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Title: Merit-Based Patronage: Career Incentives of Local Leading Cadres in China
Authors: Li Hui 
Lance L. P. Gore 
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2018
Citation: Li Hui, Lance L. P. Gore (2018-01-01). Merit-Based Patronage: Career Incentives of Local Leading Cadres in China. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Series/Report no.: Accepted Papers;LKYSPP 17-03
Abstract: This study tries to determine to what extent the Chinese bureaucracy is merit-based. By triangulating quantitative and qualitative survey data from a sample of Chinese cadres (n=286), the authors aim to answer the research question: “What is the behavioral impact of the incentive structure the cadre management system helps to shape, and does the incentive matrix support a meritocratic work environment?”The findings demonstrate that the promotion of local leading cadres is primarily based on their superiors’ recognition and appreciation. A principal-component analysis reveals that what impresses the superiors includes both patronage and merit factors, although patronage has a slight edge over merit. This study also suggests that good interpersonal skills are essential for both merit- and patronage-oriented career advancement.
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