Moving from the developing to the developed: compensation disparities of Chinese expatriates

Kathy Ning Shen, Xuanli Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This research examines Chinese expatriates working in Chinese multinational companies subsidiaries in the United Arab Emirates. We identify three salient social referents used by Chinese expatriates to assess distributive justice, i.e. employees working in mainland China, locals from the host country, and employees working in developed country multinational companies in the host country. For each referent, we explore the determinants of perceived distributive justice. The results show that equity and non-monetary rewards are stable and influential factors for perceived distributive justice. Compensation disparity vis-à-vis employees working in mainland China and in international multinational companies has a significant effect on perceived distributive justice. However, compensation disparity is not used when it comes to assessing perceived distributive justice compared to locals in the host country. Finally, our findings suggest that only equity and non-monetary rewards have significant effects on expatriation satisfaction, not perceived distributive justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-285
Number of pages26
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese multinational companies
  • compensation disparity
  • distributive justice
  • equity
  • expatriation satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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