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Call for papers: Bridging Theories and Practices: HRM in China

Call for papers:

Bridging Theories and Practices: Human Resource Management in China

The Information Age Publishing Company intends to publish a book on the subject of bringing Theories and Practices: Human Resource Management in China.


Editors

Mian Zhang, Tsinghua University

zhangm6@sem.tsinghua.edu.cn

 

Jing Zhou, Rice University

jzhou@rice.edu

 

Rodger Griffeth, Ohio University

griffeth@ohio.edu

 

Background and rationale for this book

China has become the world's second largest economy and attracted international research attentions on exploring reasons for its fast growth rate. According to resource-based view (Barney, 1996), human resources in China play an important role. Scholars have noticed both convergent and divergent trends of Human Resource Management (HRM) in China (Warner, 2009; Zhang, 2012). With regard to convergence, evidence shows that Chinese companies have learned and incorporated management thoughts, theories and practices from Western nations (Warner & Ying, 2002; Zhao & Du, 2012). Various factors such as multinational companies operated in China, joint-ventures, expatriates and repatriates from Chinese companies, overseas returnees, and MBA education systems facilitate the import of management knowledge from Western nations.

Management may vary along cultural boundaries (Hofstede, 1993). China is considered a society with a collectivistic culture. The institution system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the top-down approach of governing structure provide a different political context. Besides, population quantity (e.g., 1.34 billion of total population; National Bureau of Statistics, 2011) and structure (e.g., diminishing population dividend, aging population, and one-child policy) also have significant impact on HRM in China. Thus, it can be expected that Chinese HRM has divergent aspects and includes indigenous characteristics. Studies have found that human resource management in China has unique characteristics such as the prevalence of Guanxi in Chinese organizations (Chen & Chen, 2004; Chen, Chen, & Huang, 2013; Farh, Tsui, Xin, & Cheng, 1998; Hom & Xiao, 2011; Luo, Huang, & Wang, 2012).

Prior studies has revealed many interesting phenomena of HRM in China (Warner, 2010). To activate knowledge from phenomena, there are two aspects which need to be developed. First, a deep description and discussion of these phenomena with the method of case studies is highly needed. Second, we strongly suggest that researchers take a further step by finding the underlying concepts and/or mechanisms that explain such phenomena. As many researchers have suggested, research on HRM in China shall move from the current descriptive stage to a more systematic theory building stage (Cooke, 2009; Zhang, 2012). The entire March 2009 issue of Management and Organization Review is about this topic. To achieve the goal of concept development and theory building, researchers shall not only be very familiar to indigenous phenomena but also have theoretical reflection. We believe it is an appropriate time for this book. With implementing open door policy for over 30 years, companies in China has accumulated many management ideas and experiences which are worthy of conceptualizing and theorizing. The increasing number of researchers who have both rigorous research training and engaged scholarship facilitates research community to achieve the goal of moving to theory building stage.

The goal of this book is to bridge theories and practices on HRM in China. Thus, this book will not only includes new concepts and theories, but also some cases which help research community understand the new concepts and theories. We hope this integrative approach can make readers enjoy both the elegance of theories and the enrichment of cases.


Potential topics/ideas for contributors

As far as we notice, there are still many interesting HRM areas at either macro-level or micro-level which have not been fully explored. We encourage researchers to submit conceptual, qualitative and quantitative papers that explore new concepts and theories on HRM in China. We also welcome high-quality practitioner-oriented cases which depict interesting and novel phenomena and include insightful discussion on HRM in China. We would like to list some possible questions or topics to inspire researchers who are interested in HRM of China.

Society and HRM

1.Prior studies often focus on traditional roots of Chinese culture such as Confucianism. It is urgent to explore how value and belief systems change among modern Chinese people, especially among the youth generation who were born in 1980s and 1990s. How do these value changes influence the new generation of workers?  

2.China has some unique national policies such as national residential registration system (Hu Kou) and one-child policy in urban areas; how do such policies impact HRM in China such as employee turnover and work-family issues?

3.Because the power of labor union is relatively weak, labor rights are often violated (e.g., back pay and overtime work with no pay), especially in private-owned companies. How can labor rights be protected? 

