Employee training needs and perceived value of training in the Pearl River Delta of China: A human capital development approach

Alan Kai Ming Au, Yochanan Altman, Josse Roussel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - This paper aims to explore Hong Kong firms' training needs in the Pearl River Delta, a booming region in the fast growing People Republic of China economy, by resorting to a human capital approach. Also, to identify the training policies selected by those firms in order to cater for those needs. Design/methodology/approach - A survey based mail questionnaire was sent to a large sample of Hong Kong firms (mostly SMEs) operating in the Pearl River Delta area. The questionnaire was designed in two parts: the first asked close-ended questions about firm characteristics, knowledge needs of staff and recruitment policies; the other enquired about preferences for study training programs. Results are analyzed employing an Anova and Conjoint Analysis within the context of a human capital framework. Findings - Finds that Hong Kong firms investing in PRD recruit their senior staff from Hong Kong, whereas junior and intermediate level staffs are hired from the Mainland. It also shows that intermediate and senior level staff benefit from most of the training investments, where unskilled are deprived of training altogether. Practical implications - Obtains a practical insight on human capital management policies by foreign investors in fast-growing emerging economies. Originality/value - Provides an innovative study of an under-researched area in the fastest growing region of the People Republic of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of European Industrial Training
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Employees
  • Human capital
  • International investments
  • Training needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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