Social Structure of the Chinese Academic Labor Market in a Changing Environment
The Chinese economy and labor market are under fundamental change, with its transitional economy and the globalization of labor market interacting each other and reshaping the institutional environment and structure of the Chinese academia. This research utilized a mixed method study to address the effect of China social relations and guanxi. It investigated the network configuration which assisted the domestic trained Chinese scholars and the overseas educated returnees in developing the optimal career trajectories. The finding of the research showed that the cohesive and strong network of domestic scholars showed higher odds of being promoted, while large and open networks are more conducive to overseas returnees in exploiting their international collaboration, but such effect diminished at the later and more advanced promotion for overseas returnees. To promote the sense of belonging, overseas returned Ph.D. are necessary to construct cohesive and strong relationship, which coincide with the meaning of guanxi network in order to better survive in the Chinese academia and society once they rooted back in China. The research also found out that with more developed market in China, guanxi is still productive in bridging hiring universities and individual scholars with trust flowing through the social relations among them. It is not only the structure of the labor market induces individuals to use social network and relations for job promotions, but the social relations themselves are also part of the fundamental structure and institution of the labor market where the market dynamics are embedded in.
Chinese academic labor market