1st Edition

The Everyday Impact of Economic Reform in China Management Change, Enterprise Performance and Daily Life

By Ying Zhu, Michael Webber, John Benson Copyright 2010
    224 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    During the past 30 years, China has undergone extensive economic reform, replacing the government’s administration of enterprises with increasing levels of market-oriented enterprise autonomy. At the heart of the reform are changes in the employment relationship, where state control has been superceded by market relationships. These reforms have had far-reaching implications for many aspects of everyday life in Chinese society. This book appraises the impact of the economic reforms on the employment relationship and, in turn, examines the effects on individual workers and their families, including salaries, working conditions and satisfaction, job security and disparities based on location, gender, age, skill, position and migrant status. In particular, it focuses on how changes in the employment relationship have affected the livelihood strategies of households. It explores the changing human resource management practices and employment relations in different types of enterprises: including State-Owned Enterprises, Foreign-Owned Enterprises and Domestic Private Enterprises; throughout different industries, focusing especially on textiles, clothing and footwear and the electronics industry; and in different regions and cities within China (Beijing, Haerbin, Lanzhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Kunming). Overall, this book provides a detailed account of the everyday implications of economic reform for individuals and families in China.

    1. Introduction  2. Economic reform and its industrial and social impact  3. Management, workers and conditions of employment  4. Worker representation and emerging roles for trade unions  5. Enterprise performance and intangible management  6. Market-oriented economic reform and the quality of working life  7. Work, households and livelihoods  8. Economic reform and its impact on management, enterprises and workers 


    Ying Zhu is Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the co-editor of Trade Unions in Asia; Unemployment in Asia; and Management in Transitional Economies: From the Berlin Wall to the Great Wall of China (both published by Routledge).  Michael Webber is Professorial Fellow in the School of Resource Management and Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is the co-editor of China’s transition to a global economy and co-author of Global Restructuring: the Australian Experience. John Benson is Professor and Head of the School of Management at the University of South Australia. His most recent publications include (as co-editor) Unemployment in Asia; Asian Business: Women and Management; and Trade Unions in Asia (both published by Routledge).

    "It covers an interesting range of topics within and outside the realm of economics as such, such the impact on managers and workers, as well as on human resource management and trade unions, amongst others.]...[The work is clearly-written, will have somewhat wider readership on campus and is one might say appropriate for both an undergraduate and postgraduate audience, even possibly of some potential appeal to MBA students." Malcolm Warner, Asia Pacific Business Review, 2010

    "This book is a welcome addition to the macro-economic studies of China’s 30 years of economic reform. It sets out to illustrate how economic reform has driven changes in management systems and employment relations and how such changes have influenced the performance of enterprises, worker satisfaction and workers’ households and livelihoods. The detailed survey data and statistical analysis mean the book achieves this goal in great detail... As it stands, the work will largely be of interest to comparative scholars of human resource management and employment relations and to comparative economists interested in a closer appraisal of China’s market-oriented economic reforms." - Jason Young, Victoria University of Wellington; New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, 13.1 (June 2011)