Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Pay system reforms in public service units in contemporary China: the implementation and impact of performance-related pay

Weng, Jingjing (2012) Pay system reforms in public service units in contemporary China: the implementation and impact of performance-related pay. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (1MB) | Preview


The reform of pay systems in China has received growing attention from scholars over the past two decades. However, despite the great attention given to the business sector in China, one significant category among the pay studies in the Chinese public sector has been missing. In recent years, the Chinese government has started to implement a new wave of reform in the national payment system: performance related pay in the public service units (PSU, “shiye danwei”), which form a cluster of public service providers operating alongside core government and separate from other state-owned or statesponsored organisations. Compared to the extensive discussion of public sector pay in Western countries, there has to date been no academic research on pay systems in the Chinese PSU sector, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of the key changes in and challenges to its human resource management in different organizations. This thesis conducted in-depth case studies on the pay system reforms in six state schools and in one publishing organization, exploring a range of research objectives which draw on the New Economics of Personnel (NEP) theory and such motivation theories as expectancy theory, goal-setting theory, agency theory, cognitive evaluation theory and equity theory. The case study results were found to be consistent with the NEP predictions. The two cases indicate that, although the principle of linking pay to individual performance has been well accepted by employees across PSUs, performance related pay was better implemented and more successful in the publishing organization than the state schools. The introduction of performance related pay in schools does not appear to have achieved the government’s objective of encouraging higher performance but did have other positive consequences such as retaining teachers in rural areas and possibly balancing the teaching resource in the longer run in addition to some unintended outcomes at the same time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Jingjing Weng
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Fernie, Sue

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics