Change and development in pluralistic settings: An exploration of HR practices in Chinese township and village enterprises

Irene Hau Siu Chow, Ping Ping Fu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Very few systematic studies have been conducted on the managerial practices of Chinese Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs) despite their increasing contributions to China's economic development. Focusing on the HRM practices in ten different TVE organizations in a new city in Southeastern China, this study aims at filling a gap in the literature by exploring the general HRM practices in those organizations. Results show that HRM practices in TVEs, although still relatively primitive compared to those in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), have been much more formalized recently. Employees are now mostly selected rather than referred by existing employees or 'guanxi' as they were previously. New employees in many large TVEs are now trained through formal procedures rather than through apprenticeships, and pay is tightly linked to performance and skill levels. However, in smaller TVEs, HR practices are less formalized. The study points out that the firm size may be an institutional factor affecting the implementation of formal HRM practices. Yet, regardless of the form of personnel management, HRM practices are shown to be a very important factor in the economic success of TVE firms. Further studies are necessary to understand HRM and other managerial practices in TVEs and to test the relationships between HRM practices and firm performance among the TVEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-836
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Human resource practices
  • Township and village enterprises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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