China's Changing Workplace
Dynamism, diversity and disparity
Edited by Peter Sheldon, Sunghoon Kim, Yiqiong Li, Malcolm Warner
Routledge – 2011 – 332 pages
This book explores the diversity and dynamism of China’s workplaces and of the wider labour market experiences of its workforce. Drawing on the authors’ extensive recent research, it considers a diverse range of issues and types of workplaces. These changes include: the continuing spread of market-oriented human resource management across public and private sector organisations; greater employment rights for workers; local diversity in regulatory control alongside the governmental priority of a ‘harmonious society’; persistent shortages of skilled labour co-existing with vast underemployment amongst the unskilled; uneven access to education and training across regions; and changes in union behaviour and influence.
Unlike other studies - which tend to assume changes to management, work and employment are relatively uniform across modernising parts of the economy - this book conveys the rich variety among contemporary China’s local labour markets by looking at them, and the institutions that influence them, from the bottom-up. It focuses on other under-explored but emerging phenomena such as family-owned firms, the role of private services businesses, and the emergence of employer associations.
"Rather than just an up-to-date picture of China’s workplaces, the editors challenge the historical and comparative perspectives that have dominated the literature… For researchers with an interest in China’s workplaces, in all their variety, the book is a key resource to guide future exploration into how these new developments may affect work, employment relations and the management of people in China. The book successfully integrates dynamism at institutional and organizational levels with the sectoral disparity and regional diversity emerging in China’s workplaces. The research that is presented provides vivid case studies for students and policy advisors who wish to engage with China’s changing workplaces". - Zhi Li, Griffith University; Journal of Industrial Relations, March 2012.
"In this timely and important book, the authors investigate the diversity and dynamism of China's workplace and the wider labour market, including the experiences of its workforce… This book has made some unique contributions to the current debate and in particular the research surrounding China's transition in general and management of labour… The overall presentation of the book is excellent and I believe readers will benefit from reading this book, due to its clever analyis and meaningful reflections." - Ying Zhu, University of South Australia; Asia Pacific Business Review, 2012.
"This book offers timely and valuable information about a country where workplace changes are unique, unprecedented, and highly relevant to people and organisations both inside and outside of China… Overall, the authors have acquitted themselves well. The book enhances understanding of a wide range of changes in the workplace in contemporary China, especially in its illumination of the impact of reforms to the economic and institutional environment… The extensive referencing and index of the book encompasses major themes and theories in China-related literature. It probably warrants ‘essential’ status as a resource for those studying the impact of Chinese economic reforms from the various perspectives of courses in HRM, industrial relations, and employee relations." - Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, Monash University; The Economic and Labour Relations Review, Vol 23., 2012.
Figures Tables Notes on Contributors Preface Abbreviations Introduction: China’s Changing Workplace: Dynamism, Diversity and Disparity - Peter Sheldon, Sunghoon Kim, Yiqiong Li and Malcolm Warner Part I. Putting Change In Context 1. Transition To A Socialist Market Economy: Factor Markets, Management And Human Resources In China - Malcolm Warner & Grace Lee 2. Chinese Business Systems And The Challenges Of Transition - Gordon Redding & Michael Witt 3. Changing Legislative And Institutional Arrangements Facing China’s Workplace - Hans Hendrischke Part II. Emerging Dynamics In Labor Markets 4. Change And Continuity In China’s Urban Workforce: Recent Trends - Beibei Tang 5. Local Labour Markets - Yiqiong Li, Peter Sheldon, & David Morgan 6. Education, Training And Skills - Yiqiong Li, Peter Sheldon and Jian-Min Sun 7. Skill Shortages: Where Labour Supply Problems Meet Employee Poaching - Yiqiong Li & Peter Sheldon 8. Remaking China’s Working Class: Gongren And Nongmingong - Luigi Tomba Part III. China’s Changing Workplace: Emerging Divergence 9. Human Resource Management And Employment Relations In State-Owned Enterprises- Shuming Zhao and Wansi Chen 10. Foreign Invested Firms And Their Human Resource Management: Beyond Early Transition Period - Sunghoon Kim and Sunwook Chung 11. People Management Practices In Family Firms - Youngok Kim, Xiaobei Li and Fei Yi Gao 12. HRM And Employment In The Service Industry - Bing Bai and Jian-Min Sun Part IV. Change, Divergence And Disparity: Some Consequences 13. Institutional Conditions For Organising Decent Work In Global Production Networks - Steve Frenkel & Jörg Sydow 14. Labour Market Disparities And Inequalities - Fang Lee Cooke 15. Changing Chinese Trade Unions: A Three Level Analysis - Mingwei Liu, Chunyun Li and Sunghoon Kim 16. Employer Coordination And Employer Associations - Chang-hee Lee, Peter Sheldon & Yiqiong Li
Peter Sheldon is an Associate Professor in the School of Organisation and Management, University of New South Wales, Australia. Sunghoon Kim is a Lecturer in the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Australia. Yiqiong Li is completing her PhD at the School of Organisation and Management,University of New South Wales, Australia. Malcolm Warner is Professor and Fellow Emeritus of Wolfson College and Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. He recently co-edited ‘Making Sense’ of HRM in China (also published by Routledge) and is co-editor of Asia Pacific Business Review.