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The transformation of industrial relations (IR) in China over the last three decades has been (partially) captured by the growing number of scholarly studies in the English language literature. Despite the major contribution of these studies in advancing our understanding of contemporary IR in China and the (changing) roles of traditional institutional actors, significant research gaps remain. This review paper argues that research on Chinese IR needs to include a broader category of IR actors, including more categories of workers than the current focus, to examine the new role of traditional actors and the role of emerging actors in shaping the IR processes and outcomes, even if their role may be episodic and spatially confined. It also argues that Chinese IR research needs to embrace a wider range of disciplinary perspectives, for example cultural perspective and human resource management, to go beyond the radical-pluralist and structuralist approaches that have often been deployed. Equally, it argues that instead of focusing primarily on conflicts as IR issues for research, we should also examine forms of collectivism, sources of bargaining power, and scope for cooperation. Finally, this paper argues for a closer link between Chinese IR research and public policy.
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- Chinese industrial relations research: In search of a broader analytical framework and representation
Fang Lee Cooke
- Springer US
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