Some companies that manufacture inexpensive furniture often try to do the least that they can to enable them to produce the largest possible number of "units" in a period of time. Glue joints, while quite strong; can lead to finish acceptance problems. When glue is used on dowel joints, some of it will run back out most of the time. This means that in a timely manner someone has to remove all traces of glue where a finish will be applied. When I've repaired stuff like this, I will often use species and color-matched dowels of a smaller diameter and drill perpendicular holes through the main dowel - this provides a "pinned dowel connection". One of the things I make a lot of is Abaci (Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Slavonic & Classroom styles). ALL OF MY ABACI include pinned dowel joinery.
And yes - it works on chairs quite well. Go ahead and use high-quality thick glue and aggressively remove glue run-out for a very nice finish. I always use TiteBond glue.
OPG3 Tweak everything!