The Impact of Partnership Adoption on Employees’ Awareness of Risk Control and Job Engagement: Evidence from a Securities Company in China
This study investigates the impact of a specific organizational form – partnership – on employees’ awareness of risk control and job engagement in securities companies. Given that their organizational performance relies heavily on the performance of individual employees, it is critical for securities companies in China to adopt appropriate organizational forms so that they can better captalize on their employees’ human capital to cope with the increasingly intense market competition. Partnership, as one of the few organizational forms, has been widely adopted in industries that rely on the performance of individuals, such as law, auditing, consulting, and investment banking, around the world. In the context of China’s emerging economy, it has also been adopted as an incentive system by market leaders across several industries, including Alibaba in online shopping, Vanke in real estate, and Fosun in investments. In contrast, partnership has not been adopted or implemented by securities companies in China as most of them are still state-owned enterprises.
Based on my review of the corporate governance literature and qualitative analysis of partnership adoption in China, I propose that partnership can help better alighn the interests of employees with owners in securities companies as well. Specifically, the prospect of becoming a partner in the future can improve employees’ awareness of risk control and increase their job engagement. Taking advantage of partnership adoption at a Chinese securities company as a natural field experienment, I surveyed its employees about their awareness of risk contrl and job dedication before and after the adoption. The results from 505 matched surveys showed an increase in the average scores of both awareness of risk control and job dedication after the company adopted partnership as a new organizational form. Findings of this study have important implications for organizational and incentive design for securities companies in China.