Emergence of 'new professionalism' among Chinese seafarers: Empirical evidence and policy implications

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Globalization and economic transition in China have profound impacts on Chinese seafarers in terms of both employment structure and professional perspectives. Regarding the latter, a 'new professionalism' is emerging, which can be distinguished from the 'traditional professionalism' in many aspects. They include, among others, a preference for working directly for foreign ships, a multi-cultural environment, international standards for performance and pay, and independent trade unions. Many questions arise here: to what extent do Chinese seafarers support this 'new professionalism'? What factors contribute to the formation and development of this 'new professionalism'? What are the policy implications of the transformation to the 'new professionalism'? The above questions are addressed by an empirical survey conducted recently in China. Approximately 400 Chinese seafarers, along with crew managers, of both Chinese and foreign companies have contributed their knowledge, experience and opinions to this survey. This paper aims to: • distinguish the 'new professionalism' from the professionalism of the traditional Chinese seafarers in terms of their value systems, career objectives, and professional standards; • provide empirical evidence regarding the existence and development of the new professionalism among Chinese seafarers; • identify the relevant factors that influence the acceptance and spread of the new professionalism; • explore the policy implications for both the Chinese government and international ship owners/managers to cope with the uncovered emerging new professionalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science
  • Oceanography


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