Essay on HRM Issues in China

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Issues affecting International Human Resource Management in China

“Napoleon called China a sleeping dragon and said there would be woe to the world when the dragon awakes.
As the world knows, the dragon is more than stirring.”


The Chinese believe that the Great Dragon ruled the Middle Kingdom of the world for nearly four thousand years. For most of this period China was a great trading nation. Then the dragon fell asleep for two centuries, while China collapsed under the effects of colonialism, until in 1978 Deng Xiao Ping woke the dragon up. And now the Chinese dragon is back, hungry to take its place as the economic and cultural superpower of the 21st century.

Nowadays China is often called the world’s
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The third is psychological. People’s thinking differs because of their different life experiences. Activities like management and organisation are therefore culturally dependent.

Hofstede’s five Dimensions

Hofstede proposes five dimensions in the study of national culture.

Power Distance Index (PDI)
The PDI focuses on the degree of equality in the country’s society. China has a significantly high PDI which indicates a high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. This condition is rather accepted by the society as their cultural heritage, than forced upon the population.
Individualism (IDV)
The IDV focuses on the degree the society supports individual or collective achievement and interpersonal relationships. The low IDV typifies the Chinese society as one with a more collectivistic nature with close ties between individuals. The society encourages strong relationships were everyone takes responsibility for the other members of their group, e.g. family. The low IDV is probably caused by the Communism.
Masculinity (MAS)
The MAS focuses on the degree the society support the traditional work role model of male achievement, control and power. The MAS of China is just a little bit higher than the world average, which means that there is still differentiation and discrimination between male and female.

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
The UAI focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity
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