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Weaving the right guanxi : a study of the role of social networks in the job search process in Hong Kong

Authors Koh, Yee Sing
Issue Date 2002
Summary Survey data from the Hong Kong Job Search Project reveal that jobs are channeled through strong ties more frequently than weak ties. Moreover, when the tie between job searcher and ultimate helper is absent or too weak to be useful, they would be bridged through an intermediary to whom both are strongly tied. Analyses show that social connections in Hong Kong are also guanxi exchange relationship in nature. Initial position of job searcher is found to have positive effect in accessing higher-level helpers. Finally helper status and education are found to have similar significance in shaping final mobility outcomes. However, in Hong Kong, there is a predominance of the use of strong direct ties. I look at the economic development path and labor market situation and argue that the laissez-faire policy of the Hong Kong government and the labor shortage in 1980s have made Hong Kong people active job hoppers to search for better jobs. Inferring from Hong Kong people’s low voluntary association participation rate, I conclude that their small social circles have limited the ability to reach out through indirect ties such that the job search pattern is the predominance of the use of strong and direct ties.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2002
Language English
Format Thesis
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