Breaking the "iron rice bowl" : workers' sense of occupational security in a Guangzhou factory.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In the early 1980s the Chinese government began to implement a policy of labour rationalization in state enterprises in order to break the workers' "iron rice bowl" (permanently guaranteed occupation). The policy's aim was to increase the productivity of the state factories. A survey Guangzhou was carried out Heavy Machinery in a large state factory, Factory, during 1988-1989. Its aim was to examine the conditions of workers' sense of occupational security (WSOS) and its influence upon workers' other organizational behaviour and attitude while the traditional Chinese employment policy was being reformed. Pearlin, Jacobs on and others provide theories relevant to stress, job insecurity, intentions to change jobs, organizational commitment and job satisfaction, and this research also adapts Greenhalgh and others' scales for the main variables. The research found that some workers in the factory experienced various degrees of job insecurity. WSOS was correlated with workers' health, sex, job opportunities inside and outside the factory, but not with workers' age, education, job-demand and competence. WSOS was not correlated with workers' intentions to change their jobs, organizational commitment. and job satisfaction. The discrepancies between theoretical predictions and findings are explained by the Chinese workers' high dependence on the work unit.