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Title: From personnel administration to human resource management? : case studies of state-owned enterprises in China
Other Titles: Cong ren shi xing zheng guan li dao ren li zi yuan guan li? : Zhongguo guo you qi ye de ge an yan jiu
從人事行政管理到人力資源管理? : 中國國有企業的個案研究
Authors: Yang, Henan (楊赫男)
Department: Dept. of Public and Social Administration
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Government business enterprises -- China -- Personnel management
Personnel management -- China
Notes: CityU Call Number: HF5549.2.C6 Y36 2004
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 153-158)
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2004
vi, 167 leaves ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: This thesis explores the development of human resource management (HRM) in Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), particularly among managers and white collar staff. Since the end of the 1970s, the Chinese government has implemented a wide range of reforms aimed at promoting economic development. Enterprise reform and labour reform have brought about great changes in the management of people in Chinese SOEs. The reform of ‘three irons’ (iron rice bowl, iron chair, and iron pay) was launched to make the systems of employment, personnel and compensation more flexible. The power of managing personnel in fields such as recruitment, training, and appraisal has gradually been delegated from the government to the enterprises. The managers in SOEs are supposed to have more autonomy to take charge of the work to manage staff. Findings presented in this thesis are based on fieldwork in two telecommunications SOEs located in Beijing, and data was collected through interviews with managers and questionnaires distributed to staff. The analysis of the data in this thesis follows three lines of enquiry. First is to research the practice changes of managing personnel in the fields such as three irons, recruitment, training, and appraisal and so on in case enterprises. Second is to explain why some problems took place in these practices. Third is to examine whether the practices in case enterprises are convergent with the HRM’s tendencies. After summarizing the practice changes in the HRM fields, this thesis concludes the status of management of people in case enterprises. Firstly, managers in HRM fields do not operate with long-term strategic plans, and HRM has not played an important role in either formulation or implementation of the enterprises’ strategies. Secondly, managerial practices in areas such as recruitment, training, appraisal and compensation have not been systematically integrated as a whole process of HRM. Thirdly, staff management has not integrated into HRM practices, and hierarchical division between cadres and staff remain strong. Fourthly, line managers played a passive role in HRM practices, at least in areas such as recruitment, training, appraisal and compensation. Prior to the reform, the practice of managing people was called ‘personnel administration’ because it was handled by the government. In the reform, the practice of managing personnel was changed from ‘administration’ to ‘management’, because the management power has been transformed from the government to the enterprises. Further re-labeling has gone on to claim Chinese SOEs are being managed under a state of HRM. However, the most appropriate labeling remains ‘personnel management’. The practices with the characteristics of strategic, integrative, human resource-centered and line managers’ playing important roles are defined as ‘human resource management’ by most researchers. By examining managers’ practices in diverse fields, the management of people in case enterprises is concluded to be in the stage of ‘personnel management’ and it hasn’t entered the ‘human resource management’ time yet.
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