Pay and Motivation in Chinese Enterprises

  • Brenda Sun
Part of the Studies on the Chinese Economy book series (STCE)


Since the 1980s, pay-for-labour (anlao fenpei) has become an important concept in the distribution of income at the enterprise level. Wage reform in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s was slow (see Laaksonen, 1988; Korzec, 1992). By the early 1990s, however, several significant changes had occurred vis-à-vis matching rewards with skills and training, effort and productivity (Warner, 1995). Although the enterprise wage bill remains a contractual arrangement between the state and the enterprise, the latter is given a certain degree of autonomy in setting up its own payment system according to enterprise-specific circumstances (changqing) (see Naughton 1995). Since Chinese state enterprise workers were traditionally paid equally, the fundamental step in shunning the undesirable consequences of an unmotivated workforce is to install a competitive mechanism whereby wage differentials are created to reward those with greater contributions (see Takahara, 1992; Jackson, 1992; Hussain and Zhuang, 1994).


Total Factor Productivity Assembly Line Wage Differential Work Motivation Chinese Enterprise 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited  2000

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  • Brenda Sun

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