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Maintaining Chinese Management Talent in Western Subsidiaries


  • Horst Groenewald


Western companies uniformly point out that the competition for qualified local executives in China is becoming increasingly tough. Employees recruited at great expense and trained with a lot of commitment are ruthlessly wooed away by competitors, so that the talk about a “war for talent” is totally appropriate. The result is an urgent need for those responsible for personnel to explore the reasons for these high fluctuation rates and to optimize concepts and instruments for ensuring adequate employee loyalty. The author provides an overview of fluctuation and retention concepts in foreign-invested companies and summarizes the statements of 63 German, Swiss, and Austrian experts as well as 55 Chinese personnel and general economic but also political. Although there have been setbacks and sometimes even reversals, there has been a more or less clear tendency of moving away from “totalitarianism”. This tendency is shown in 1) reshuffled state-society relations, whereby the role of the state has decreased and the role of society has increased; 2) accelerated decentralization and devolution within the state; 3) gradually emerging checks and balances within the state and over the state by the people on a legal basis; 4) the institutionalization of limited terms of power holding and the peaceful transfer of power; 5) an ideological reconfiguration, whereby the concept of socialism and the mission of the party have been redefined; and 6) the growing independence of a citizenry with increasingly diverse values and life styles. There is strong momentum for the political evolution to continue. However, there is still uncertainty as to where it will end, and this future end partly depends on how the outside world engages with China.

Suggested Citation

  • Horst Groenewald, 2008. "Maintaining Chinese Management Talent in Western Subsidiaries," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 37(4), pages 131-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:37:y:2008:i:4:p:131-146

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