Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for the Market Economy: An Investigation of Student Perceptions Before and After China's WTO Entry


Management and Entrepreneurship

Document Type


Publication Date



This exploratory study conducted in the People's Republic of China sought to determine the managerial knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are perceived as important for the Chinese market economy. Questionnaire responses were collected from 145 business students in 2001 (before China's WTO entry) and 141 business students in 2006 (after China's WTO entry). The identified set of eight managerial knowledge, skills, and abilities included: business area knowledge and skills, communication skills, creativity/adaptability, ethics, leadership, problem solving, teamwork, and work habits. For each time period examined, the mean score for “importance” of each KSA was significantly higher than the mean score for “presence.” The differences between the importance mean and the presence mean for each KSA was denoted as a “gap.” This study revealed that five of the eight KSAs had a significantly smaller gap in 2006 than in 2001. This suggests that the business education system in China is enabling the development of more effective managers for the Chinese market economy.