Chinese Studies Management Style in "Chinese Capitalism"
by
Fang Lee Cooke
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 June 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 April 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920082-0042

Introduction

Interest in the study of Chinese management began in the 1980s, after China adopted its Open Door economic policy in 1978. Since the 1980s, the country has entered a period of dramatic economic growth and profound social change that has seen the drastic shrinkage of the state sector and the rapid expansion of the private sector on both the domestic and foreign investment fronts. Whereas the Chinese government describes this transformation as “marketization with socialist characteristics,” Western business commentators and academics have increasingly dubbed it “Chinese capitalism” or “state capitalism.” The marketization of the economy requires managers in state-owned enterprises to adopt a new mind-set in managing their businesses within the loosening grip of state control, on the one hand, and reduced state protection, on the other. Marketization also creates opportunities for millions of entrepreneurs, large and small, to fill the marketplace in various parts of the country. In the 21st century, both state and private entrepreneurship are expanding into the global arena, in part pushed by the Chinese government’s Go Global policy and in part lured by new market opportunities, especially in less developed economies. The internationalization of Chinese firms presents further challenges to Chinese managers because of their limited international expertise. Analysis of management style in Chinese capitalism needs to be situated in this evolving business context.

General Overviews

Studies on leadership and management in the Chinese context have been conducted from different perspectives. As the business and management discipline was extremely weak in the early years of the economic and social reform period in China, most of the earlier studies of Chinese management style were conducted by Western scholars, such as John Child and Andrew Walder (Child 1994, Walder 1995). Many were engaged in the delivery of management education and executive training in top-ranking universities in China, in response to the Chinese government’s drive to turn members of its vast army of state cadres into modern managers with business knowledge. Studies on Chinese managers in the late 1980s and early 1990s focused primarily on the nature of managerial work and the management development (MD) system carried out under the strong influence of the state, as most of these studies were conducted within the state sector (Boisot and Xing 1991, Borgonjon and Vanhonacker 1994, Branine 1996). Although interest in MD continues, albeit often in the form of macrolevel- or nonempirical-based reviews (see Management Development), studies on Chinese managers, from the mid-1990s onward, have broadened to the investigation of leadership style. These studies have frequently been conducted using a comparative lens to compare and contrast the cross-country differences resulting from institutional and cultural variations (Ralston, et al. 1993; Smith, et al. 1997; Tsui, et al. 2006; see also Chinese Management in the Global Context). Managers in private firms, Sino-foreign joint ventures, and foreign-owned subsidiaries in China have become the targets of analysis. This progression not only reflects the changing political economy landscape in China, but also suggests that studies on management and leadership in China are becoming international and more closely in line with developments in strategic human resource management theory. In China an important feature in the management of business relationships, and in the management of social relationships more broadly, is the notion of guanxi (关系). At its most basic, guanxi means “personal relationship,” though this English translation does not capture the term’s dynamics and nuance in practice. Given that the old formal institutions have been dismantled or radically changed and that the new formal institutions are weak in the contemporary Chinese economy, having good guanxi is arguably crucial for getting business done. Cultivating good guanxi also forms a main part of managers’ work for reciprocal benefits, which are necessary for fulfilling their managerial tasks.

  • Boisot, Max, and Xing Guoliang. “The Nature of Managerial Work in China.” In The Changing Nature of Management in China. Edited by Nigel Campbell, Sylvain R. F. Plasschaert, and David H. Brown, 37–53. Advances in Chinese Industries Studies 2. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1991.

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    A pioneering study of enterprise directors in Beijing in 1987. Observes that managers in state-owned enterprises had to respond to their superiors’ demands promptly and positively, no matter what. Highlights the autocratic and hierarchical nature of Chinese management.

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    • Borgonjon, Jan, and Wilfried Vanhonacker. “Management Training and Education in the People’s Republic of China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 5.2 (1994): 327–356.

      DOI: 10.1080/09585199400000021Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Documents the historical development of management education and training (MET) in China. Analyzes the MET system by examining political, structural, policy, and attitude issues. Reveals a number of problems, including narrow interpretation of modern management, absence of a consistent national policy on MET, and lack of qualified educators. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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      • Branine, Mohamed. “Observations on Training and Management Development in the People’s Republic of China.” Personnel Review 25.1 (1996): 25–39.

        DOI: 10.1108/00483489610106163Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        An observation of how training and MD policies are perceived and implemented in Chinese state-owned enterprises in a period of rapid economic change. Reveals the tension between the process of developing Chinese managers and their abilities and what is required of them for exploiting economic reform. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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        • Child, John. Management in China during the Age of Reform. Cambridge Studies in Management 23. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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          A pioneering monograph that shows the world outside China how Chinese firms are being run during the period of economic reform, including leadership, decision making, management of marketing and purchasing transactions, work roles of senior managers, personnel practices, reward systems, and management of international joint ventures.

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          • Ralston, David A., David J. Gustafson, Fanny M. Cheung, and Robert H. Terpstra. “Differences in Managerial Values: A Study of U.S., Hong Kong and PRC Managers.” Journal of International Business Studies 24.2 (1993): 249–275.

            DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490232Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            A comparative study of managerial values of managers in the United States, (British) Hong Kong, and China. Four Western-developed measures and four dimensions of the Eastern-developed Chinese Value Survey were used. Findings indicate that culture and the business environment interact to create a unique set of managerial values in a country. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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            • Smith, Peter B., Zhong-Ming Wang, and Kwok Leung. “Leadership, Decision-Making and Cultural Context: Event Management within Chinese Joint Ventures.” Leadership Quarterly 8.4 (1997): 413–431.

              DOI: 10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90022-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              Contains two studies of the ways in which middle managers in enterprises in mainland China handle work events. Finds that Chinese managers do not change the way they handle work events when working with partners of different nationalities but are aware of the varying effects resulting from nationality differences. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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              • Tsui, Anne S., Zhi-Xue Zhang, Hui Wang, Katherine R. Xin, and Joshua B. Wu. “Unpacking the Relationship between CEO Leadership Behavior and Organizational Culture.” Leadership Quarterly 17.2 (2006): 113–137.

                DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.12.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                An in-depth and informative study on leadership in China, where there is large variance in leader discretion in different types of firms. Investigates when and why decoupling between CEO leadership behavior and organizational culture may occur. Unpacks the nature of the relationship through two survey studies and an interview study. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                • Walder, Andrew G. “Career Mobility and the Communist Political Order.” American Sociological Review 60.3 (1995): 309–328.

                  DOI: 10.2307/2096416Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  A scholarly paper by one of the most influential authors on contemporary Chinese management. Demonstrates the existence of two distinct career paths in the re-forming urban China: political elites with high prestige, authority, and material privileges versus professional elites with high prestige but no authority or material privileges. Available online by subscription.

