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Applicability of the high performance organization (HPO) framework in the Chinese context: The case of a state-owned enterprise

André de Waal (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands and HPO Center, Hilversum, Netherlands)
Amy Wang (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

ISSN: 2040-8005

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




In recent years, China has shifted its competitive strategy from competing on low cost to producing higher value added products and services, and the country has made the promotion of business excellence a national strategic priority. As a consequence, Chinese organizations need to know the factors that will make them world-class companies. Until recently, not much research has been done into these factors in the Chinese context. The few studies available unfortunately were mainly done only into specific elements of excellence and specific improvement techniques; a holistic and scientifically validated framework for creating high performance organizations (HPOs) cannot be found. The purpose of this study is to evaluate such a framework, which was quite recently developed, for the Chinese context.


A possible way forward is to use the HPO framework which was validated in earlier studies for the Asian context. In this paper, this research question is answered: Can the HPO framework be used to help Chinese organization to evaluate and improve the factors for excellence in the Chinese context? The study used a questionnaire which was distributed to respondents of a Chinese state-owned manufacturing enterprise. The results were discussed during a workshop to arrive at the main attention points for the organization.


The HPO framework was validated for the Chinese context and yielded valuable recommendations for improvement for the case company.


This study fills the gap which currently exists in empirical research about organization performance practices in Chinese. The study also has practical implications as management of Chinese state-owned enterprises, and possibly other Chinese companies, are now able to undertake focused improvement actions.



de Waal, A. and Wang, A. (2017), "Applicability of the high performance organization (HPO) framework in the Chinese context: The case of a state-owned enterprise", Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 22-39.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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