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The significant role of Chinese employees' organizational commitment: implications for managing employees in Chinese societies


  • Wong, Chi-Sum
  • Wong, Yui-tim
  • Hui, Chun
  • Law, Kenneth S.


The high rate of turnover has been a substantial problem in managing Chinese employees in joint ventures in the People's Republic of China. Organizations operating in the PRC face a dilemma of whether it is worthwhile to invest in better compensation packages and training and development programs if their employees will leave the organizations anyway. This study argues that because traditional Chinese culture values loyalty, guanxi and pao, organizations will benefit in the long run if they cultivate employees' organizational commitment. Data from two samples from the PRC and Hong Kong were analyzed to understand the role of organizational commitment in affecting other attitudinal antecedents (i.e., job satisfaction and turnover intention) to turnover. Results indicate that organizational commitment among Chinese employees has a much stronger effect on job satisfaction and turnover intention than results from studies conducted in the West. Our analysis provides strong support for the effect of Chinese traditional values in the modern Chinese work place. Practical implications for organizations operating in China are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Wong, Chi-Sum & Wong, Yui-tim & Hui, Chun & Law, Kenneth S., 2001. "The significant role of Chinese employees' organizational commitment: implications for managing employees in Chinese societies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 326-340, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:36:y:2001:i:3:p:326-340

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wong, Chi-Sum & Law, Kenneth S., 1999. "Managing localization of human resources in the PRC: a practical model," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 26-40, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramasamy, Bala & Goh, K.W. & Yeung, Matthew C.H., 2006. "Is Guanxi (relationship) a bridge to knowledge transfer?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 130-139, January.
    2. Xu Huang & Kan Shi & Zhijie Zhang & Yat Cheung, 2006. "The impact of participative leadership behavior on psychological empowerment and organizational commitment in Chinese state-owned enterprises: the moderating role of organizational tenure," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 345-367, September.
    3. Hitotsuyanagi-Hansel, Azusa & Froese, Fabian Jintae & Pak, Yong Suhk, 2016. "Lessening the divide in foreign subsidiaries: The influence of localization on the organizational commitment and turnover intention of host country nationals," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 569-578.
    4. Gamble, Jos, 2006. "Introducing Western-style HRM practices to China: Shopfloor perceptions in a British multinational," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 328-343, December.
    5. Kaufmann, Lutz & Roessing, Soenke, 2005. "Managing conflict of interests between headquarters and their subsidiaries regarding technology transfer to emerging markets--a framework," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 235-253, August.
    6. Deephouse, David L. & Newburry, William & Soleimani, Abrahim, 2016. "The effects of institutional development and national culture on cross-national differences in corporate reputation," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 463-473.
    7. Hom, Peter W. & Xiao, Zhixing, 2011. "Embedding social networks: How guanxi ties reinforce Chinese employees’ retention," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 188-202.
    8. Russell Smyth & Qingguo Zhai & Xiaoxu Li, 2009. "Determinants of turnover intentions among Chinese off farm migrants," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 189-209, August.
    9. Diego Quer & Enrique Claver & Laura Rienda, 2007. "Business and management in China: A review of empirical research in leading international journals," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 359-384, September.
    10. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2017. "What Chinese Workers Value: An Analysis of Job Satisfaction, Job Expectations, and Labor Turnover in China," IZA Discussion Papers 10963, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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