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                  Guides to Sources

                  Understanding of Chinese management style needs to be embedded in the context of China’s changing politico-economic and social landscape domestically and its international strategy and capacity to compete on the global stage. There is a burgeoning body of literature on Chinese business and management generally and, to a lesser extent, on Chinese management style specifically. The growth of research interest in the former has been phenomenal. Not only are established business and management journals publishing more articles on China, but also new journals have been launched by international publishers to cover this important area. This is in addition to the growing number of book series that are edited or monographed by scholars in this expanding field. Readers interested in this topic can find useful information from the following sources for their different needs. It should be noted that the list of works included here is not exhaustive and that there are plenty of other sources that may be useful.

                  English Sources

                  The more scholarly works on Chinese business and management in general and on management style more specifically have been published mainly outside China, in part because of the relatively new and therefore weak foundation of the management discipline in China. Although significant progress has been made in a short period of time, much still needs to be done in increasing the research capacity of Chinese management within China (Meyer 2006; Quer, et al. 2007; Tsui 2004; see also the Nature of Chinese Management). Outside China, and in the English language, readers may find the Routledge series of Asian studies, including Routledge Studies in Asia’s Transformations and Routledge Contemporary Asia, useful as sources of reference books on a range of business and management topics related to China/Asia. Leading US-based university presses have also published a number of stand-alone scholarly monographs and edited volumes on business and management. In addition, there are a number of academic journals on the business and management field or with a regional focus on Asia/China that publish high-quality manuscripts, including the International Journal of Human Resource Management.

                  • International Journal of Human Resource Management. 1990–.

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                    An international journal published by Routledge. A major outlet for papers on human resource management in China. Papers show the changing nature of people management in organizations and the changing styles of management and leadership needed for firms to succeed in the new demographic and socioeconomic context.

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                    • Meyer, Klaus E. “Asian Management Research Needs More Self-Confidence.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management 23.2 (2006): 119–137.

                      DOI: 10.1007/s10490-006-7160-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      An insightful analysis of the task of Asian management scholars in contributing to global management discourses. Highlights the deficiency of scholarship and discusses how the issues can be addressed. Contends that Asian scholars ought to be more careful in applying Western theories and be more self-confident in developing theories locally. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                      • Quer, Diego, Enrique Claver, and Laura Rienda. “Business and Management in China: A Review of Empirical Research in Leading International Journals.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management 24.3 (2007): 359–384.

                        DOI: 10.1007/s10490-007-9040-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        A systematic review of the 180 empirical papers focusing on the Chinese context that were published in twelve leading international academic journals between 2000 and 2005. Provides a summary of the methodologies used and the topics analyzed, along with various rankings of journals, authors, institutions, and papers.Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                        • Tsui, Anne S. “Contributing to Global Management Knowledge: A Case for High Quality Indigenous Research.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management 21.4 (2004): 491–513.

                          DOI: 10.1023/B:APJM.0000048715.35108.a7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          A complementary piece to Special Issue: Asian Management Research: Frontiers and Challenges, edited by Chung-Ming Lau, Asia Pacific Journal of Management 19.2–3 (2002), by one of the most influential and enthusiastic scholars on Chinese management studies. Argues for the need for high-quality indigenous research, using influential studies in the Chinese context as illustrations. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                          Chinese Sources

                          The most comprehensive source of literature published in the Chinese language is the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database. This powerful platform encompasses academic journals, student dissertations, conference papers, media reports, and other resources in the sciences and humanities. The relatively more focused China Academic Journals Full-Text Database contains upward of four thousand journals in the humanities and social sciences. The publication of journal articles is timely after acceptance in China, but the quality of the articles remains to be improved. However, a few core journals (核心期刊) publish high-quality articles, often by leading Chinese scholars. These journals include the monthly Management World and Acta Psychologica Sinica. The China Statistical Yearbook and its subfield series (e.g., China Labour Statistical Yearbook) offer the most authoritative and comprehensive statistical information on the country in both English and Chinese. These yearbooks provide data on, among other things, various dimensions of business and management, such as size of the industries, spread of ownership forms, number of leaders by sector, and demographic characteristics. Yet, the reliability and comprehensiveness of Chinese statistics are still improving.

                          Understanding “Chinese Capitalism”

                          Since the 1980s the contemporary Chinese economy has often been described by international media and scholars as “Chinese capitalism” (Gabriel 2006, Guthrie 1999, Huang 2008, Kennedy 2011, Redding and Witt 2007). The Chinese government, however, prefers to use the term “marketization with Chinese socialist characteristics” to signal its departure from the state-planned regime, but without abandoning socialist ideology (at least publicly). Commentators outside China also use the term “state capitalism” to emphasize the continuing intervention from the state as a defining feature of the country’s liberalizing economy. This state capitalism is characteristic of a developmental state and manifests itself in various forms, including (1) existence and dominance of a significant number of state-owned firms that are managed in a capitalist manner, particularly in key industrial sectors, sometimes as lead firms of the industry; (2) strong state control in the allocation of resources to privately owned businesses; and (3) state intervention to protect the growth of large firms, often state invested or state connected, with national strategic interests. Some authors view this state intervention as a hindrance to the emergence of real private entrepreneurship (Huang 2008), whereas others attribute China’s economic success to the state’s involvement (Khanna 2011). The Chinese economy has also been described as “a mixed economy” that is characterized by “a blend of market-driven, government-controlled and guanxi-based culture,” with strong management implications (Si, et al. 2008, p. 932). Within this system, foreign capitalists, private entrepreneurs, and local authorities interact to (re-)construct market-friendly institutions. Political power and social relations are mobilized and consolidated to achieve respective goals. A key task for enterprise managers is thus to develop political and social capital beneficial to the business (Privatisation in China: Capitalism Confined).

                          • Gabriel, Satyananda J. Chinese Capitalism and the Modernist Vision. Routledge Studies in the Growth Economies of Asia 61. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.

                            DOI: 10.4324/9780203311257Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Addresses the structure and dynamics of the Chinese economy. Examines in depth the connection between growth and the particular version of Marxism that has been adopted by the Chinese Communist Party. Identifies the ongoing transition in China as a historic passage from state feudalism to state capitalism, with global implications.

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                            • Guthrie, Doug. Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit: The Emergence of Capitalism in China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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                              A sociological doctoral study of Chinese firms based in Shanghai in the mid-1990s. Documents radical changes of the firms studied and their adaptation of Western practices. However, the author points out that old habits, powerful state administration, and influences of the command economy continue to have a profound impact on firms.

