Anglia Ruskin University
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The problematics of work-life management: evidence from Chinese employees

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 16:59 authored by Mengyi Xu
This paper provides critical insight into the development and effectiveness of approaches to work-life management within Chinese organisations. Work-life issues are gaining increasing salience as rapid industrial transformation and work intensification impact on Chinese employees’ work-life balance (WLB). However, over 95% of WLB research looked at western societies and the research and development of HRM in addressing work-life issues remain scant in China. Drawing on the critical management studies, we conduct case study approach and mixed methods (312 surveys, 23 interviews and documentary research), to gain an understanding of the WLB discourse within Chinese HRM. Findings indicate, similar to the western research, the problematic implementation of WLB policies and practices in the Chinese workplace, where a triple gap exists between a policy existence and its practice, in terms of availability, usage, and effectiveness. Whereas, the work-life management may be less effective or even counterproductive in the Chinese context where the formal work-life regulation and enforcement are scarce and the Guanxi-based managerial informality is dominated.


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38th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC)


Newcastle University, UK

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Faculty of Business & Law

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