HRM systems

1.One core assumption of management is to improve efficiency. Chinese tradition of dealing with interpersonal relationship is to facilitate humanity and harmony. Is it possible that HRM can balance the interpersonal harmony and efficiency? Moreover, how?      

2.Are there unique characteristics of leadership in Chinese companies? What are the differences between leadership in state-owned companies and private-owned companies? And what are its implications for 

3.Chinese state-owned companies implement the system of double tracks that lead to unfairness in HRM. For example, the HRM systems are different for formal employees and contingent workers. How does this type of employment relationship work in China?

HRM functions

1.Force ranking is a widely used tool of performance management. However, it does not work well in most Chinese companies. Both managers and employees are reluctant to use it. Is force ranking applicable to Chinese companies? 

2.In Chinese state-owned companies, organization department, a branch of communist party committee, is in charge of assessing and promoting managers. How does this system work? What are its implications for HRM?

3.In the period of planning economy, the salary gap between top managers and common employees was regulated in a restricted range. With the implementation of market-oriented economy, the gap has becoming larger. However, even today, the salary gap is often intentionally controlled by manipulating job/position evaluation systems. Managers get other forms of incentives such as various forms of non-cash benefits. How could such income system work in the period of marker-oriented economy? 


Contributors should note:

1.Submitted papers must be based on original materials not under consideration by any other outlets (journals or books).

2.Potential contributors need to submit a three-page proposal first. The proposal of conceptual paper shall highlight the research question, theoretical and practical implications and originality. The proposal of case studies shall highlight the originality and practical implications of the case.

3.All papers will be peer-reviewed.

4.The length of paper ranges from 7,000 to 15,000 words.

5.All papers shall follow format requirement of the APA 6th manual.

The deadline for the proposal is Sep 1st, 2014. The editors will invite some highly potential proposals to develop full papers.

The deadline for the first draft of the full-paper submission is March 1st, 2015.

Proposals and papers to be considered for this book should be submitted to:

Mian Zhang (zhangm6@sem.tsinghua.edu.cn)

If you have any question, please kindly contact either of us. We look forward to your submission.                

 

References    

Barney, J. B. (1996). The resource-based theory of the firm. Organization Science, 7(5), 469-469.

Chen, X.P., & Chen, C. C. (2004). On the intricacies of the Chinese guanxi: A process model of guanxi development. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 21(3), 305-324.

Chen, C. C., Chen, X. P., & Huang, S. (2013). Chinese guanxi: An integrative review and new directions for future research.Management and Organization Review, 9(1), 167-207.

Cooke, F. L. (2009). A decade of transformation of HRM in China: A review of literature and suggestions for future studies. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 47(1), 6-40.

Farh, J. L., Tsui, A. S., Xin, K., & Cheng, B. S. (1998). The influence of relational demography and guanxi: The Chinese case. Organization Science, 9(4), 471-488.

Hofstede, G. (1993). Cultural constraints in management theories. The Executive, 7(1), 81-94.

Hom, P. W., & Xiao, Z. (2011). Embedding social networks: How guanxi ties reinforce Chinese employees' retention. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116(2), 188-202.

Luo, Y., Huang, Y., & Wang, S. L. (2012). Guanxi and organizational performance: A meta-analysis. Management and Organization Review, 8(1), 139-172.

National Bureau of Statistics. (2011, April 28). Press release on major figures of the 2010 national population census. Retrieved Dec 13, 2013, from http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/newsandcomingevents/t20110428_402722237.htm

Warner, M. (2009). 'Making sense' of HRM in China: Setting the scene. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(11), 2169-2193. 

Warner, M. (2010). In search of Confucian HRM: Theory and practice in Greater China and beyond. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(12), 2053-2078.

Warner, M., & Ying, Z. (2002). Human Resource Management 'with Chinese characteristics' : A comparative study of the Peoples Republic of China and Taiwan. Asia Pacific Business Review, 9(2), 21-42.

Zhang, M. (2012). The development of human resource management in China: An overview. Human Resource Management Review. 22(3), 161-164.

Zhao, S., & Du, J. (2012). Thirty-two years of development of human resource management in China: Review and prospects. Human Resource Management Review, 22(3), 179-188.

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