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                              • Huang, Yasheng. Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics: Entrepreneurship and the State. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511754210Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                A thought-provoking monograph that explores the mechanisms by which China has managed its fast economic growth since the 1980s. Asserts that China’s success story is constructed by two realities: an entrepreneurial rural China and a state-controlled urban China. Highlights the necessity of political reform.

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                                • Kennedy, Scott, ed. Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China’s Capitalist Transformation. Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011.

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                                  An edited volume that compares China’s economic transformation with those of other countries, both developed and developing. Contributing authors mainly adopt a political economy perspective. Contends that the Chinese economy is multitiered and that it may not be thought of as a form of capitalism in any sense.

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                                  • Khanna, Tarun. Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2011.

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                                    Uses on-the-ground stories and case studies to demonstrate how Chinese and Indian (state and private) entrepreneurs are powering changes through new business models that have seen the rise of, among other things, globally competitive firms in various industries (India) and impressive domestic infrastructure building at breathtaking speed (China).

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                                    • Privatisation in China: Capitalism Confined". The Economist, 3 September 2011.

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                                      An insightful and informative account of the privatization process in the Chinese economy since the 1980s. Argues that although Chinese companies do best when they are privately run, the state is never far away. Contains interesting summaries of well-known Chinese firms for illustration.

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                                      • Redding, Gordon, and Michael A. Witt. The Future of Chinese Capitalism: Choices and Chances. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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                                        Addresses a key question: What kind of capitalism is likely to emerge in China? Contains in-depth analysis of Chinese institutions and major aspects of economic performance. Compares and contrasts Chinese capitalism with four other major varieties—US, German, Japanese, and South Korean.

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                                        • Si, Steven X., Feng Wei, and Yi Li. “The Effect of Organizational Psychological Contract Violation on Managers’ Exit, Voice, Loyalty and Neglect in the Chinese Context.” In Special Issue: Human Resource Management with Chinese Characteristics. Edited by Malcolm Warner. International Journal of Human Resource Management 19.5 (2008): 932–944.

                                          DOI: 10.1080/09585190801995849Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          A quantitative study of more than four hundred Chinese managers that looks at the effect of organizational psychological contract violation on managers’ behaviors in the Chinese context. Develops measurements of the organization–manager psychological contract that could be used effectively for future studies of it in the Chinese context. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                          The Nature of Chinese Management

                                          Studies on the nature of managerial work and characteristics of management style in China have observed a number of key characteristics (Lockett 1988) and changes over the decades (see Chinese Management in the Global Context). According to Boisot and Xing 1991, managers in the state-planned economy era were mainly implementers of state-determined policies. These managers had few financial responsibilities and were not expected to respond strategically to the external environment. Another characteristic of the Chinese management style found in Boisot and Xing 1991 was that directors caused work overload for themselves through “the lack of delegation of managerial tasks and the ad hoc way they [were] handled” (p. 46). In the early 21st century the ways managers work and are expected to work have not changed significantly, but managers have perhaps become even more pragmatic and emergency driven at the lower level, owing to advances in information communication technology and heightened competition. Performance pressure and job insecurity have forced managers in both the private and public sectors to be highly responsive to instruction from higher authority. Managers can be contacted through mobile phone, e-mail, and other electronic means anytime and are expected to be readily available for work duties outside what were once considered normal working hours (Cooke 2012). Work intensification is a common phenomenon among Chinese managers, and there are few work–life balance initiatives to address the worsening problem. Because of the shortage of managerial talent, many individuals have been promoted to managerial positions and are expected to deliver a high level of performance before they have had a chance to develop their management skills and competence. A study of managers in four major cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen) revealed “six areas in which managers were most frustrated”: (1) performance objective being set too high, (2) unclear direction of business development, (3) high staff turnover rate, (4) imbalance between workload and reward, (5) unfair competition in the labor market, and (6) lack of recognition of contribution by their organization (Wang and Wang 2006, p. 185). The worsening managerial environment and the talent shortage in the labor market mean that competent managers may be more difficult to retain (Howard, et al. 2007; see also Management Development). This changing context of management suggests that understanding of managerial work in China needs to be context sensitive, as argued by a number of works (Barney and Zhang 2009, Child 2009).

                                          • Arkless, David. “The China Talent Paradox.” China-Britain Business Review (June 2007): 14–15.

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                                            A consultancy study conducted by Manpower in China that shows that 40 percent of employers have difficulty in filling senior management positions. Skill shortages among middle managers are slightly less pronounced; this has triggered a wage war. Foreign firms are not satisfied with the quality of the talent pool.

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                                            • Barney, Jay B., and Shujun Zhang. “The Future of Chinese Management Research: A Theory of Chinese Management versus a Chinese Theory of Management.” In Special Issue: Editors’ Forum: The Future of Chinese Management Research. Edited by Anne S. Tsui. Management and Organization Review 5.1 (2009): 15–28.

                                              DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-8784.2008.00102.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Highlights two approaches to the evolution of Chinese scholarship on management in China: developing a theory of Chinese management and developing a Chinese theory of management. Discusses the implications of the two approaches.

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                                              • Boisot, Max, and Xing Guoliang. “The Nature of Managerial Work in China.” In The Changing Nature of Management in China. Edited by Nigel Campbell, Sylvain R. F. Plasschaert, and David H. Brown, 37–53. Advances in Chinese Industries Studies 2. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1991.

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                                                One of the earlier (1987) works on directors of state-owned enterprises in Beijing. Replicates Henry Mintzberg’s classic study of US managers, The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper and Row, 1973). Finds that Chinese managers share many behavioral characteristics with their US counterparts, albeit within very different institutional contexts.

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                                                • Child, John. “Context, Comparison, and Methodology in Chinese Management Research.” In Special Issue: Editors’ Forum: The Future of Chinese Management Research. Edited by Anne S. Tsui. Management and Organization Review 5.1 (2009): 57–73.

                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-8784.2008.00136.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Emphasizes the importance of context in investigating Chinese management and argues that both “outside in” and “inside out” approaches to the study of Chinese management require comparison between China and other countries to test the uniqueness for China. Advocates for a more dynamic, evolutionary perspective to research on Chinese management issues.

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                                                  • Cooke, Fang Lee. Human Resource Management in China: New Trends and Practices. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

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                                                    A monograph that examines developments in a wide range of human resource management (HRM) practices in China and that critically assesses the likely impact of these practices on organizations as well as employees. Investigates the extent to which Western strategic HRM theories and initiatives can be applied to the Chinese context.

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                                                    • Howard, Ann, Louis Liu, Richard S. Wellins, and Steve Williams. Employee Retention in China, 2006–2007: The Flight of Human Talent. Pittsburgh, PA: Development Dimensions International, 2007.

