Information and influence are distinct network resources that are embedded in and mobilized from networks of personal contacts. A five-city survey shows that Chinese job changers obtain both kinds of network resources from social ties of varying strengths. During the first 20 years of China's market reforms, job changes were increasingly network facilitated; despite the growth of labor markets network allocation of labor had reached dominance by 1992. Job changers using information and influence networks to search for new employment were more likely to increase both job search time and job–worker matching; however, those using influence networks, not information networks, were likely to move into jobs of higher earning opportunity. These results are interpreted in a dynamic context of increasing market competition and growing allocative efficiency.
Thirty years of rapid development and economic change have created organizations and work relations in China that would have been unthinkable at the start of transition. In December of 1978, the Chinese Communist Party agreed with Deng Xiaoping to allow agricultural privatization, a stark contrast to the communes of Mao Zedong's era. This change established the financial foundation that would lead to development in eastern, coastal cities and that would ultimately fuel an extraordinary transformation of China's economy and its global position. As a result, organizational structures have changed, and new organizational forms have emerged. There have also been dramatic changes in the way work organizations behave and in the nature and implications of work. This volume provides a glimpse into the state of organizations and work at the 30-year mark. The contributors are top scholars in the field, including many who have observed and studied China's transition for decades, who are drawing on some of the most up-to-date and innovative data sources available. The chapters are samples of the current work of these researchers that, taken together, provide a snapshot of the state of research on China's organizations and work behaviors as transition enters its fourth decade.