Changing Levels of Job Satisfaction among Local Environmental Enforcement Officials in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Bo Wen
  • Shui-Yan Tang
  • Carlos Wing-Hung Lo

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-143
Journal / PublicationChina Quarterly
Publication statusOnline published - 2 Sep 2019


As a result of multiple waves of administrative reforms in the past three decades, China's civil service has become more professionalized. Yet public employees appear to have become increasingly dissatisfied in recent years. Based on questionnaire surveys and interviews with environmental enforcement officials in a southern city, this paper traces changes in the job satisfaction levels of these officials between 2000 and 2014. It shows that satisfaction with the extrinsic rewards received and overall job satisfaction declined during this period. These downward trends partly reflected the increasingly challenging institutional environments faced by the officials: rising political and societal demands, inadequate fiscal and personnel resources, and limited enforcement authority. In addition, as the officials became more highly educated and professionalized, mission match became a stronger antecedent of job satisfaction. These findings suggest the importance of meeting the motivational needs of a more professionalized workforce.
在過往的三十餘年裡,中國行政管理體制經歷了數輪改革。其所帶 來的顯著成果之一,便是公務員隊伍整體專業化程度的提升。然而, 伴隨這一上升趨勢的是似乎與之相左的另一現象:即公職人員近年來對自身工作愈發地不滿。通過對於G市各區環保局環境執法大隊隊員的問卷調查 及深度訪談,此文管中窺豹,追蹤中國公職人員在 2000 年至 2014 年間, 工作滿意度上的系統性變化。我們的調查結果顯示,中國公務員對於自身 工作,尤其是所獲薪酬的滿意程度,在這一時段顯著下降。這般下行走勢 部分映射了中國公職人員目前所處於的極具挑戰性的制度環境,包括:不 斷拔高的政治及社會性期望、相對匱乏的財政及人力資源、 以及極其有 限的執法許可權和手段。此外,隨著公職人員整體教育背景及專業性技能儲 備的不斷優化,“使命性匹配”這一要素對當下中國公職人員工作滿意度的 影響今非昔比。此文種種結論,最終旨在提醒相關決策者在設法提升公務員專業素質之餘,需同時注重對其個體工作動機的掌握及滿足。

Research Area(s)

  • civil service reform, environmental enforcement officials, extrinsic rewards, job satisfaction, mission match, workforce professionalism, 工作满意度, 公务员体制改革, 人员专业化, 使命性匹配, 物质性报酬, 环保执法人员