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Title: (Not) knowing about pay : managerial control over the understanding of pay in Chinese auto parts factories
Author: Tse, Fuk Ying
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 8636
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2019
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This research investigates the processes which determine how Chinese workers develop their understanding of the pay system under which they are governed at the workplace. By introducing a labour process perspective which is complementary to existing economic and organisational behavioural approaches, I examine the influence of management-labour relations in China in the shaping of workers’ pay understanding, which is fundamental to their capacity to formulate pay demands and contribute to pay determination in the workplace. In particular, I look at the role of managerial control on the shop floor in constraining workers’ access to pay information, as well as the workers’ capacity to contest pay under the social contexts of urbanisation and industrial development. Data was collected in a number of auto parts factories in Town S, southern China in 2016-2017 by interviewing workers and factory management; by undertaking participant observations in an auto part factory and a consultancy firm; and by conducting document reviews on pay-related statistics, labour laws and regulations on pay and the local context of Town S. It is found that workers’ perplexity over the pay system was an outcome of managerial control, and their compliance with managerial interests regarding reward management. Managerial control was manifested in different forms across factories with different types of production regimes. This resulted in varying processes in which workers were obscured from pay and developed responses to pay opacity in different factories. This research has, in empirical terms, contributed to deepening the understanding of the variety of pay systems in Chinese companies with various capital sources, and pay communication practices in China. It has also contributed to the re-examination of the existing literature on the social and political dimensions of pay determination which tend to take collective actors in unionised contexts for granted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Warwick Business School ; Great Britain-China Educational Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor