan Jiang (a3)


We explore the meaning of parochialism (xiao nong yi shi, 小农意识) to explain certain paradoxical Chinese managerial behaviors. We discuss how cultural, political, and economic traditions in China formed a salient context to cultivate parochialism. Qualitative data from Chinese and American managers reveal that the conceptual framework of parochialism includes a cognitive dimension of closed-mindedness, a behavioral dimension of self-protection, and a relational dimension of in-group focused social relationship. Parochialism hampers effective globalization of Chinese firms because it negatively impacts key facets of organizational culture: employee development, communication, customer orientation, social responsibility, strategic planning, and innovation. The study offers theoretical and practical implications for Chinese management research and the development of global competence.


Мы исследуем значение местничества (xiao nong yi shi, 小农意识) для того, чтобы объяснить некоторые парадоксальные модели поведения в сфере управления в                        Китае. Мы обсуждаем, каким образом культурные, политические и экономические традиции в Китае сформировали особый контекст для культивирования местничества. Качественные данные, полученные на основе опроса китайских и американских менеджеров, показывают, что концептуальная модель местничества включает в себя когнитивный аспект ограниченности мышления, поведенческий аспект самосохранения и социальный аспект взаимоотношений внутри группы. Местничество является препятствием для эффективной глобализации китайских фирм, потому что оно отрицательно влияет на ключевые аспекты организационной культуры: развитие потенциала сотрудников, обмен информацией, ориентацию на клиента, социальную ответственность, стратегическое планирование и инновации. В данной работе делаются теоретические и практические выводы, которые имеют значение для китайских исследований в области управления и развития глобальной компетенции.

Exploramos el significado de parroquialismo (xiao nong yi shi, 小农意识) para explicar ciertos comportamientos gerenciales chinos paradójicos. Discutimos cómo las tradiciones culturales, políticas y económicas en China formaron un contexto destacado para cultivar parroquialismo. Datos cualitativos de gerentes chinos y americanos revelan que el marco conceptual de parroquialismo incluye una dimensión cognitiva de mentalidad cerrada, una dimensión comportamental de auto-protección, y una dimensional relacional enfocada las relaciones sociales dentro del grupo. El parroquialismo obstaculiza la globalización efectiva de las empresas chinas dado sus impactos negativas en la aspectos clave de la cultura organizacional: desarrollo de empleados, comunicación, orientación al consumidor, responsabilidad social, planeación estratégica, e innovación. Este estudio ofrece implicaciones teóricas y prácticas para la investigación gerencial china y en el desarrollo de competencias globales.


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Corresponding author: Jing Betty Feng (


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Accepted by: Senior Editor Zhi-Xue Zhang



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Parochialism and Implications for Chinese Firms’ Globalization

  • Jing Betty Feng (a1), Leigh Anne Liu (a2) and Chunyan Jiang (a3)


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