Government Policy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Functions - Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sector: Evidence from China

Sangaralingam Ramesh, Xinying Yu


The aim of this paper is to investigate how employee related CSR guidelines and government policies influence HR functions in terms of diversity and equal opportunity, training and education, remuneration, labour relations and occupational health. The analysis is based on case study of firms operating in Primary Industry (Oil & Gas), the Secondary Industry (Automobiles) and in the Tertiary Industry (Telecommunications). CSR emerged far earlier in firms based and originating from developed economies, but this has just happened in China and there’s limited research on how CSR contribute to the sustainability of the workers and the development of human capital. This paper contributes to a deeper understanding of the evolution of CSR, its implementation and its effectiveness on HR functions and how these vary between China’s different Industries.

The results of this paper indicate that there is considerable overlap between China’s Labour Law and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure guidelines. The CASS CSR disclosure requirements were found to be more comprehensive than the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) CSR disclosure requirements in the context of the selected five Human Resource (HR) functions. While no discernible pattern was found, either inter or intra industry, in the level of disclosure according to either CASS or GRI CSR guidelines or between them there were some notable results. With regards to Occupational Health and Safety firms in Primary Industry provided more information corresponding to both GRI and CASS CSR guidelines than did firms in either the Secondary or the Tertiary Industry. While all firms complied with CASS CSR disclosure requirements associated with Training and Education except one form in Tertiary Industry, firms in Primary Industry disclosed more Training and Education information in the context of GRI CSR disclosure requirements. Interestingly, while firms in all industries complied with the GRI CSR disclosure requirements relating to Diversity and Equal Opportunity, mostly firms in Tertiary Industry complied with the CASS CSR disclosure requirement relating to the disabled employment rate.

Key Words: CASS, China’s Labour Law, CSR, GRI, Human Resource Functions

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