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Employment Relations in China
China’s management style results from the country’s long-lasting communist traditions and is concerned directive. Cultural influence resulted in the kind of employment relations when the senior management team gives instructions to the subordinates who have to follow the directions. Also, Confucianism has always played an essential role in every aspect of Chinese relationships, including employment (Mazanec et al. 2015). Confusion tradition implies that the word of elderly (or senior authority) is the most influential one, and the management style has always conformed to this definition. However, in recent decades the country’s approaches to employment relations started to change, giving way to strategic human resource management (SHRM) (Tang et al. 2014). SHRM has proven to impact corporate entrepreneurship (Tang et al. 2014).
Modern labor policy in China is different from the traditional ones, and the country is undergoing an increase in collective bargaining (Lee, Brown & Wen 2014). Due to this policy, China’s workers tend to defend their rights for decent working conditions (Lee, Brown & Wen 2014). Another sign of the changing employment relations in China is that the country is adopting a new decentralized method of labor relations (Friedman & Kuruvilla 2015). Specific political restrictions in the country disable interest accumulation among the employees since the government considers it a threat to social stability (Friedman & Kuruvilla 2015). Despite the restrictions, specialists note steps towards decentralization. However, such movement is more frequently observed at the municipal degree (Friedman & Kuruvilla 2015). Zhang (2015) mentions that Chinese companies experience the movement from despotic management to hegemonic one. Such change enables the workers to obtain more rights concerning their work options.
Thus, it can be mentioned that China is making the first steps towards altering its traditional employment relations, but these steps are rather restricted by the government and authorities.
Employment Relations in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, which has been under British rule for a long time, has been impacted by the British Empire in many aspects, including employment relationships. While the city is a part of mainland China, its management style in more open-minded. Collective decision-making is in favor of the Hong Kong management style. (Gao 2015). One of the ways of enhancing the city’s employment standards is the implementation of communication and information technologies (Ninaus et al. 2015). Hong Kong government pays attention to the elimination of stressful situations in the workplace. Thus, new technologies are employed by companies to facilitate their employees’ abilities and endeavors.
Various communications make it possible to quicken the exchange of information, simplify communication between workers (Barnes et al. 2015), and relieve stress levels (Ninaus et al. 2015). The employers who modernize their work environment obtain a more positive atmosphere within the team of workers, which leads to better business outcomes. Another peculiarity of management methods in Hong Kong in the development of leadership and its promotion among the management teams (Chan & Burgess 2015). To enhance the advancement of leadership, coaching is used as a crucial corporate-support technique (Chan & Burgess 2015). In the most recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of professional coaches who contribute to the companies’ better results and enhance management techniques (Chan & Burgess 2015). Hong Kong employment relations are tended to be democratic, considering each employee’s opinion, and supportive.
The main divergence between China’s and Hong Kong’s prevailing management styles is in their traditional approaches to employment relationships. While in China the manager’s role is the most important, in Hong Kong there are more democratic relationships between managers and employees. Taking into consideration Hofstede’s cultural constructs, Hong Kong and China have different prevalent issues. For China, individualism is more important while for Hong Kong, power distance plays a crucial role (Mazanec et al. 2015).
China’s individualism is revealed through attributing more significance to one person’s welfare (a company’s leader) rather than to the group of people (employees), while in Hong Kong it is vice versa. Power distance, which is realized via acceptance of various classes’ opinions, is more essential for Hong Kong, (Mazanec et al. 2015). Hofstede’s construct of uncertainty avoidance (Mazanec et al. 2015) pertains to China more. Chinese leaders tend not to tolerate risk and try to avoid it by any possible means, one of which is the dictatorship management style. The Confucian approach (Mazanec et al. 2015) is more typical for China than for Hong Kong. The latter allows more freedom for each employee, while the former concentrates on entitling the rulers with more power.
Other differences in Hong Kong’s and China’s employment relations are concerned with political and historical peculiarities (Zou et al. 2016). While Hong Kong has been under the impact of Great Britain for a long time, it has adopted more sociable policies concerning employment relationships (Yip, Lei & O’Connell 2017).
Another distinctive feature is that while China is making the first steps towards employment democracy, Hong Kong has experienced such practice for a longer time. In China, there are still many obstacles to the adoption of democratic management (Zhang 2015).
The main connection between Hong Kong and China is that although the city of Hong Kong has particular administrative power, it is still a part of the country.
Another similarity is noted according to Hofstede’s classification: such constructs as masculinity and long-term orientation (Mazanec et al. 2015) are present in both China and Hong Kong. Masculinity is revealed through the desire to achieve the best outcomes. Long-term orientation aims at sustaining stability in the relationships and encourages the leaders to be oriented on future development (Mazanec et al. 2015).
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Chan, J & Burgess, J 2015, ‘Coaching the coaches: a development program in a Hong Kong organization’, Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 30-33.
Friedman, E & Kuruvilla, S 2015, ‘Experimentation and decentralization in China’s labor relations’, Human Relations, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 181-195.
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