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                                                      A consultancy-type survey report that looks at talent retention problems in China. Reveals that Chinese managerial employees are less loyal to their company and have a stronger job quit intent and less positive feelings about their manager, company leader, and work environment than nonmanagerial employees.

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                                                      • Lockett, Martin. “Culture and the Problems of Chinese Management.” Organization Studies 9.4 (1988): 475–496.

                                                        DOI: 10.1177/017084068800900402Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Analyzes the relationship between problems of management in China and Chinese culture. Asserts that Chinese culture can reinforce management problems arising from a planned economy as well as undermine the legitimacy of formal organization. Questions the likelihood that adoption of Western management methods will achieve the desired effect because of cultural influences. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                        • Wang, Jia, and Greg G. Wang. “Exploring National Human Resource Development: A Case of China Management Development in a Transitioning Context.” Human Resource Development Review 5.2 (2006): 176–201.

                                                          DOI: 10.1177/1534484306287273Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          A comprehensive review of the human resource development (HRD) system in China at the national, organizational, and individual level. Identifies three critical challenges facing Chinese managers and management development in the changing institutional, economic, and social contexts. Highlights the fragmentation and incoherence of the HRD system and critical implications. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                          The Influence of Cultural Values in Management Style

                                                          Studies on Chinese leadership and management have commonly identified societal culture as a key influence on managerial behavior (see Chinese Management in the Global Context). Distinct cultural values displayed in management behavior include obedience to one’s superiors (Branine 2005) and paternalism, which combines strong discipline, paternalistic authority, and benevolent concern about the welfare and well-being of employees and their families (Chen and Kao 2009). However, Chen and Kao 2009 argues that an autocratic leadership style is positively related to job stress and negatively associated with job satisfaction and the physical and psychological well-being of employees in the Taiwanese context. As the younger generation of mainland Chinese employees has a mind-set somewhat different from that of the previous generations in their cultural values and career expectations, they may experience psychological outcomes similar to their counterparts outside China when encountering autocratic management style. Hui, et al. 2008 observes that the “values of harmony and face continue to influence Chinese management” and that open conflicts “are often diffused to avoid face-to-face confrontation” (p. 147). Similarly, Si, et al. 2008 finds that when a contractual violation has occurred, most Chinese managers will not display negative feelings, in part because of their strong sense of self-discipline and in part because such behavior conforms to the Chinese cultural norm. Instead, they convey their disappointment in a positive way so that their message is heard while maintaining a smooth personal relationship. Furthermore, when managers feel that a social relationship is unbalanced, they work harder to improve the relationship in a positive way rather than using destructive mechanisms to obtain psychological balance. The significance of a positive relationship between superiors and subordinates and among colleagues cannot be emphasized enough (Cheung, et al. 2009; Hui, et al. 2008; Wang 2008; Zhang, et al. 2008). This suggests that managers should endeavor to enhance employees’ job satisfaction by aligning the needs of the employees with that of the organization. Although the benefits of supervisory support in enhancing individual employees’ psychological outcomes may be generic in many economies, this quality of the relationship is arguably more important in workplace relationships in Chinese societies. This is because, as Cheng, et al. 2003 notes, organizational loyalty is strongly associated with loyalty to the leader in Chinese firms.

                                                          • Branine, Mohamed. “Cross-Cultural Training of Managers: An Evaluation of a Management Development Programme for Chinese Managers.” Journal of Management Development 24.5 (2005): 459–472.

                                                            DOI: 10.1108/02621710510598463Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            A study of forty-five senior managers from twenty state-owned enterprises who went to the United Kingdom for training under the UN Development Programme. Finds that these managers had a passive approach to learning and did not reap the real benefits of such a valuable training and development opportunity. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                            • Chen, Hao-Yi, and Kao, Henry Shang-Ren. “Chinese Paternalistic Leadership and Non-Chinese Subordinates’ Psychological Health.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 20.12 (2009): 2533–2546.

                                                              DOI: 10.1080/09585190903363839Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              A study of 160 non-Chinese subordinates from thirty-one overseas subsidiaries of a large Taiwanese-owned firm, using the bottom-up model of subjective well-being theory. Finds that the moral and authoritarian styles of paternalistic leadership commonly used in Chinese firms contribute negatively to the psychological health of non-Chinese workers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                              • Cheng, Bor-Shiuan, Ding-Yu Jiang, and Jean H. Riley. “Organizational Commitment, Supervisory Commitment, and Employee Outcomes in the Chinese Context: Proximal Hypothesis or Global Hypothesis?” Journal of Organizational Behavior 24.3 (2003): 313–334.

                                                                DOI: 10.1002/job.190Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                A quantitative study that examines the relationship between organizational commitment and supervisory commitment in terms of their effects on employee outcomes in the Chinese (Taiwanese) context. Argues that because of the impact of personalism in the Chinese culture, supervisory commitment significantly influences organization-relevant outcomes, in addition to leader-relevant outcomes. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                • Cheung, Millissa F. Y., Wei-Ping Wu, Allan K. K. Chan, and May M. L. Wong. “Supervisor–Subordinate Guanxi and Employee Work Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction.” Journal of Business Ethics 88.S1 (2009): 77–89.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9830-0Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  A quantitative study of 196 employees of three manufacturing firms in China aimed at explaining the divergent results found in the relationships between supervisor–subordinate guanxi and employee work outcomes. Shows that positive supervisor–subordinate relationships engender employees’ job satisfaction and organizational engagement (participating in decision making and reduced job quit intent). Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                  • Hui, Chun, Kenneth S. Law, Nancy Yi Feng Chen, and Dean Tjosvold. “The Role of Co-operation and Competition on Leader–Member Exchange and Extra-Role Performance in China.” Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 46.2 (2008): 133–152.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/1038411108091753.Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    A quantitative study of leader–member exchange (LMX) in China by relating the theory of cooperation and competition and the research on organizational citizenship behavior to LMX. Suggests that a quality relationship between leader and follower is important and that the theory of cooperation and competition can guide in building this relationship. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                    • Si, Steven X., Feng Wei, and Yi Li. “The Effect of Organizational Psychological Contract Violation on Managers’ Exit, Voice, Loyalty and Neglect in the Chinese Context.” In Special Issue: Human Resource Management with Chinese Characteristics. Edited by Malcolm Warner. International Journal of Human Resource Management 19.5 (2008): 932–944.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/09585190801995849Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      A study of more than four hundred managers that deals with how violation of the organizational psychological contract may affect managers’ behaviors in the Chinese context. Reveals that Chinese managers tend to place more emphasis on the transactional psychological contract and that violation of the psychological contract may increase the tendencies of destructive behavior. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                      • Wang, Yingyan. “Emotional Bonds with Supervisor and Co-workers: Relationship to Organizational Commitment in China’s Foreign-Invested Companies.” In Special Issue: Human Resource Management with Chinese Characteristics. Edited by Malcolm Warner. International Journal of Human Resource Management 19.5 (2008): 916–931.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/09585190801993901Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A quantitative study of 1,160 employees that applies a five-factor component model of organizational commitment. Indicates that emotional bonds with both supervisor and coworkers are related to normative commitment and active continuance commitment. Demonstrates the importance of personal relationships in shaping the linkage between employee and firm in China. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                        • Zhang, Ann Yan, Anne S. Tsui, Lynda Jiwen Song, Chaoping Li, and Liangding Jia. “How Do I Trust Thee? The Employee-Organization Relationship, Supervisory Support, and Middle Manager Trust in the Organization.” Human Resource Management 47.1 (2008): 111–132.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20200Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Explores the joint role of the employee–organization relationship (EOR) and supervisory support in initiating trust among middle managers in China. The study of 545 middle managers shows that both EOR and supervisory support are important in creating trust, with supervisory support having a stronger influence than EOR. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                          Characteristics of Management in the State Sector

