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Transferring Personal-type Relationships (Guanxi) to sustainable Organizational Relationship to Attract and Retain Customers in China

Dr Ahmed S Shaalan is Lecturer in Marketing at Hull University Business School (HUBS). He holds a PhD from Hull University Business School, where he also earned his master degree.

Dr Ahmed is best known for his work on relationship marketing, social networks including Chinese Guanxi, and corporate branding. 

Current research projects on relationship marketing are applied on SMEs and include linking eastern and western relationship marketing concepts, combining personal relationships and relationship marketing to attract and retain new customers. Furthermore, Dr Ahmed studies Chinese Guanxi-type relationships in different contexts including the Arab world. Research work on branding explores key determinants of corporate brand identity and its relationship with corporate social responsibility. Dr Ahmed’s research has been published at the Journal of Business Research and Corporate Reputation Review.

Dr Ahmed is undertaking collaborative research with the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, School of Management at Xiamen University, China.  This research proposes and empirically tests a novel model that links Eastern derived personal-type relationships, Guanxi, to Western relationship marketing and develops theoretical and managerial implications of such linkages.

The model uses Guanxi and connections of employees as a mean to attract and recruit potential new customers to the organisation. After attracting new customers, organisation applies relationship marketing to transfer the personal relationship between the customer and the company representative to a sustainable organisational relationship between the customer and the organization.

Such a transfer aims to maintain and enhance the relationship with customer over the long run. Doing so enables firms to avoid the potential pitfalls of applying the Guanxi and the social network solely and to reduce the problem of losing the connection with the customers when the employee who brought the customer’s personal network-based business leaves the organisation.

Dr. Ahmed Shaalan Lecturer in Marketing

Faculty of Business, Law and Politics Hull University Business School Email:

Get in touch

Global U8 Consortium
Xiamen University
422 South Siming Road, Xiamen 361005


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