Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism

Robin Stanley SNELL, Choo Sin TSENG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A weak legal system, weak civic accountability, market distortions, public cynicism, and workforces lacking moral self-efficacy, present challenges to moral integrity in Chinese mainland enterprises. Our predominantly qualitative study, in Wuhan, of organizational moral atmosphere (OMA) in two large state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two smaller, shareholder invested SOEs, two foreign-invested joint venture companies (JVCs) and one private company, indicated that felt distributive inequity may have compounded these problems. Government-championed, in-company ideological propagation of avowed business morality appeared to have little impact on OMA, owing to normative incoherence. The JVCs, by adopting the foreign partners' system of rational-legal administration and internal justice, appeared to have found a relatively more effective approach to formal moral governance. Non-JVCs had a more punishment-oriented yet less rigorous approach to regulation, which was commended only at the private company, where personal share ownership gave middle and senior managers incentives,to enforce discipline and thus minimize losses. Developmental and dialogue-based approaches to improving OMA were largely untried.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-478
Number of pages30
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

Fingerprint

Industry
Atmosphere
Capitalism
China
Shareholders
Managers
Joint ventures
State-owned enterprises
Private companies
Inequity
Senior managers
Legal system
Share ownership
Government
Middle managers
Justice
Integrity
Governance
Cynicism
Qualitative study

Keywords

  • China
  • Communist
  • Ethics
  • Ideology
  • Leadership
  • Morality

Cite this

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title = "Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism",
abstract = "A weak legal system, weak civic accountability, market distortions, public cynicism, and workforces lacking moral self-efficacy, present challenges to moral integrity in Chinese mainland enterprises. Our predominantly qualitative study, in Wuhan, of organizational moral atmosphere (OMA) in two large state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two smaller, shareholder invested SOEs, two foreign-invested joint venture companies (JVCs) and one private company, indicated that felt distributive inequity may have compounded these problems. Government-championed, in-company ideological propagation of avowed business morality appeared to have little impact on OMA, owing to normative incoherence. The JVCs, by adopting the foreign partners' system of rational-legal administration and internal justice, appeared to have found a relatively more effective approach to formal moral governance. Non-JVCs had a more punishment-oriented yet less rigorous approach to regulation, which was commended only at the private company, where personal share ownership gave middle and senior managers incentives,to enforce discipline and thus minimize losses. Developmental and dialogue-based approaches to improving OMA were largely untried.",
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Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism. / SNELL, Robin Stanley; TSENG, Choo Sin.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3, 01.01.2002, p. 449-478.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

TY - JOUR

T1 - Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism

AU - SNELL, Robin Stanley

AU - TSENG, Choo Sin

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N2 - A weak legal system, weak civic accountability, market distortions, public cynicism, and workforces lacking moral self-efficacy, present challenges to moral integrity in Chinese mainland enterprises. Our predominantly qualitative study, in Wuhan, of organizational moral atmosphere (OMA) in two large state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two smaller, shareholder invested SOEs, two foreign-invested joint venture companies (JVCs) and one private company, indicated that felt distributive inequity may have compounded these problems. Government-championed, in-company ideological propagation of avowed business morality appeared to have little impact on OMA, owing to normative incoherence. The JVCs, by adopting the foreign partners' system of rational-legal administration and internal justice, appeared to have found a relatively more effective approach to formal moral governance. Non-JVCs had a more punishment-oriented yet less rigorous approach to regulation, which was commended only at the private company, where personal share ownership gave middle and senior managers incentives,to enforce discipline and thus minimize losses. Developmental and dialogue-based approaches to improving OMA were largely untried.

AB - A weak legal system, weak civic accountability, market distortions, public cynicism, and workforces lacking moral self-efficacy, present challenges to moral integrity in Chinese mainland enterprises. Our predominantly qualitative study, in Wuhan, of organizational moral atmosphere (OMA) in two large state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two smaller, shareholder invested SOEs, two foreign-invested joint venture companies (JVCs) and one private company, indicated that felt distributive inequity may have compounded these problems. Government-championed, in-company ideological propagation of avowed business morality appeared to have little impact on OMA, owing to normative incoherence. The JVCs, by adopting the foreign partners' system of rational-legal administration and internal justice, appeared to have found a relatively more effective approach to formal moral governance. Non-JVCs had a more punishment-oriented yet less rigorous approach to regulation, which was commended only at the private company, where personal share ownership gave middle and senior managers incentives,to enforce discipline and thus minimize losses. Developmental and dialogue-based approaches to improving OMA were largely untried.

KW - China

KW - Communist

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UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/2174

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