Managing people in China’s foreign trade corporations: some evidence of change

David H. Brown, Mohamed Branine

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Within the state sector the Foreign Trade Corporation (FTCs) have been at the forefront of changes arising out of China’s ' ‘open door’ policy. The FTCs have had to cope with deregulation, changes in scope and increased internal competition. Such pressures have brought about changes in personnel and management practices and have led to an interest in Western HRM. Recent evidence about such changes has been drawn from eighteen projects undertaken by the FTCs and reported within a major UN-funded management development programme. The research confirms increased emphasis in the FTCs on strategic awareness, individuality and flexibility; in two areas, however, namely workers’ representation and empowerment of line managers, there was no evidence of significant change in Chinese practices. These developments in the FTCs, while far from being widespread throughout China’s state-owned enterprises, may well be a pointer to emerging personnel management practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1995


  • China
  • Foreign Trade Organizations
  • Human resource management
  • Personnel management


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