Do Labour Strategies Matter? An Analysis of Two Enterprise-Level Data Sets in China
This paper examines the effect of labour strategies and management types on firm performance in Chinese enterprises. We use two large panel surveys on Chinese enterprises, spanning almost two decades of transition. Our findings suggest that, as commonly thought, there are significant differences across ownership types in China in the degree to which flexible labour market strategies are utilized; and more flexible strategies (such as bonus-reward systems) do seem to significantly enhance performance. However, after controlling for different degrees of labour market flexibility, ownership differences have little influence on enterprise performance (with the exception that foreign joint ventures clearly outperform other types in growth and labour productivity). This important result suggests that the impact of Chinese ownership types on performance is felt through cost-impacts rather than via direct differences in competitive behaviour or the goals of enterprise decision-makers.
Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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