The Chinese at work : collectivism and individualism?

Edward Y. T. WONG

Research output: Working paperWorking paper series


One of the significant features of the national culture of the Chinese in China and other Chinese-majority societies is “collectivism” or “low individualism” (Hofstede, 1984; Hofstede and Bond, 1988; Hofstede, 1993). Does it imply that the Chinese at work are collective subjects, with “group orientation”? Different people may have different views on this question. This paper challenges such popular assumptions about Chinese work behavior of “collectivism”. Drawing on studies from P.R.C., Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, it questions whether the logic of Chinese Confucian collectivism, prevailing in traditional Chinese family, still applies in today’s work organization. Based on the studies of collectivism and individualism in Chinese-majority societies, the controversial issue of collectivism is discussed, and implications for future studies of collectivism and individualism are also derived.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Institute of Business Studies, Lingnan University
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2001

Publication series

NameHong Kong Institute of Business Studies Working Paper Series
PublisherLingnan University


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