Spatial strategy for quality labor in rural development"�A case study of Jiangsu Province, China

This study examines the issue of high-quality labor in rural enterprises of China. It develops a spatial strategy which consists of two dimensions: geographical space and administrative space. Different combinations of these two dimensions form a variety of approaches such as local internalization, local externalization, regional/national internalization, and regional/national externalization. In the local internalization approach, rural enterprises hire such high-quality labor and ask them to work on site, while in the local externalization approach, rural enterprises seek help from employees working in other local enterprises. In the regional/national internalization approach, rural enterprises set up research and development centers in big cities to take advantages of the high-quality labor pool there. Finally in the regional/national externalization approach, rural enterprises hire people from big cities on temporary contracts. Three approaches, hiring retired technical workers, shuttling between the rural site and country seats, and setting up R&D centers in big cities are demonstrated through cases in Zhangjiagang, a leading county-level city in the southern Jiangsu Province. It is argued that rural enterprises need to broaden their perspectives of administrative space and geographical space and think creatively to deal with the shortage of quality labor in rural settings.