Monash University
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The institution of Mingongzhi in contemporary China and the strategies of MNEs : an institutional analysis

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posted on 2023-01-31, 02:07 authored by Mingqiong Zhang.

From the early 1980s, China has entered into an age of rural-urban migration. Millions of farmers have flooded into cities and towns for work and significantly reshaped the character of Chinese society. Confronted with the flood of rural-urban migrants, the central government, city 

governments, private and public companies and urban residents have responded on the various bases. Consequently, a combination of linked rules, values, norms, and patterned practices that structure the way that rural migrants should be treated in urban areas has emerged and rural migrants are being socially excluded. From the perspective of neoinstitutionalism, these linked 

hukou-based regulative, normative and cognitive elements demonstrate that a new institution has emerged, which is termed in this study the institution of mingongzhi. Like the terms slavery and apartheid, the institution of mingongzhi refers to a social-economic system under which rural 

migrant workers are socially excluded in urban areas of contemporary China based on their household registration (hukou) status. As a major institution of the labour market in contemporary China, mingongzhi has had a profound influence on China’s urban employment environment, industrial relations (IR) and human resource management (HRM) practices. It is an ideal variable to conduct analysis of the strategic response of MNEs to the institutional 

characteristics of a host country. This is the more so as international business scholars have accorded little systematic attention to the relationship between institutions and multinational enterprises (MNEs).

This thesis was scanned from the print manuscript for digital preservation and is copyright the author. 

Author requested conversion to open access 7 Dec 2022


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Chris Nyland

Additional supervisor 1

Cherrie Zhu

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Faculty of Business and Economics


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics

File Name


Author converted thesis to Open Access