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The impact of Chinese culture on Western multinational corporations’ HR policies and practices in China

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Yu Fu
  • Nicolina Kamenou-Aigbekaen
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number16
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)3270-3289
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study focuses on key cross-cultural issues that transnational corporations (TNCs) face when formulating and implementing human resource (HR) policies and practices in their Chinese affiliates. The aim of this study is twofold. First, to investigate how Chinese employees perceive HR policies and practices that have been transferred from parent enterprises of TNCs. Second, to explore the extent to which Chinese cultural values influence these HR policies and practices. These aims are addressed through an exploratory research design using in-depth qualitative interviews with 66 participants across 21 Western wholly owned TNCs in China. The findings of this study demonstrate a variation between global HR policies and practices of TNCs and their implementation at local level. Moreover, the authors find that there are three national cultural values with Chinese characteristics, which can affect HR policies and practices within TNCs in China; these are guanxi, valuing seniority and the importance of ‘human factor’. This study indicates that Chinese cultural values are far more sophisticated than the ones being conceptualized in previous literature, as these three cultural values appear to be interlinked and be embedded within the Chinese collectivist culture.