To what extent is corporate social responsibility part of human resource management in the Chinese context? A review of literature and future research directions

Mengtian Xiao, Fang Lee Cooke, Jiuping Xu, Huimin Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


There has been considerable research attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in relation to human resource management (HRM) in the Chinese context in the last decade. This systematic review of extant literature of CSR–HRM in the Chinese context is thus undertaken with the aim of identifying what we know, what the gaps are in this field of research, and what their relevance is to theory and practice. It reveals a number of limitations in the emerging body of CSR–HRM research in the Chinese context. We call for more context-driven and interdisciplinary and multi-level research oriented to organizational problem-solving, to make our CSR–HRM studies more legitimate and relevant for businesses and societies. We also call for a more in-depth and refined approach to research design, in order to better understand organizational CSR–HRM practices, workplace environments, and related outcomes. Research on CSR–HRM in Chinese firms also needs to be situated in the international context with broader implications, because Chinese firms do not operate in isolation. Rather, they are governed, directly and indirectly, by international institutions and seek to influence global governance at the same time, with HRM implications. Finally, research on CSR–HRM in the Chinese context needs to be framed in a broader framework and to assess real-life issues and impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100726
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • China
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Human resource management
  • Labor standards
  • Microfoundations
  • Organizational behavior

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