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Comparison Of Hr Practices And Employment Relations Philosophies In China And Taiwan

3399 words - 14 pages

Comparison of HR Practices and Employment Relations Philosophies in China and Taiwan


In the face of ever-increasing globalization, both China and Taiwan
have now joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO); a more open market
economy and closer integration with the global economic order appears
to be inevitable for both countries (Magarinos et al. 2002). Human
Resource Management (HRM) is one of the critical tools for improving
productivity and competitiveness at the grass-roots level (Poole
1997). This Essays aims to identify and compare the current HRM
systems and practices at different types of enterprises in both China
and Taiwan respectively (Zhu and Warner 2000), to evaluate their
performance in this domain, as well as to illustrate the implications
of the inter-relationship between social norms/ environment and the
transformation of HRM in both economies.

The outcome of this comparison may be meaningful in terms of
understanding the theoretical arguments about the trend of HRM
development towards a ‘convergent’ or ‘divergent’ model within the
global production and economic systems of our time (Warner 2002) or
possibly a hybrid ‘cross-vergent’ phenomenon where national cultural
systems are blended with broader economic ideologies .

HR practices and employment relations philosophies of China

HRM is a term used to describe a wide range of activities involved in
attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining the best and most
capable people to perform within an organization. Western HRM places
importance not only on systematic recruitment but also on selection,
training, and development procedures, emphasizing motivation through
involvement, and appraisal and incentives schemes (Child 1994). But
the HRM in China is different. Its distinctive system is labelled
human resource management with ‘Chinese characteristics’ (Warner,

Labour management in China is currently undergoing a major change,
shifting from the socialist model to a market-driven one. The ‘iron
rice bowl’ is being slowly phased out. Guaranteed lifetime job
security is being replaced by more flexible labour contracts. The
‘cradle to grave’ social welfare system is also fading out, with more
performance-based reward systems replacing it (Warner 1997).

Prior to the mid-1980s, when the Chinese government began economic
reforms, most personnel issues enterprises were controlled by planning
authorities, such as government personnel and labour bureaucrats. For
instance, the recruitment of any person needed a pre-planned quota
that was granted by the state. Neither the employees nor the employers
(enterprises) had freedom to choose according to their preferences.
People were assigned jobs for life with limited mobility. A worker’s
personnel file recorded his/her employment history...

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