China's traditional model of long-term employment has been undermined by an increased reliance on nonrenewable fixed-term and temporary agency employment contracts. In this study, the author draws on survey data from 130 establishments and interviews of 48 key informants to explore the spread of contingent work. Results indicate that state-owned and unionized establishments are more likely to use contingent labor, and stringent and uncertain enforcement of labor regulations is positively associated with its use. The qualitative analysis presents managers' interpretations of these relationships. In the presence of weak labor institutions and poor enforcement, managers adopt contingent employment practices to retain the power to terminate employees at will, accrue benefits through regulatory arbitrage, and promote their own interests when handling conflicting intra-organizational demands.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation