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Labor management in China

A comparison of Chinese domestic firms and Japanese-Sino joint ventures

15.05.2001 | 18.30

Tomō Marukawa, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo

Abriss

Japanese firms are having troubles in compensating and motivating their Chinese workers in their operations in China. A typical Japanese manager comes to China with an image that China is a 都ocialist country,・so that people in China are willing to devote themselves to the public interest and pay small attention to pecuniary incentives. He finds, however, that things are completely the other way around. Workers are stringent on their pay and will not allow ambiguity in the compensation scheme. Those systems that are taken for granted in Japan, such as the seniority wage system, will be the source of conflict between Japanese employers and Chinese workers if no explanation is given from the employers to the workers. After 20 years of experience in running joint ventures in China, some Japanese firms are gradually adopting to China by introducing compensation schemes that take the inclinations of Chinese workers into consideration.

This study will focus on the labor management issues of Japanese-invested enterprises in China. The recruitment of general and specialized workers and the wage scheme of Japanese-invested enterprises will be compared with those of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) using a questionnaire survey conducted in 1999 to 158 Japanese-invested enterprises and 100 SOEs or former SOEs. Japanese-invested enterprises rely more on the external labor market in recruiting general and specialized workers than SOEs, but they are less inclined to provide short-term pecuniary incentives to workers. The impact of different labor management schemes to productivity and profitability will be checked.

Brief Biography:
Tomoo Marukawa is currently Associate Professor at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. He worked in the Institute of Developing Economies until the end of March this year since his graduation from Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in 1987. He studied in Beijing from 1991 to 1993 as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Industrial Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. During his work in Institute of Developing Economies, he wrote articles related to the Chinese state-owned enterprises reform, industrial development, industrial policy, and distribution networks. Recently, he has started working on Vietnamese state-owned enterprises as well.

The presentation will be given in English. The DIJ Business & Economics Study Group is intended as a forum for young scholars and Ph.D. candidates in the field of Business and Economics Studies. Everybody is welcome to attend, but kindly asked to register by May 12th with René Haak (haak@dijtokyo.org).

Koordination: Hanns Günther Hilpert

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