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Hrm in China

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China is a big country, with 22 percent of the world’s population but only 7 percent of its land surface. It has a population of over 1.2 billion people (expected to rise to 1.6 billion by 2050), with a life expectancy of 71 years, with literacy over 80 percent. It has a ‘one-child policy’ in most of the country to restrict population numbers as new citizens as well as the existing ones have to be fed, housed and employed, no easy challenge.. It has recently been hailed as a potential ‘economic superpower’ by agencies like the World Bank, Living standards have risen greatly but the distribution of benefits has been uneven.

Human resource management in the People’s Republic of China

Initially, the People’s Republic of China managed its workforce via a system of personnel management which endured for half a century. Studies of Chinese economic management in the critical years after 1949 show the links between Chinese Communist practice before 1949 ass well as the Soviet influence after that date. In addition, established Chinese capitalist and foreign-owned businesses before these were ‘nationalized’ in the 1950s left a legacy of personnel procedures. Other influences came from the Japanese public and private enterprises set up in Manchuria from the turn of the century.

Personnel management was basically a bureaucratic device to run the large state-owned enterprises which were set up in the 1950s. It was probably ‘Weberian’ rather than ‘Marxist’ in nature but above all it had to be ‘Chinese’. It was basically concerned with the “bread and butter’ activities of recruitment and selection, reward systems, disciplinary procedures and so on. Any organization, whatever its form of ownership or whatever kind of social system it is located in, has to perform a set of procedures of this kind.

The Chinese worker in the 1950s saw the...

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