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Policy variations of multinational enterprises' labor practices in China

Kenichiro Chinen (College of Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento, California, USA)
Ruth L. Wang (College of Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento, California, USA)
Chiang Wang (College of Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento, California, USA)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Publication date: 8 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Supporters of globalization highlight a major increase in the standard of living for many workers in China while critics argue that the amazing economic growth has led to an increase in pollution and harsh labor conditions in the country. The purpose of this research is to investigate policy variations of multinational enterprises (MNEs) labor practices in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research is based on a questionnaire survey that collected data from MNEs in China.

Findings

This study finds that both Hong Kong/Taiwanese and US/European MNEs comply with minimum wages, benefits, health insurance, and legal requirements in China, but do not go beyond meeting or exceeding Chinese standards. This study also finds that US/European MNEs tend to make better decisions in dealing with safety in the workplace and environmental pollution.

Practical implications

It appears that as firms expand globally and have more overseas experience, they approach issues of ethics with caution and try to avoid business practices that would hurt their images.

Originality/value

The paper offers insights into policy variations of MNEs' labor practices in China.

Keywords

Citation

Chinen, K., Wang, R.L. and Wang, C. (2008), "Policy variations of multinational enterprises' labor practices in China", Management Research News, Vol. 31 No. 10, pp. 729-736. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409170810908480

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited