Changing lens: broadening the research agenda of women in management in China

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Human resource management (HRM) is underpinned by, and contributes to, the business ethics of the organization. Opportunities available to men and women as managers, and the role of managers more broadly, are critical in shaping business ethics in contemporary organizations. Research on women in management therefore provides an important lens through which to understand the institutional and cultural context of HR ethics as part of the business ethics of a country. To date, women in management in China remains an under-charted topic of research in the HRM field. Extant research and recommendations on the improvement of the position of women in management in China focus primarily on women themselves from a traditional, gender norm angle, instead of challenging the political and patriarchal system or any institutionalized discriminatory practice. This is, in part, due to the absence in China of a critical feminism approach or feminist movement, as found in Western societies, and the continuing strong influence of the state and media in portraying women’s (stereotypical) image. There is significant room for research capacity building in scholarship on women in management research, for example, and through cross-fertilization of different disciplines and more rigorous research design and execution. This paper provides a critical analysis of extant literature on women in management and the ideologies underpinning it, and offers some suggestions for future research and conceptualization.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Chinese feminism
  • Gender equality
  • Patriarchal values
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Women in management in China

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