On Friday we had a great lecture by Professor Wang Jianyou on HR and management within companies in China. I learned that there is a great deal of difficulty in measuring employee's feelings about the workplace as there are little to no privacy rules in China. This lack of privacy makes employee surveys hard to conduct if not impossible. Often the individual employees satisfaction with their job is not known and if so, nothing much is usually done to change this situation.
Another unique concept that we learned about is that of a "Work Unit." These work units are designed by a corporation. They provide everything for the workers who are undertaking a certain project. It is structured similar to a military base or university campus, where everything that is needed to live is provided by the company (almost like a small city).
The most interesting fact that I learned was that even through all of the interaction between western companies and Chinese companies, the most difficult challenge for a multi-national corporation's (MNC) management is understanding the cultural characteristics of China. With over 2000 years of rich Chinese history and customs it is incredibly difficult for managers to understand how to manage their workers in the proper context. I see this trend continuing and those managers who take extra time and effort to understand the context of the Chinese culture will probably be very successful in business.