                                                                          Existing studies on leadership and management in China have revealed the distinct characteristics of management in the state-owned sector, particularly during the state-planned economy period (1949–1978) and the early stage of the ensuing marketization period. During the state-planned economy period a key criterion of being a manager was loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, including party membership (Walder 1995; Walder, et al. 2000). Managers had limited autonomy. They were the implementers of state instructions as well as caretakers of the enterprise, its workers, and their families. As Boisot and Xing 1991 observes, managers in state-owned enterprises have to deal with four sets of stakeholders: “the state, the firm, the workforce, and other organizations. . . . These responsibilities are neither clearly defined nor ranked, and their interpretation is further obscured by the divergent and changeable construction that supervising bureaucracies place upon them” (p. 50). To some extent, state-owned enterprises are still constrained by the government (more so locally than centrally), in terms of their production outputs, investment decisions, and so forth (Hassard, et al. 2007; see also the Nature of Chinese Management). However, in the early 21st century, managers enjoy significantly more autonomy than they did in the 1980s, as documented in the earlier studies of Chinese enterprise managers (Boisot and Xing 1991, Boisot and Xing 1992, Bu 1994). Although political performance is still an important part of their performance requirement, state sector managers need to be more entrepreneurial in cultivating their political and social network in order to obtain resources, as they are facing increasing pressure on financial return of the business. As such, local political and economic elites have developed interdependently, each making use of the other’s resources, while creating space for the other to thrive (Goodman 2001).

                                                                          • Boisot, Max, and Xing Guoliang. “The Nature of Managerial Work in China.” In The Changing Nature of Management in China. Edited by Nigel Campbell, Sylvain R. F. Plasschaert, and David H. Brown, 37–53. Advances in Chinese Industries Studies 2. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1991.

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                                                                            This study observed six directors of state-owned enterprises for a period of six days to examine the nature of managerial work in the state sector environment. The study concludes that Chinese state-owned enterprises act as a constraint for state-appointed directors rather than an opportunity for them to exercise managerial prerogative.

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                                                                            • Boisot, Max, and Xing Guoliang. “The Nature of Managerial Work in the Chinese Enterprise Reforms: A Study of Six Directors.” Organization Studies 13.2 (1992): 161–184.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/017084069201300201Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Applying a conceptual framework developed by Boisot, this work replicates Mintzberg’s classic study of US managers, The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper and Row, 1973). Six directors of Chinese state-owned enterprises were observed over a period of six days in 1987. Reveals the constraints enterprise managers face; managers’ opportunistic behavior was a form of personal survival strategy. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                              • Bu, Nailin. “Red Cadres and Specialists as Modern Managers: An Empirical Assessment of Managerial Competencies in China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 5.2 (1994): 357–383.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/09585199400000022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A quantitative study of managers of state-owned enterprises. Suggests that Chinese managers’ backgrounds affect their knowledge and skills, values and attitudes, and personal connection, which, in turn, influence the managers’ competencies in fulfilling managerial responsibilities. Short-term management education was found to have little impact on competence. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                • Goodman, David S. G. “The Interdependence of State and Society: The Political Sociology of Local Leadership.” In Remaking the Chinese State: Strategies, Society, and Security. Edited by Chien-min Chao and Bruce J. Dickson, 132–156. Asia’s Transformations. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

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                                                                                  An interesting and informative study of three hundred members of the political and business elite (including both public and private sector entrepreneurs) in Shanxi province in the mid-1990s. Shows that the dynamic interactions between these groups of elites resulted in more shared concerns, interests, and behaviors.

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                                                                                  • Hassard, John, Jackie Sheehan, Meixiang Zhou, Jane Terpstra-Tong, and Jonathan Morris. China’s State Enterprise Reform: From Marx to the Market. Routledge Contemporary China 19. London and New York: Routledge, 2007.

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                                                                                    A collection of studies of the transformation of state-owned enterprises since the 1990s as part of the Chinese government’s gradualist-style economic reform. Highlights the profound political, social, and economic impact of mass downsizing on workers and the continuing lack of autonomy of state-owned enterprise management from the local government.

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                                                                                    • Walder, Andrew G. “Career Mobility and the Communist Political Order.” American Sociological Review 60.3 (1995): 309–328.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/2096416Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      A highly influential paper. Highlights how the Chinese Communist Party promotes conformity and discipline by linking career progression of managerial candidates to political loyalty. Reveals two career paths: political elites with immense privilege and professional elites with little political or material privilege. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                      • Walder, Andrew G., Bobai Li, and Donald J. Treiman. “Politics and Life Chances in a State Socialist Regime: Dual Career Paths into the Urban Chinese Elite, 1949–1996.” American Sociological Review 65.2 (2000): 191–209.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2657437Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Using life history data from a nationally representative survey, this text covers the effects of party membership and education on administrative and professional careers. Argues that although professional qualifications are essential to administrative career advancement, party membership does not necessarily enhance professional career. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                        Management Style in the Private Sector

