Work-life balance in China? Social policy, employer strategy and individual coping mechanisms

Yuchun Xiao, Fang Lee Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates major sources of work-life conflicts encountered by workers in China against a context of marketization of the economy, the rapid growth of the private sector and a trend of work intensification across occupational groups. The study shows that Chinese organizational leaders and workers tend to accept work-life conflicts as a fact of life. Individuals adopt various coping strategies on their own. While organizations are more likely to introduce human resource initiatives to cushion the negative effect of long working hours on their key employees and their families, managers are far less willing to adopt practices to accommodate childcare needs. We argue that the institutional and cultural contexts of work-life conflict and solution in China are significantly different from those found in developed economies and that the understanding of these issues has particular implications for western multinational firms operating in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6 - 22
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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