Corporate restructuring and career advancement in Hong Kong

Alicia S M LEUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the factors that contribute to career advancement in a sample of forty-four Hong Kong managers working in three local companies that had undergone restructuring. The findings indicate that they were acutely aware of shifts in the nature of their career paths but generally were reactive to changes rather than proactive. Their concerns about changes were mostly instrumental and pragmatic judgements about how things might affect their job security and career prospects. To increase their chances of getting promoted, they focused on human-capital investment by upgrading and widening their work skills. While they felt obligated to work overtime and enhance their performance by taking on extra duties and responsibilities, they sought to develop a harmonious relationship with the environment rather than dominate it. They disliked challenging their superiors, preferring instead to imitate their superiors' behavioural patterns. In their efforts to increase opportunities for career advancement, they employed business networking and visibility as 'wooing' strategies. Furthermore, the desire to avoid losing face and humiliation were effective motivators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

User-Defined Keywords

  • Career advancement
  • Chinese culture
  • Economic downturn
  • Hong Kong
  • Organizational restructuring


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