Title

Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Organization Studies

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Volume

23

Issue

3

First Page

449

Last Page

478

Keywords

China, Communist, Ethics, Ideology, Leadership, Morality

Abstract

A weak legal system, weak civic accountability, market distortions, public cynicism, and workforces lacking moral self-efficacy, present challenges to moral integrity in Chinese mainland enterprises. Our predominantly qualitative study, in Wuhan, of organizational moral atmosphere (OMA) in two large state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two smaller, shareholder invested SOEs, two foreign-invested joint venture companies (JVCs) and one private company, indicated that felt distributive inequity may have compounded these problems. Government-championed, in-company ideological propagation of avowed business morality appeared to have little impact on OMA, owing to normative incoherence. The JVCs, by adopting the foreign partners' system of rational-legal administration and internal justice, appeared to have found a relatively more effective approach to formal moral governance. Non-JVCs had a more punishment-oriented yet less rigorous approach to regulation, which was commended only at the private company, where personal share ownership gave middle and senior managers incentives,to enforce discipline and thus minimize losses. Developmental and dialogue-based approaches to improving OMA were largely untried.

DOI

10.1177/0170840602233006

Print ISSN

01708406

E-ISSN

17413044

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2002 EGOS

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Recommended Citation

Snell, R., & Tseng, C. S. (2002). Moral atmosphere and moral influence under China's network capitalism. Organization Studies, 23(3), 449-478. doi: 10.1177/0170840602233006