Title

The meaning of work in Chinese contexts: a comparative study

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Westwood, RI & Lok, P 2003, 'The meaning of work in Chinese contexts: a comparative study', International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 139-165.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14705958030032001

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article explores the meaning of work patterns for working populations in two Chinese contexts, namely Hong Kong and Beijing. Five core meaning of work variables are measured and related to the socio-cultural and political-economic environments in the two locations. The analysis suggests some areas of similarity but also significant differences in meaning of work patterns. Both Chinese contexts display a high work centrality orientation and a highly pragmatic, instrumental view of work. There are subtle differences in perceived work goal importance and outcome patterns that are in part attributable to different socio-economic conditions.