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Unions and firm innovation in China: Synergy or strife?

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  • Fang, Tony
  • Ge, Ying

Abstract

The ‘monopoly face’ of unions suggests that the rent-seeking activities of unions discourage research and development investment and that the collective bargaining rules may restrict management flexibility, thus deterring innovations. On the other hand, the arrival of unions in the workplace may ‘shock’ the management into adopting more systematic rather than ad hoc management practices and that such innovative workplace practices may enhance an organization's ability to introduce new products and/or new processes. Further, the ‘voice face’ of unions argues that the independent ‘questioning’ of the management deliberations by the unions can also lead to better, more creative and, hence, more productive solutions. This paper investigates the link between unions and firm innovations in China. Different from their counterparts in advanced economies, Chinese unions are found to encourage firm innovations and R&D investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 170-180

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:1:p:170-180

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

Related research

Keywords: Unions; Innovation; China;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Technological Change and Wages in China: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics 28-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  2. Fang, Tony & Ge, Ying, 2013. "Chinese Unions and Enterprises Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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