Manpower restructuring in the state-owned railway industry of China: The role of the state in human resource strategy

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Twenty years after it first opened its door to foreign enterprises, one of the greatest challenges facing the Chinese government today is the reform of the state-owned enterprise sectors (which make up half of the country's GDP) in order to make them more efficient. This paper intends to describe and then critically assess a number of major human resource policies introduced in the state-owned railway enterprise (one of the biggest enterprises) in China in its recent manpower reform (downsizing). Through the case of the railway company, a wider picture is revealed of the country's changing employment policy and practice as well as its emerging labour market. In particular, problems relating to human resources such as skill, remuneration, and training are highlighted at both organization and national level. As the reality of 'life-long employment' comes to an end, the notion of 'life-long learning' has been given a high profile in government policy decisions. What, then, has been and is the role of the state in 'creating' and resolving these problems as an employer and as a state governor?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-924
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • HRD
  • Railways
  • Redundancy
  • Role of state

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