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Informal institutional constraints, employee participation and employee satisfaction: evidence from the Chinese retail sector

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number15
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)3168-3186
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper seeks to assess whether informal institutions can affect human resource management practices. Specifically, we examine whether the social norm of respect for authority, an important informal social institution in countries like China, constrains employee participation, and whether this affects employee satisfaction in foreign-invested and state-owned retailers in China, respectively. Data are derived from questionnaires completed by almost 1900 employees at 22 foreign-invested and state-owned retail stores in nine Chinese cities. We indicate that a norm such as respect for authority can operate as a constraint on human resource management practices such as employee participation with related impacts upon satisfaction levels in foreign-invested and state-owned retailers, but that these play out in unexpected ways.