Does Chinese Outside Directors' Use of Guanxi Affect Their Independence and Fiduciary Duties?

  • Ting Li

Student thesis: Phd


As China has become one of the largest economic entities in the world, many studies focus on corporate governance in China. In 2001, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) transplanted the outside director mechanism from the United States and the United Kingdom. CSRC hoped that outside directors could play a control role to monitor the behaviours of controlling shareholders, protecting the interests of minority shareholders. However, since it was established, the Chinese outside director mechanism has played an unsatisfactory control role because they are not truly independent of the controlling shareholders. In contrast, many Chinese outside directors use their Guanxi connections (a particular kind of social connections in China) to play a resource acquisition role very well. Based on the theories of the firm, the resource dependence theory, studies of Guanxi and the path dependence theory, this thesis finds that when Chinese outside directors use their Guanxi connections to play their resource acquisition role, their independence and fiduciary duties required by CSRC is compromised.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAndrew Griffiths (Supervisor)


  • resource dependence
  • Guanxi
  • theory of the firm
  • path dependence
  • independence
  • outside directors
  • China
  • fiduciary duty

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