China's civil service reforms sought to improve the performance of civil servants by introducing more competitive selection processes, incentives to reward performance, and tightened monitoring and supervision. The impact of the reforms was undermined by clashes with other policies being implemented at the time and by a failure to address elements of organization culture that have rewarded various forms of illegal behaviour, such as corruption. Empirical material for our study is drawn from government data and the experience of civil service reform in three Chinese urban areas (Beijing's Haidian district, Changchun and Ningbo) since the 1990s.
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