Suzhi: An indigenous criterion for human resource management in China

Liguo Xu, Pinging Fu*, Youmin Xi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the indigenous concept of suzhi at individual and organizational levels, and identify its dimensions for human resource management (HRM) research and practice in China. Design/methodology/approach - Based on a comprehensive review of suzhi literature, Chinese cultural and historical literature, as well as Western mainstream HRM research, a multidimensional suzhi framework is conceptualized. Findings - As an indigenous expression, suzhi can be and has been adopted for Chinese HRM research and practice. As a multidimensional construct, one's cognitive suzhi is jointly determined by corresponding moral suzhi, wenhua (knowledge-based) suzhi and zhuanye (professional) suzhi. Cognitive suzhi, in turn, determines one's behavioral suzhi that drives employees to enhance organizational performance, and this relationship is moderated by psychological suzhi. Research limitations/implications - The proposed framework provides new insight for Chinese indigenous management research, particularly in developing suzhi measurement for different dimensions. It also informs HRM practices in recruiting, selection, performance analysis and employee career development. Originality/value - The complexity of suzhi dimensions from an organizational HRM perspective is analyzed. The resulting suzhi framework offers new insight for HRM research and practices in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Chinese Human Resource Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Behavioral suzhi
  • Indigenous research
  • Moral suzhi
  • Psychological suzhi
  • Suzhi
  • Suzhi dimensions

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