Retaining key staff in SOEs in the construction industry in China

Document Type


Publication details

Zhang, Y & Wallace, M 2009, 'Retaining key staff in SOEs in the construction industry in China', New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 95-107.

Peer Reviewed



China suffers from skills shortages especially in key staff and the construction industry is no exception. The research presents the results of a retention survey undertaken with 400 managers and technical staff in construction state owned enterprises (SOEs) in relation to eleven factors that have been identified in the, mainly western, literature to influence retention. Ten of these factors were seen to support retention at different levels of intensity with fair treatment, opportunities for learning and development, and challenging and interesting work the most significantly valued. One factor, job security, was found to not correlate with retention. The authors suggest some reasons relating to Chinese workplace culture for this seeming anomaly and make recommendations regarding implementing retention strategies adapted from the western context, for Chinese SOEs.