Job training provision by employers: An institutional analysis of employees in Hong Kong

May Yeuk-Mui TAM, Wing Kai Stephen CHIU

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The institutional approach to job training emphasizes the ways institutional factors affect employees' chances of receiving job training from employers. Most empirical studies that apply institutional theories are about European countries; non-European cases are relatively understudied. We extended the application of one of the institutional theories, namely, the employment regimes theory to the Hong Kong case, in its context of the post-1997 Handover to China, to examine the provision of job training by employers. Analyses of primary survey data show that among the institutional factors highlighted by the theory, while firm size, public and private sector distinction and the presence of unions significantly affected employees' job training chances, contract and part-time employees did not differ significantly from full-time permanent employees. With regard to the specificity and intensity of the training provided to private sector employees, we argued that due to the institutional relationships between employers, a generally unorganized labour and the passive role of the government, employers' training provision to employees is both minimal and marginal to the overall business operation. The pattern of job training provision in Hong Kong is also in stark contrast with the normative values which Confucianism prescribes for employers. We concluded the study by discussing the theoretical and policy implications of our study. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2194-2217
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010



Tam, M. Y.-M., & Chiu, S. (2010). Job training provision by employers: An institutional analysis of employees in Hong Kong. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(12), 2194-2217. doi: 10.1080/09585192.2010.509624


  • Employment relations
  • Hong Kong
  • Institutional theory
  • Job training
  • Labour movement
  • State-organized labour relations