Managerial mindset as the mechanism of the country-of-origin effect

evidence from Chinese multinational enterprises’ approach to employer associations

Judith Shuqin Zhu*, Robert Jack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The country-of-origin effect (COE) on employment practices in multinational enterprises (MNEs) has become an important area of international human resource management research. However, research on the mechanisms of the COE, a fundamental and critical aspect of the country-of-origin phenomenon, is scant. This study seeks to empirically explore the mechanisms through which country-of-origin influences Chinese MNEs’ approach to host-country employer associations. Analysis of qualitative data from 13 Chinese MNEs revealed that country of origin affected the approach of Chinese MNEs to host-country employer associations in the form of transfer of managerial norms. It also revealed that it was the mindset of those home-country nationals who were key decision-makers at subsidiaries that enabled the COE in Chinese MNEs. This paper highlights the importance for future studies of international strategic human resources management to pay attention to micro-foundations of cross-border practice transfer and to incorporate analyses of managerial cognition in the investigation of MNEs’ management practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1785
Number of pages19
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Early online date23 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chinese multinational enterprises
  • Country-of-origin effect
  • employer associations
  • employment practices
  • managers’ mindset

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Managerial mindset as the mechanism of the country-of-origin effect: evidence from Chinese multinational enterprises’ approach to employer associations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this