                                                                                        The private sector of the Chinese economy can be classified into two main categories, based on the sources of investment. One consists of foreign-funded businesses, including those from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau; the other is made up of domestic private firms in a range of ownership forms. As such, the private sector of China spans a wide spectrum of ownership forms, firm sizes, and business varieties. Existing research reveals some broad variations across firms of different ownership forms in the private sector. For example, flagship foreign-funded enterprises are often considered to be more strategic and people oriented in their human resource management (HRM). They have more developed training and mentoring schemes, and their performance appraisals are prospective and more linked to career development and personal growth than to retrospective financial rewards, as with many Chinese firms. They are also more proactive in creating HRM initiatives to manage, attract, and retain talent. Chinese graduates are said to be drawn to flagship foreign firms for higher pay, better training and career opportunities, and prestige associated with the firm (Cooke 2012). By contrast, studies on work and employment in labor-intensive manufacturing plants, many of which are funded or operated, or both, by overseas Chinese, have revealed the exploitative nature of the management style, often imported from the Southeast Asian region by overseas Chinese (Chan 2001, Gallagher 2005, Lee 2007, Smith 2003). It is worth noting that not all prestigious foreign multinational firms in China are concerned with adopting good HRM practices, as their primary interest is to develop new markets, with reduced cost (Cooke 2012). Within the category of domestic private firms, management practices are diverse, too. However, a number of common features can be discerned, as revealed in extant studies (Ahlstrom and Bruton 2001; Cooke 2012; Li, et al. 2008; Tsui, et al. 2006). In particular, trust/distrust is a key issue in the corruption-prone business relationship, which relies heavily on political and social ties. Coupled with a tight labor market for managerial talent, this means that securing managers’ loyalty to the firm is a main challenge. As a result, most of the private businesses in China are relatively small and organized around the family. Kinship and in-group relationships are more highly valued, as they not only reflect the Confucian values of Chinese society, but also provide a natural protection against opportunistic managerial behavior that may be harmful to the firm.

                                                                                        • Ahlstrom, David, and Garry D. Bruton. “Learning from Successful Local Private Firms in China: Establishing Legitimacy.” In Special Issue: Themes: Business Strategies and Employee Development. Edited by Sheila M. Puffer. Academy of Management Perspectives 15.4 (2001): 72–83.

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                                                                                          Examines reasons for success of local private Chinese enterprises vis-à-vis an often-hostile institutional environment. Reveals that one key reason is that Chinese private entrepreneurs pursue strategic actions that establish their legitimacy in society. Identifies nine legitimacy-building strategies that local private firms have employed as examples for foreign firms. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                          • Chan, Anita. China’s Workers under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy. Asia and the Pacific. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001.

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                                                                                            One of the earlier critical studies of the nature of work of Chinese workers in export-oriented sweatshops in southeast China. Portrays the Tayloristic nature of the labor practices, including long hours, poor labor conditions, low pay, and harsh management control—some of which are imported by overseas Chinese proprietors.

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                                                                                            • Cooke, Fang Lee. Human Resource Management in China: New Trends and Practices. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

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                                                                                              A monograph that explores major challenges in various aspects of HRM in domestic Chinese private firms. The text reveals impediments in the recruitment, motivation, rewarding, and retention of managerial talent, particularly opportunistic behaviors of managers that lead to corruption and loss of company assets.

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                                                                                              • Gallagher, Mary Elizabeth. Contagious Capitalism: Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                Argues that China’s pattern of ownership diversification and unique mode of integration into the global economy set it apart from other Asian and eastern European economies. Concludes that China’s economic reform without political liberalization has led to strengthened state, weakened civil society, and reduced labor-organizing ability.

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                                                                                                • Lee, Ching Kwan. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                  A scholarly, ethnographic account of the slow death of socialism and the rebirth of capitalism in the world’s most dynamic and populous country, from a critical lens. Based on rich fieldwork in a number of export-oriented manufacturing plants, this award-winning monograph provides a politicoeconomic analysis of the labor struggle.

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                                                                                                  • Li, Hongbing, Lingsheng Meng, Qian Wang, and Li-An Zhou. “Political Connections, Financing and Firm Performance: Evidence from Chinese Private Firms.” Journal of Development Economics 87.2 (2008): 283–299.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2007.03.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Uses a nationwide survey of private firms to look at the role of affiliation with the ruling Communist Party in the operation of private enterprises in China. Reveals that party membership of private entrepreneurs is beneficial in terms of attracting financial and social resources and has a positive effect on firm performance. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                    • Smith, Chris. “Living at Work: Management Control and the Dormitory Labour System in China.” In Special Issue: Special Forum: Constituting Management in China. Edited by Stewart R. Clegg. Asia Pacific Journal of Management 20.3 (2003): 333–358.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1023/A:1024097432726Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      A scholarly analysis, from the labor process perspective, of the labor management regime in the Pearl River delta area—one of the most economically developed export-oriented manufacturing zones in southern China. Coined the term “dormitory labor.” Compares the provision of dormitories by firms with the provision of housing, under paternalist management practices. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                      • Tsui, Anne S., Yanjie Bian, and Leonard Cheng, eds. China’s Domestic Private Firms: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Management and Performance. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2006.

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                                                                                                        Offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary account of the factors important to the successful operation and growth of domestic private Chinese firms from the economics, sociology, and management disciplinary perspectives. This analysis makes reference to developments outside China. A volume contributed to by a number of well-known international scholars.

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                                                                                                        Management Development

                                                                                                        Studies of management development (MD) have been an important part of the research on management in China (see General Overviews). This is in part due to the severe shortage of management talent following the Open Door policy (Farrell and Grant 2005). Warner and Goodall 2010 provides an overview of the history of management training and development in China since the early 1980s, with a particular focus on graduate-level business education. State intervention has been a key feature in this process, in an effort to develop professional managers in the marketized economy (Wang and Wang 2006). Broadly speaking, state intervention in MD can be divided into two stages. The first, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, was the state’s first serious attempt to professionalize state-owned enterprise managers and state cadres. The shift from a state-planned to a market-oriented economy accentuated the inadequacy of the old management style of direct administrative control. There was an increasing demand for professional managers with expertise in human resource management (HRM), finance, marketing, and strategic planning. Thousands of managers of state-owned enterprises and government officials were sent to the state-funded and expressly built MD institutes and schools of economics and management located in top-tier universities (Borgonjon and Vanhonacker 1994, Wang 1999). The second stage of state intervention in MD started in the mid-1990s and was characterized by the rapid development of business schools and master of business administration / executive master of business administration (MBA/EMBA) and short-term executive management training programs nationwide. The globalization of China’s economy exposed another significant gap in its human resources—managers who were competent in managing in an international business environment. The demand for up-to-date Western management theories and applications surged, resulting in accelerated growth of business schools and MBA/EMBA programs (see Lau and Roffey 2002, Wang 1999, Warner and Goodall 2010). In contrast to the MD institutes established in the 1980s, which were controlled by the state, with limited involvement from foreign educational bodies or individuals, these business schools and MBA programs relied heavily on the input of Western management scholars and business schools. This input has taken the form of imported MBA programs and joint venture programs. Western management theories and case studies of foreign multinational firms feature heavily, and overseas trips are an integral part of the training. MD in this period is no longer restricted to the state sector. An increasing proportion of students are self-funded or sponsored by private enterprise employers, as MBA qualifications have become highly marketable. The true value, nevertheless, for earning an MBA degree is the opportunity to access the networks associated with fellow students, for business benefits (see Cooke 2012, cited under Management Style in the Private Sector).

