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Special Issue on Human Capital and Innovation during China's Transformation

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

Guest Editors:

Professor Chris Rowley, Kellogg College, University of Oxford, UK and Cass Business School, City, University of London, UK
Professor CHIN Tachia, Hangzhou Dianzi University, China
Professor Chunhsien WANG, National Chiayi University, Taiwan, China

In parallel with the new round of global industrial restructuring, China is now undergoing a profound transformation towards the building of a more innovation-oriented economy. Considering its large population, it is crucial and imperative to study the strategic role of human capital in boosting organizational innovation in Chin (Chin, Rowley, Redding, and Wang, 2018; Wang, Chang, and George, 2015).

Human capital (HC) has historically referred to an accumulated stock of an individual’s knowledge, knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) whereby a person produces an economic value (Becker, 1993). However, in recent years, an increasing number of more scholars call for a broader application of the HC concept and a fundamental rethinking of the HC construct, as the aggregate HC accumulated by individual KSAOs of a group at different structural levels may better embody the strategic direction and the competitive advantages of a specific organization or a nation (Nyberg and Wright, 2015). In concert with this appeal, Ployhart, Nyberg, Reilly and Maltarich (2014) proposed a new term ‘human capital resource’ describing individual- or unit-level capacities based on individual KSAOs that are accessible for unit-relevant purposes, while Rowley and Redding (2012) have advocated to explore in depth the intricate mechanisms between HC and social capital that characterizes the value acquired through interpersonal networks in China, as relevant topics remain under-researched.

This Special Issue, therefore, calls for the use of more holistic, dynamic, and contingent approaches from multi- or cross-disciplinary perspectives to investigate HC-related issues during China’s transformation. This SI encourages authors to submit papers that delve into the mechanisms among Chinese cultural/institutional factors, HC and innovation outcomes in organizations at various levels or in different industries, or examine the applicability of Western HC measures in contemporary China.  Papers that propose novel, indigenous HC models based on the Chinese context are also very welcome.
Topics of this Special Issue includes (but is not limit to):

  •     What are the roles of individual- and unit- levels of HC in affecting organizational innovation outcomes in China? How do Chinese cultural and institutional factors interfere the relations?
  •     How to accurately and effectively measure the economic value of individual- and unit-level HC during China’s transition to an innovation-oriented economy? Are there any context-specific models that differ from prevalent Western HC ones (e.g., KSAOs)?
  •    What are the interaction mechanisms among culture, HC and social capital, and how do these effects influence organizational innovation performance, employee innovative behaviors and creativity in China?
  •     What are the relationships among leadership, entrepreneurship, HC and innovation outcomes in contemporary China? 
  •     How to link the practices of human resource management (HRM) to the development and investment of HC? What are the critical HC resources for Chinese organizations to realize innovation?

We welcome conceptual, theoretical, qualitative or quantitative papers. Contributions should report original research that is not under consideration at any other journal.  This call for papers is open and competitive, and all submitted papers will be subjected to anonymous review by referees with expertise in the field.

  •   Submitted papers will be subject to a double-blind review process and will be evaluated by the Guest Editors and expert reviewers. Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review.
  •      Deadline of Submission 31st August, 2018

See journal’s website regarding style requirements and sections needed
Please email expressions of interest and papers to the three Guest Editors above.


Becker, G. (1993). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education (3rd. ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Nyberg, A. J., and Wright, P.M. (2015) 50 years of human capital research: Assessing what we know, exploring where we go’, Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(3), 287-295.
Ployhart, R. E., Nyberg, A. J., Reilly, G., & Maltarich, M. A. (2014). ‘Human capital is dead: Long live human capital resources!’ Journal of Management, 40, 371–398.
Rowley, C. & Redding, G. (2012). ‘Building Human and Social Capital in Pacific Asia’, Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(3), 295-302.
Chin, T. Rowley, C., Redding, G., and Wang, S. (2018) forthcoming. ‘Chinese strategic thinking on competitive conflict: Insights from Yin-Yang cognition’, International Journal of Conflict Management
Wang, C. H., Chang C.H., and George C. (2015). ‘The Effect of Inbound Open Innovation on Firm Performance: Evidence from High-Tech Industry’, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 99, 222-230.