Publication Date

March 1998


Although employee compensation reform in Chinese industrial sector has been discussed in the literature, the real changes in compensation system and pay practices have received insufficient attention and warrant further examination. This paper briefly reviews the pre- and post-reform compensation system, and reports the results of a survey of pay practices in the four major types of industrial enterprises in China. The research findings indicate that the type of enterprise ownership has little influence on general compensation practices, adoption of profit-sharing plans, and subsidy and allowance packages. In general, pay is linked more to individual performance and has become an important incentive to Chinese employees. However, differences are found across the enterprise types with regard to performance-related pay. Current pay practices are positively correlated to overall effectiveness of the enterprise.


Suggested Citation
De Cieri, H. L., Zhu, C. J. & Dowling, P. J. (1998). The reform of employee compensation in China’s industrial enterprises (CAHRS Working Paper #98-05). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.