                                                                                                        • Borgonjon, Jan, and Wilfried Vanhonacker. “Management Training and Education in the People’s Republic of China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 5.2 (1994): 327–356.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/09585199400000021Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Documents the history of management education and training (MET) in China. Analyzes the political, organizational, and cognitive problems that still prevail as road blocks to effective MET in China during the period of rapid economic growth and state sector reform. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                          • Branine, Mohamed. “Cross-Cultural Training of Managers: An Evaluation of a Management Development Programme for Chinese Managers.” Journal of Management Development 24.5 (2005): 459–472.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1108/02621710510598463Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            A study of forty-five senior managers from twenty Chinese state-owned enterprises who were sent to the United Kingdom for executive training and development. Shows that despite considerable training efforts by China, there is still a large gap between the skill portfolio of Chinese managers and what is needed.

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                                                                                                            • Farrell, Diana, and Andrew J. Grant. “China’s Looming Talent Shortage.” McKinsey Quarterly 4 (2005).

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                                                                                                              A widely cited consultancy report that forewarned of the severe shortfall of Chinese managers competent in global environments as creating a bottleneck to Chinese firms’ overseas expansion. Highlights a major problem in the Chinese education system—an overemphasis on theory, at the expense of practical solution and teamwork. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                              • Lau, Agnes, and Bet Roffey. “Management Education and Development in China: A Research Note.” Labour and Management in Development Journal 2.10 (2002): 1–18.

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                                                                                                                Deals with the uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of imported MET programs in China. Argues that cultural factors have impeded Chinese managers’ learning of management theories and techniques originating in the Western context. Presents an approach to developing culturally sensitive management education and development programs.

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                                                                                                                • Wang, Jia, and Greg G. Wang. “Exploring National Human Resource Development: A Case of China Management Development in a Transitioning Context.” Human Resource Development Review 5.2 (2006): 176–201.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1534484306287273Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  One of the most comprehensive studies of human resource development and MD in China. Identifies three critical challenges in MD in the evolving social, economic, and institutional contexts and looks at MD policies and practices at the national, organizational, and individual level. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                  • Wang, Zhong-Ming. “Current Models and Innovative Strategies in Management Education in China.” Education and Training 41.6–7 (1999): 312–318.

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                                                                                                                    A review paper that summarizes the pressing need for reform of the management education and development system in China during its early stage of the economic reform period and organizational change. Offers models of management education and strategies for facilitating training and development in Chinese enterprises. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                    • Warner, Malcolm, and Keith Goodall, eds. Management Training and Development in China: Educating Managers in a Globalized Economy. Routledge Contemporary China. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2010.

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                                                                                                                      A comprehensive account of management training and development in China contributed to by internationally known scholars from a wide range of countries. Explores the Chinese response to the challenges of management training and development. Considers the development of business schools in China and the impact of foreign partnerships on their operation.

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                                                                                                                      Chinese Management in the Global Context

                                                                                                                      A strand of scholarly literature on Chinese management can be found in the comparative studies of Chinese leaders/managers and their counterparts in other countries and regions (Ralston, et al. 1995; Ralston, et al. 1999; Tsui, et al. 2006, cited under Management Style in the Private Sector; Yamazaki and Kayes 2010). These studies have highlighted cultural and political characteristics—including approaches to learning, level of management competence, and leadership style—as key factors differentiating Chinese management from management in other societies. The political and cultural factors that characterize Chinese management style are also seen as potential barriers to effective management of Chinese businesses in the global context. A major challenge to the internationalization of Chinese firms is the shortage of managers with international experience (see the Nature of Chinese Management). In an international business environment, where employees from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds may have a different understanding of the moral underpinning of the Chinese paternalistic leadership style (see Chen and Kao 2009, cited under the Influence of Cultural Values in Management Style) and the supreme importance of relationship maintenance, the strong influence of these Chinese cultural values on organizational management may cause problems. As Wang and Wang 2006 argues, the “deeply embedded cultural norms are likely to have constrained Chinese managers from understanding and accepting business and social practices that differ from their own” (p. 184). This may lead to further human resources problems, including leadership, motivation, performance management, productivity improvement, organizational development, and ethical issues relating to managerial practices (Lau and Roffey 2002, Wang and Wang 2006). It is interesting to note that cultural values and managerial behavior are changing in the new generation of Chinese managers. Ralston, et al. 1999, a study on generational shift in work values among Chinese managers, shows that, compared with previous studies, which found Chinese managers to be more collective oriented and Confucianist in their outlook and management style than Western managers, younger generations of Chinese managers are more independent, individualistic, and risk taking in the pursuit of profits than older generations. Here, Ralston, et al. 1999 asserts that the younger generations of the Chinese managers may be seen as “cross-verging” their Oriental and Western influences on the road of modernization. Trust and nationalism may become sensitive issues that require unique management strategy in the global context, in which Chinese professionals may be moving from firm to firm and country to country in order to improve their career outcomes (Kessler 2007).

                                                                                                                      • Kessler, Dimitri. “Nationalism, Theft, and Management Strategies in the Information Industry of Mainland China.” In Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation. Edited by Ching Kwan Lee, 209–228. Asia’s Transformations. London and New York: Routledge, 2007.

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                                                                                                                        An interesting study of the management of information technology (IT) engineers in China, many of whom were returnees from Western countries after being educated and employed there. Illustrates how managers of (foreign-funded) IT firms in China structured engineers’ jobs to prevent them from leaking technical know-how of the firm in a highly competitive labor market.

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                                                                                                                        • Lau, Agnes, and Bet Roffey. “Management Education and Development in China: A Research Note.” Labour and Management in Development Journal 2.10 (2002): 1–18.

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                                                                                                                          Examines how cultural factors have impeded Chinese managers’ learning of management theories and techniques originating in the Western context. Analyzes how cultural characteristics dominate Chinese managers’ learning patterns, which in turn shape management’s views toward management education and development programs.

