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An exploratory study of job insecurity in relation to household registration, employment contract, and job satisfaction in Chinese state-owned enterprises

Bing Shi (School of Business, London South Bank University, London, UK)

Evidence-based HRM

ISSN: 2049-3983

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of the household registration and of employment contract on employee job insecurity in the Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The relationships between job satisfaction and the two components of job insecurity are also analysed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses original data collected through a questionnaire survey in six Chinese SOEs. In all, 309 samples are analysed mainly using hierarchical regression analysis.

Findings

The research finds household registration is a predictor of job insecurity while employment contract is not. Job satisfaction is found to be positively related to one of the components of job insecurity: the perceived severity of job loss.

Social implications

To improve job security of the employees who are in vulnerable positions, improving the equality of social safety net is significant. In China, household registration causes unequal access to social welfare and employment opportunities; improving the equality may be more significant than seeking for permanent employment.

Originality/value

The research suggests two levels of factors influencing job insecurity: the macro-level factors that include the institutional configurations of social safety net; and the micro-level factors that include employment contract. The macro-level factors have fundamental influence while the micro-level factors are more apparent. The micro-level factors may manifest their influence only when the macro-level factors equally cover all the employees. The macro-level factors may also intermediate the relationship between job insecurity and satisfaction.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author wants to thank Professor Chris Brewster for his guidance on this research, especially in the early stages, and for his help with academic writing.

Citation

Shi, B. (2017), "An exploratory study of job insecurity in relation to household registration, employment contract, and job satisfaction in Chinese state-owned enterprises", Evidence-based HRM, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 151-165. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBHRM-09-2015-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited