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Employers' perception of skill, education and the impact of global competition in the Peoples' Republic of China

By Katharine Venter


This paper was published as Working Paper 38 by the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester. It it available from only entryA narrow concept of modern management has been suggested to exist in China. Based\ud on a nationally derived dataset of 465 organisations this paper argues that this narrow\ud conception extends to perceptions of skill and skills development and results in two\ud further characteristics. Firstly, these conceptions lead to an emphasis on quantitative\ud measures of staff skills (and a consequent emphasis on qualification rather than skill).\ud Secondly, these conceptions lead employers to hold limited expectations of the\ud education system from which they seek compliant, obedient and honest workers who\ud will follow instructions without question. Conceptions of modern management and of\ud skill in China have developed out of quantitative, production oriented traditions that\ud have tended to downplay the human side of management, organisational development,\ud career development and skills development for all but the educational elite. It is argued\ud in this paper that a segmented labour market is emerging as some organisations are\ud moving further away from such narrow definitions. These tend to be resource rich larger\ud enterprises, often in modern growth sectors (such as telecommunications and high\ud technology) and organisations exposed to foreign practice (either by virtue of foreign\ud ownership or investment, or as a result of exposure to the pressures of global competition\ud through operation in international markets)

Publisher: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester
Year: 2002
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