Open Access Repository

The emerging role of human resource management in industrial enterprises in China : past, current and future HR practices


Downloads per month over past year

Zhu, CJ 2000 , 'The emerging role of human resource management in industrial enterprises in China : past, current and future HR practices', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis (published material removed))
Whole_Zhu_thesi...pdf | Download (24MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview
[img] PDF (Whole thesis)
whole_ZhuCherri...pdf | Document not available for request/download
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


In the late 1970s, the Chinese government announced an open-door policy and
began economic reforms aimed at moving the country from a centrally planned
economy to a market economy. This ongoing transition has resulted in significant
changes in management practices in China's industrial sector and has profound
implications for its human resource (HR) practices.
Based on a review of the current literature, this thesis examines the rise of a highly
centralised command economy and dominance of public ownership during Mao's
regime and changes that occurred in both the economic system and ownership
structure since economic reform. It also discusses the impact of different economic
systems and ownership forms on management and HR practices in China's industrial
enterprises. There is a dearth of research that systematically examines current HR
practices in Chinese industrial enterprises, especially across enterprises with
different types of ownership. Given this, the thesis identifies three research
questions: 1) How were human resources in Chinese industrial enterprise managed
before and after the commencement of economic reform with respect to major HR
activities, including: human resource planning; recruitment and selection;
performance appraisal; compensation and welfare; training and development; and
labour relations? 2) What impact does form of ownership have on HR practices in
Chinese industrial enterprises? 3) What are the possible future development paths of
human resource management (HRM) in Chinese industrial enterprises?
The three research questions were investigated and addressed through four major
case studies conducted in four enterprises with different ownership forms in China
and survey questionnaires with 440 respondents. Each case study and survey result
was discussed and analysed separately. This was followed by a comparative analysis
between the qualitative (case studies) and quantitative (survey) studies.
The thesis thus achieved its primary purpose, namely, to explore the emerging role
of HRM in China's industrial enterprises with different types of ownership. It
enhances the understanding of HRM in the Chinese industrial sector by offering
empirical evidence of past and current practices across the major HR activities, and
pointing to future HR trends within the sector. It also contributes to the theory of
HRM by exploring HR practices across enterprises with four types of ownership to
investigate the impact of ownership form on HRM. In addition, the study proposes a
model of HRM that indicates possible future development paths for HRM in
Chinese industrial enterprises and discusses future HRM challenges, emphasising
the significance of training the workforce in China for such challenges. Research
limitations and recommendations for future research are identified and presented.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Zhu, CJ
Keywords: Personnel management
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page