Management & Marketing

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As Chinese companies move to the world stage of business, they must leverage a more knowledgeable and collaborative workforce to meet new challenges. This study investigates how two prominent individual attributes, education and allocentrism, create work tension for human capital practices in Chinese companies. By surveying nearly 500 workers in four Chinese companies and using multi-level methodology, we demonstrate that higher levels of education work to the detriment of employees’ affective organizational commitment and positively influence seeking-to-leave behavior. In addition, this study suggests a positive relation between allocentrism and affective organizational commitment. Personalized leadership, a common leadership style in high-power distance cultures such as China, further exacerbates the problems with higher levels of education and diminishes the commitment benefits of allocentrism. Conversely, regardless of leadership style, if supervisors involve workers in decision-making activities, those workers who are more educated will become more committed to the organization and less likely to leave. Implications of these findings for practice and future research are discussed.

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International Journal of Manpower, 2015, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 754-771.



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