A study of Chinese upward communication in organizations: An examination of Taiwan's organizations

Shu-Chu Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In adopting the Chinese cultural perspective, the objectives of this study are to examine the upward influence strategies adopted by the Chinese in Taiwan's organizations, as well as how the use of influence strategies is affected by the importance of the influence episodes. 101 intensive interviews were conducted, from which 112 upward influence episodes were identified. Three conclusions are reached: (1) Even though Chinese rarely adopted negatively- oriented strategies solely in upward communication, they are often used in combination with other positive strategies to ensure that the relationship with superiors is not jeopardized. (2) The fact of the Chinese preferred to use positively-oriented strategies in upward communication is confirmed by the high frequency of positive strategies used in the study. The results ftirthermore indicated that not only a greater variety of positive strategies have been used, but also these strategies have been applied in a more delicate manner, which is consistent with the situation-centered characteristic of the Chinese culture. (3) As expected, the strategies of logic used in upward communication are just as often as in the Western societies; however, some specific strategies in the logic group have never been discussed in previous Western literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-148
Number of pages42
JournalMass Communication Research
Issue number94
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Individualism/collectivism
  • Organizational upward influence
  • Perceived situational risks
  • Power distance
  • Superior-subordinate relationship
  • Upward influence strategies


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