As a predisposition of human behavior, work value has long been recognized as a "soft" way to influence employee attitudes and behavior through the administration (Ouchi, 1980; Simon, 1976). As the nucleus of corporate culture, it has also drawn increasing academic attention in the last 20 years (Dolan, Garcia, & Richley, 2006; Meglino & Ravlin, 1998; Schwartz & Zanna, 1992). Value congruence and consistency are the two major research areas within the broader context of culture. Value congruence means the compatibility of work values among employees within an organization; when the work value within the latter complements, it has shown to improve job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Chatman, 1989; Edwards & Cable, 2009; Verquer, Beehr, & Wagner, 2003), and contributes to lower turnover intention and lower risks of burnout. Value consistency, by contrast, means the change of values overtime, especially the evolution and conflict of the values between generations, between geographical districts, industry type, ownership, and other benchmarks; its impact on employee attitudes and behavior is also noticeable. Although the scholarly community has paid attention to the evolution, conflict, and complementary of work values within the Chinese context (Alas & Wei, 2008; Egri & Ralston, 2004; Ralston et al., 2006; Tsui, Wang, & Xin, 2006), the scarcity of extant review of value-congruence and value-consistency for the Chinese context is evident. As a developing country, both on the economic institutional side and the social ideology, China is experiencing profound changes and is evolving on every aspect of work life, especially the one connected with work values. Traditional values based on Confucious and Taoism like harmony, family orientation, and role system based on "WU LUN" is facing challenge from more pragmatic orientated values like efficiency, time orientation ( "time is money"), etc. As predisposition for behavior, this evolution may lead to either conflict or complimentarity, and is effecting the working attitudes and behavior of employee to a great extent. Chinese organization, thus, represent a rich ongoing social laboratory for scholars interested in studying this evolution; it offers a great opportunity to conduct research on respective themes such as value congruence and consistency. A couple of examples for interesting research topics can include: value congruence and consistency among different generations , like the pre-1980s and post-1980s; SOEs and other types of ownerships; comparing values of East and West part of the country, etc. The future research agenda, can include in addition themes such as indigenous value construct, measurement issues, and respective methodologies based on local value phenomenon; reexamining the relationship between constructs developed in Western literature and understanding them within the Chinese context; developing possible new constructs that are related to work values; and conducting cross-cultural research on work values.

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Dolan, Simon

East meet West: Evolution, conflicts and complementarities amongst traditional vs. emerging values in the Chinese labor force

As a predisposition of human behavior, work value has long been recognized as a "soft" way to influence employee attitudes and behavior through the administration (Ouchi, 1980; Simon, 1976). As the nucleus of corporate culture, it has also drawn increasing academic attention in the last 20 years (Dolan, Garcia, & Richley, 2006; Meglino & Ravlin, 1998; Schwartz & Zanna, 1992). Value congruence and consistency are the two major research areas within the broader context of culture. Value congruence means the compatibility of work values among employees within an organization; when the work value within the latter complements, it has shown to improve job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Chatman, 1989; Edwards & Cable, 2009; Verquer, Beehr, & Wagner, 2003), and contributes to lower turnover intention and lower risks of burnout. Value consistency, by contrast, means the change of values overtime, especially the evolution and conflict of the values between generations, between geographical districts, industry type, ownership, and other benchmarks; its impact on employee attitudes and behavior is also noticeable. Although the scholarly community has paid attention to the evolution, conflict, and complementary of work values within the Chinese context (Alas & Wei, 2008; Egri & Ralston, 2004; Ralston et al., 2006; Tsui, Wang, & Xin, 2006), the scarcity of extant review of value-congruence and value-consistency for the Chinese context is evident. As a developing country, both on the economic institutional side and the social ideology, China is experiencing profound changes and is evolving on every aspect of work life, especially the one connected with work values. Traditional values based on Confucious and Taoism like harmony, family orientation, and role system based on "WU LUN" is facing challenge from more pragmatic orientated values like efficiency, time orientation ( "time is money"), etc. As predisposition for behavior, this evolution may lead to either conflict or complimentarity, and is effecting the working attitudes and behavior of employee to a great extent. Chinese organization, thus, represent a rich ongoing social laboratory for scholars interested in studying this evolution; it offers a great opportunity to conduct research on respective themes such as value congruence and consistency. A couple of examples for interesting research topics can include: value congruence and consistency among different generations , like the pre-1980s and post-1980s; SOEs and other types of ownerships; comparing values of East and West part of the country, etc. The future research agenda, can include in addition themes such as indigenous value construct, measurement issues, and respective methodologies based on local value phenomenon; reexamining the relationship between constructs developed in Western literature and understanding them within the Chinese context; developing possible new constructs that are related to work values; and conducting cross-cultural research on work values.
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East meet West: Evolution, conflicts and complementarities amongst traditional vs. emerging values in the Chinese labor force
Dolan, Simon
2010 IACMR Conference
International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR)
Beijing (China), 16/06/2010 - 20/06/2010

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