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                                                                                                                          • Ralston, David A., David J. Gustafson, Robert H. Terpstra, and David H. Holt. “Pre-post Tiananmen Square: Changing Values of Chinese Managers.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management 12.1 (1995): 1–20.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1007/BF01733968Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Explores the apparent evolution in work values among young Chinese managers in Shanghai over a two-and-a-half-year period that spans the1989 Tiananmen Square incident. Findings suggest a growing spirit of “Chinese-style” individualism as well as the adoption of more Western ways of thinking by these young Chinese managers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                            • Ralston, David A., David H. Holt, Robert H. Terpstra, and Yu Kai-cheng. “The Impact of National Culture and Economic Ideology on Managerial Work Values: A Study of the United States, Russia, Japan, and China.” Journal of International Business Studies 28.1 (1999): 177–207.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490097Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              An award-winning article that assesses the impact of economic ideology and national culture on the individual work values of managers in four countries. The convergence/divergence/cross-vergence framework served as a theoretical framework for the study, while the Schwartz Value Survey was used to operationalize the investigation of managerial work values. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                              • Wang, Jia, and Greg G. Wang. “Exploring National Human Resource Development: A Case of China Management Development in a Transitioning Context.” Human Resource Development Review 5.2 (2006): 176–201.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/1534484306287273Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                A systematic review of human resource development (HRD) and management development (MD) systems in China. Highlights the fragmented and incoherent nature of the Chinese approach to HRD and MD. Urges scholars to be more actively engaged in this underresearched field and to contribute to its theory building. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                • Yamazaki, Yoshitaka, and D. Christopher Kayes. “Learning and Work Satisfaction in Asia: A Comparative Study of Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian Managers.” In Special Issue: In Search of Confucian HRM: Theory and Practice in Greater China and Beyond. Edited by Malcolm Warner. International Journal of Human Resource Management 21.12 (2010): 2271–2289.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2010.509628Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  A comparative study of Japanese, Chinese, and Malaysian managers, in their learning style and work satisfaction. Demonstrates that Chinese managers prefer “learning through thinking and reflecting” (p. 2271) and are more able to adapt flexibly to various situations. More interestingly, reveals that, despite China being a collectivist nation, Chinese managers make better decisions individually. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                  Gender and Management

                                                                                                                                  Gender in management remains an understudied area in Chinese management, in comparison with the relatively more widely researched topic of gender and employment. The few available studies on women in management in China have outlined a number of challenges to a woman’s managerial career (Aaltio and Huang 2007, Bu and Roy 2008, Cooke 2005). These works highlight the relatively low level of women in management, both in number and in place within the hierarchy—this, despite women constituting more than 37 percent of the total full-time workforce nationally. Although the nature of their challenges may differ, Chinese women who aspire to a managerial career seem to share with their counterparts in other parts of the world a similar outcome: they are disadvantaged to varying degrees, owing to political/legal, biological, and cultural reasons. In particular, work–life conflicts and societal culture constrain women’s capacity to develop career networks and other capitals necessary for career advancement (Bowen, et al. 2007; Bu and Roy 2008). In addition, the level of gender equality that was achieved during the state-planned economy period in China may have been eroded as a result of marketization and of the reduced capacity and willingness of state intervention in organizational life. As Leung 2002 notes, female managers in the state-owned enterprises are more vulnerable in organizational restructuring. Similarly, Xian and Woodhams 2008 observes that employers openly discriminate against female candidates in recruitment advertisements. However, the growth of the private sector also provides Chinese women with new opportunities. According to Tan 2008, women entrepreneurship has grown significantly, and women may be more determined and risk taking than their male counterparts, at least in the electronics industry, where Tan’s study took place.

                                                                                                                                  • Aaltio, Iiris, and Jiehua Huang. “Women Managers’ Careers in Information Technology in China: High Flyers with Emotional Costs?” Journal of Organizational Change Management 20.2 (2007): 227–244.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1108/09534810710724775Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A study of women’s managerial careers in the information technology (IT) industry. Reveals that the IT sector provides women new opportunities to advance their managerial career. This development is, however, hampered by work–family conflict within Chinese culture, which emphasizes guanxi and close societal ties. Indicates that women expect emotional costs from career advancement.

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                                                                                                                                    • Bowen, Chieh-Chen, Yan Wu, Chi-en Hwang, and Robert F. Scherer. “Holding Up Half of the Sky? Attitudes toward Women as Managers in the People’s Republic of China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 18.2 (2007): 268–283.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/09585190601102455Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Gives historical, cultural, social, and legal contexts of Chinese society and empirically compares attitudes toward women as managers among students and workers. Results show that women are much more positive, liberal, and egalitarian concerning women as managers than men, particularly younger male students and older male workers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                      • Bu, Nailin, and Jean-Paul Roy. “Chinese Managers’ Career Success Networks: The Impact of Key Tie Characteristics on Structure and Interaction Practices.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 19.6 (2008): 1088–1107.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/09585190802051386Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        One of the few studies of gender differences in management from a psychological perspective. Examines 105 senior and mid-level Chinese managers. Reveals interesting differences and similarities between male and female managers in their attitudes and preferences (e.g., age, gender) in developing and maintaining career success network ties. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                        • Cooke, Fang Lee. “Women’s Managerial Careers in China in a Period of Reform.” Asia Pacific Business Review 11.2 (2005): 149–162.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/1360238042000291216Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Looks at the opportunities for, and barriers to, women’s managerial careers, focusing on four groups of managers: managerial leaders in government administration, academics in higher education, entrepreneurs in private business, and rural women managers. Explores Chinese characteristics of gender inequality in management careers against the political and economic backdrop of the early 21st century. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                          • Leung, Alicia S. M. “Gender and Career Experience in Mainland Chinese State-Owned Enterprises.” Personnel Review 31.5 (2002): 602–619.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1108/00483480210438780Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Discusses the career experience of thirty-four Chinese male and female managers in state-owned enterprises in Shanghai. Shows managers’ attitudes toward their careers as resulting from organizational changes, which limit promotion opportunities and reduce job security. Investigates gender differences in coping strategies when career expectations have been frustrated. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                            • Tan, Justin. “Breaking the ‘Bamboo Curtain’ and the ‘Glass Ceiling’: The Experience of Women Entrepreneurs in High-Tech Industries in an Emerging Market.” Journal of Business Ethics 80.3 (2008): 547–564.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s10551-007-9454-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Compares entrepreneurial orientation and venture performance between men and women entrepreneurs in the electronics industry in China. Reveals that women differ from men in their willingness to take more risks and make bolder moves in pursuit of greater returns and future competitive advantage. Also demonstrates that women entrepreneurs outperform their male counterparts. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                              • Xian, Huiping, and Carol Woodhams. “Managing Careers: Experiences of Successful Women in the Chinese IT Industry.” Gender in Management: An International Journal 23.6 (2008): 409–425.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1108/17542410810897535Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Observes the career experiences of seven women who have developed successful careers in the Chinese IT industry, focusing on the way they manage their careers and the implications this has for women’s career theory in China. Shows convergence between Western career theory and the positive situation of these Chinese women. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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