In this article the author examines what he terms an “institutional culture of authority” that has come to characterize postrevolution Chinese industrial enterprises. This institutional culture is shaped by a pattern of organized dependency that is inherent in the economic relationship of employees to enterprises, and also in systems of reward and control that link the opportunities of employees to their behavior and attitudes. This institutional culture is manifested in widespread ritualism in political meetings, low exercise of voice by subordinates, the creation of patron-client networks linking the Party to selected employees, and the everyday cultivation of personal connections for individual gain.

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