The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Overcoming the liability of smallness by recruiting through networks in China: a guanxi-based social capital perspective

Ko, Wai Wai and Liu, Gordon (2017). Overcoming the liability of smallness by recruiting through networks in China: a guanxi-based social capital perspective. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(11) pp. 1499–1526.

URL: http://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2015.1128467
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

We investigate the role of guanxi in Chinese entrepreneurial firms’ recruitment practices in attempting to overcome the liability of smallness. Combining insights from the social capital and guanxi literature, we theorize the guanxi-based social capital perspective and use it to analysis 96 in-depth interviews with multiple members (entrepreneurs, senior managers and factory workers) from 15 die-casting entrepreneurial firms in Guangdong province, China. We find that the use of guanxi in recruitment practice can overcome the liability of smallness because it makes the hiring process more convenient, improves firms’ attractiveness to jobseekers and enhances the person-organizational fit between new hires and firms. We discuss how Chinese entrepreneurs and their senior managers use guanxi strategically to achieve these advantages. On the other hand, our findings suggest that jobseekers can also use guanxi to increase their options, improve their bargaining power and distract firms’ attention away from hiring the most appropriate candidate for the job in order to undermine the effectiveness of Chinese entrepreneurial firms’ recruitment procedures. We explore the implications of these findings for academic research and managerial practice.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0958-5192
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Strategy and Marketing
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 51025
Depositing User: Gordon Liu
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 12:00
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:56
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/51025
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU