IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Business Ethics in China: A Human Resource Management Issue?


  • John Hulpke
  • Cubie Lau


China is widely perceived as having a problem in business ethics. One view holds that elements of Chinese culture tend to encourage unethical business decisions. Another perspective says that China has business ethics issues because its economy is in transition. The unclear rules of the game create opportunity for business ethics problems. The large amount of new wealth creates incentive to cut corners to get rich. Thus China, perhaps more than more developed economies, is seen as having business ethics problems. However, good business ethics help a society as a whole, and some say that good ethics can be a source of competitive advantage for an organization. Steps can be taken to improve Chinese business ethics at the societal level, at the individual level, and, importantly for this paper, at the organizational level. In addition to ethical leadership, we believe that one key to improving ethics at the organizational level is human resource management. Improvement can be made in the areas of recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, performance management, compensation, and benefits. Personnel policies can help ensure ethical conduct within the organization.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hulpke & Cubie Lau, 2008. "Business Ethics in China: A Human Resource Management Issue?," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 58-67, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:41:y:2008:i:3:p:58-67

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:41:y:2008:i:3:p:58-67. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.