This study aims to examine the relationship between employees' perceived equity and their propensity to unionize in China and the moderating effect of tenure on the relationship.
A survey was administered to 160 employees in a foreign‐invested company in China which had experienced a spontaneous labor strike seven months before the study.
The results supported the hypothesis regarding the relationship between workers' perceived equity and their unionization propensity in China. In addition, employee tenure was found to moderate this relationship such that the longer the tenure, the weaker the relationship between perceived equity and unionization propensity.
This study provides evidence of the external validity of the relationship between perceived equity and workers' unionization propensity in China. It also demonstrates the different roles employee tenure plays in the relationship. Specifically, senior workers were less likely to join spontaneous unions in China than junior workers when treatment was perceived to be unfair, a noteworthy contrast to existing research findings that senior workers in Western societies are more eager to get involved in union activities than junior workers.
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