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Gender differences in the work commitment of Chinese workers: An investigation of two alternative explanations


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  • Peng, Kelly Z.
  • Ngo, Hang-Yue
  • Shi, Junqi
  • Wong, Chi-Sum
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    This study explores the differences in work commitment between Chinese male and female employees. We develop a model that specifies the major antecedents of job and organizational commitment in the Chinese workplace. We then examine whether the gender differences can be attributed to factors related to gender role ideology or unfavorable work conditions encountered by women. Several hypotheses are formulated and tested with a data set collected from 582 employees in Beijing. The findings reveal that employee work commitment is related to organizational support, job characteristics, and perceptions of gender discrimination. Further, it is found that the level of job commitment of women is lower than that of men, whereas the level of organizational commitment is the same for both sexes. The lower level of job commitment of women is due largely to their stronger perception of gender discrimination, receiving less challenging job assignments, and engaging in a low level of leader-member exchange. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 323-335

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:44:y:2009:i:3:p:323-335

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    Keywords: Job commitment Organizational commitment Gender differences Organizational support Gender discrimination China;


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    1. Jawad Syed, 2008. "A context-specific perspective of equal employment opportunity in Islamic societies," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 135-151, January.
    2. Cohen-Charash, Yochi & Spector, Paul E., 2001. "The Role of Justice in Organizations: A Meta-Analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 278-321, November.
    3. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 2006. "Towards a Labour Market in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215553, October.
    4. Northcraft, Gregory B. & Earley, P. Christopher, 1989. "Technology, credibility, and feedback use," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 83-96, August.
    5. Nancy Chen & Dean Tjosvold, 2007. "Guanxi and leader member relationships between American managers and Chinese employees: open-minded dialogue as mediator," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 171-189, June.
    6. Green, Stephen G. & Anderson, Stella E. & Shivers, Sheryl L., 1996. "Demographic and Organizational Influences on Leader-Member Exchange and Related Work Attitudes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 203-214, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ming Jia & Zhe Zhang, 2013. "Critical Mass of Women on BODs, Multiple Identities, and Corporate Philanthropic Disaster Response: Evidence from Privately Owned Chinese Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 303-317, December.
    2. Tatli, Ahu & Vassilopoulou, Joana & Özbilgin, Mustafa, 2013. "An unrequited affinity between talent shortages and untapped female potential: The relevance of gender quotas for talent management in high growth potential economies of the Asia Pacific region," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 539-553.
    3. Rickne, Johanna, 2010. "Gender, Wages and Social Security in China’s Industrial Sector," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Hang Ngo & Sharon Foley & Ming Ji & Raymond Loi, 2014. "Work Satisfaction of Chinese Employees: A Social Exchange and Gender-Based View," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 457-473, April.
    5. Chi-Sum Wong & Kelly Peng & Junqi Shi & Yina Mao, 2011. "Differences between odd number and even number response formats: Evidence from mainland Chinese respondents," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 379-399, June.


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