Guanxi networks and job searches in China's emerging labour market: A qualitative investigation

Huang, Xianbi (2008) Guanxi networks and job searches in China's emerging labour market: A qualitative investigation. Work, Employment and Society, 22 3: 467-484. doi:10.1177/0950017008093481

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Author Huang, Xianbi
Title Guanxi networks and job searches in China's emerging labour market: A qualitative investigation
Journal name Work, Employment and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-0170
Publication date 2008-09
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0950017008093481
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 467
End page 484
Total pages 18
Editor Helen Rainbird
Michael Rose
Place of publication London, England
Publisher Sage Publication Ltd.
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
169903 Studies of Asian Society
940116 Social Class and Inequalities
940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society
1608 Sociology
14 Economics
1402 Applied Economics
140211 Labour Economics
Abstract This article examines whether guanxi networks are still influential in China's emerging labour market in light of economic liberalization. In-depth interviews with 65 Chinese job searchers show that guanxi networks influence job search and acquisition in a considerably transformed state sector, when jobs are highly desirable or when jobs are `soft-skill' and thus job performance is hard to measure, quantify or monitor. The influence of guanxi networks is, however, limited, resisted or eliminated when large corporations, mostly in the non-state sector, adopt transparent and standardized procedures to screen and recruit the most qualified candidates. Guanxi ties and professional ties are also interconnected in employment processes and professional ties are potentially transformable into guanxi ties.These results are discussed from institutional and cultural perspectives to contribute to a social network approach to labour market research in Chinese and non-Chinese societies.
Keyword China
Guanxi networks
Job searches
Labour market
Urban china
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Social Research Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 26 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 23 Apr 2009, 11:22:24 EST by Colleen Keeffe on behalf of Social Research Centre