Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate employee values and work‐related attitudes in Chinese manufacturing companies in comparison with values and attitudes in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach – The paper will investigate employee values at the societal level, attitudes toward the employing organization, work and the determinants of pay. A survey was conducted in two plants in the electronics industry in China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. A standardised questionnaire comprising 39 items was developed by the Denki Ringo research group. Findings – The results of an empirical study in Asian manufacturing companies indicate significant differences, as well as similarities, among values at the societal level and job‐related attitudes in China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. It is argued that the differences in work‐related attitudes are influenced by the respective societies' historical legacy, and in particular differences in institutional development. Research limitations/implications – In order to draw broader conclusions, it is necessary to explore alternative explanations and conduct further empirical research in other industries. Practical implications – Multinationals interested in developing manufacturing in China could benefit from information given in this paper about the work‐related attitudes of Chinese employees compared to employees in other Asian societies, where they may already have experience. Originality/value – This study contributes to the understanding of factors influencing values and work‐related attitudes at the societal, organizational, and individual level.
Chinese Management Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 11, 2008
Keywords: Employee attitudes; Manufacturing industries; China; Japan; South Korea; Hong Kong