Contextualizing employee perceptions of human resource management: a review of China-based literature and future directions

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Employee perceptions of human resource management (HRM) have attracted increasing attention in recent years. This review study aimed to examine the extent to which employee perceptions of HRM have been contextualized in China. We conducted a systematic literature search and review of 25 China-based empirical studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals in English. The review demonstrates that extant research mainly focuses on three distinct but inter-related dimensions: perceived HRM content, HRM system strength, and HRM attributions. We identify several research avenues and call for qualitative studies to go beyond interview methods and quantitative research to develop context-driven measurement scales. We also suggest that future research should integrate multi-level theoretical paradigms to identify the organizational and institutional contexts within which HR perceptions are framed. Finally, future research needs to examine HR perceptions across different employees, employment groups, and nations, with the aim of addressing the complex and context-specific nature of HR perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-282
Number of pages31
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • China
  • employee perception
  • human resource management attribution
  • human resource management process
  • human resource management system strength

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