Supervisor–subordinate Guanxi and job satisfaction among migrant workers in China

Jie Li, Wangshuai Wang, Gong Sun*, Zhou Jiang, Zhiming Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In urban China, improving rural–urban migrant workers’ subjective wellbeing has become an important goal for workplaces and local governments. Drawing from the social capital theory and using original survey data, we examine the relationship between migrant workers’ guanxi (‘personal relations’ in the Chinese context) with their supervisors and their job satisfaction. Our results show that supervisor–subordinate guanxi is positively related to migrant workers’ job satisfaction. This relationship is mediated by network resources and personal power, which serve as their social resources in workplaces. Our study contributes to the positive psychology literature by understanding the role of guanxi in shaping Chinese migrant workers’ job satisfaction. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293–307
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • China
  • Job satisfaction
  • Network resources
  • Personal power
  • Rural–urban migrants
  • Supervisor–subordinate guanxi


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