Skip to main content


We're creating a new version of this page. See preview

  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Ethical characteristics of human resources management in Chinese enterprises: An empirical study based on content analysis of employee manuals

Frontiers of Business Research in ChinaSelected Publications from Chinese Universities20104:111

  • Published:


This paper identifies five dimensions of human resource management ethics (HRME) from the extant literature, namely ethical values, rights, fairness and justice, openness, and ethical care. Based on employee manuals of 160 companies, this paper conducts a content analysis to identify the characteristics and differences of HRME in various types of firms and different industries. Results indicate that the status quo of HRME in Chinese firms is far from being satisfactory due to the lack of ethical care, unfair and nontransparent employee appraisal procedures and outcomes. The results also show that there are significant differences in the five dimensions of HRME among state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, joint ventures, and foreign companies. It is also found that there is no significant interaction effect between enterprise ownership type and industry on HRME.


  • human resource management ethics (HRME)
  • content analysis
  • ethical characteristics