File(s) under permanent embargo

Reason: Restricted by author. A copy can be supplied under Section 51(2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library or by emailing

Chinese multinational enterprises, employer associations and trade unions: an analysis of country of origin effect

posted on 22.03.2017, 01:50 authored by Zhu, Shuqin
This thesis seeks to explain how the approach of Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) to host country employer associations and trade unions is influenced by China’s industrial relations (IR) system. In order to achieve this goal the industrial relations system in China is analyzed and interviews were conducted with 71 people, including 54 managers from 21 Chinese multinational enterprises and 17 officials from Chinese government, employer associations and trade unions. The research contributes to the literature in several distinct ways. First, it is the only study to date that has investigated Chinese firms’ approach to employer associations both within and outside China. Second, it is the first study that has sought to systematically explore country of origin effect in relation to MNEs from emerging economies. Third, it is one of few studies that empirically investigated how country of origin effect is reflected in MNEs’ behavior. These foci distinguish the thesis from previous country of origin effect research, which has concentrated primarily on identifying whether a country of origin effect exists and the relationship between country of origin effect and other factors influencing MNEs’ behavior. Finally, the study has practical implications for Chinese MNEs which have been acknowledged to have experienced difficulties in coping with overseas industrial relations. A significant finding of the study is the continuing influence of China’s IR system on Chinese MNEs’ approach to employer associations and trade unions in their overseas subsidiaries.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Chris Nyland

Additional supervisor 1

Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics