The 'third way': The future of work and organization in a 'corporatized' Chinese economy

John Hassard, Jonathan Morris, Jackie Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China's economy has undergone a rapid transformation since liberalization was first introduced in 1979. Not only has there been rapid economic growth, but ownership sources have changed fundamentally, with a relative decline of the state-owned sector (SOE), a large foreign-owned sector (FIE), private enterprise and hybrid public/private forms. Accompanying these profound changes, there has been a marked shift in people management processes from centrally planned personnel administration to new forms. This article reviews the extent of those changes through a review of eight studies of HRM in China by the authors and their project colleagues. It concludes that there are widespread variations in the pace of change, between ownership forms in particular, but also between localities. Specifically, SOEs have been slower to implement reform than FIEs, largely due to historical legacies, organizational inertia and continued government interference. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-330
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Chinese management
  • HRM change
  • Ownership form


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