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Self-governing organizations and culture: addressing condominium law developments in China

Lei Chen (Durham Law School, Durham University, Durham, UK)

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law

ISSN: 2514-9407

Article publication date: 8 June 2023

Issue publication date: 15 February 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to unfold the intricate relations between private law design, the structure of organizations for collective action and cultural values and orientations that practically guide interpersonal interactions in Chinese society.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon the Hofstede Insights National Culture survey (The Culture Compass) data and some judicial rulings in China, this paper examines the legislative development and judicial approach to settle condominium disputes to explain and address the cultural orientation for future legal reform. This paper examines how the law reflects and responds to the cultural and social variations/interactions among the stakeholders, namely, local government, developers, homeowner associations, condo owners and property management agents.

Findings

Culture plays a significant role in shaping how condominiums are governed in China. This analysis can highlight the role of cultural factors that influence the success or failure of condominium governance and suggest ways in which governance structures can be adapted to reflect the legal culture of the community better. The emphasis on social harmony, respect for authority, relationships and networks and knowledge and expertise all contribute to a unique approach to condominium governance that reflects the values and priorities of Chinese society.

Originality/value

While much has been written on the importance of property rights to economic development, relatively little seems to be understood about processes of change in complex property systems, particularly in China, a socialist-transforming country. Specifically, there is a lack of reliable knowledge about the intricate relations between the structure of organizations for collective action and cultural orientations that practically guide interpersonal interactions in Chinese society. The question at the heart of this research relates to the condominium rules most suitable for an emerging Chinese private property market.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Lei Chen, the corresponding author, acknowledges the financial support of the Wenlan Visiting Professor Scheme at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China.

Citation

Chen, L. (2024), "Self-governing organizations and culture: addressing condominium law developments in China", Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 20-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPPEL-04-2023-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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