Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore recent national human resource development (NHRD) practices in China through a literature review focusing on programs and activities that represent the roles and interactions among the government, industry and universities. Design/methodology/approach: To effectively consolidate previous work and conceptualize the recent development of the NHRD practices in China, a semi-narrative literature review was used to explore and analyze NHRD-related functions and activities. Findings: Findings from the literature review showed that although the central government still plays a predominant role in China, universities and corporations are increasingly playing a critical role in developing an innovative and skilled workforce. At the regional level, NHRD initiatives in China have been increasingly undertaken by universities, industry and government–industry–university collaborations. The authors also found a disparity between developed and underdeveloped regions in terms of NHRD in China. Research limitations/implications: This study used the triple helix model as a framework that provides an insightful lens for researchers to examine how various social entities interact with each other and jointly contribute to NHRD. Further case studies are needed to generate evidence-based knowledge to the NHRD literature. Practical implications: A more systematic NHRD leadership structure at both the national and local level is desired to unleash the potential of bottom-up development and active government–industry–university collaboration. To counter regional divergence in NHRD in China, intra- and cross-regional collaborations are helpful in improving resources distribution and workforce development. Originality/value: Based on open system theory, this study focused on programs and activities that represent the roles and interactions among the government, industry and university in Chinese NHRD through the lens of the triple helix model. In addition, this study offers a conceptual model of Chinese NHRD to help scholars and practitioners understand the transitional efforts in NHRD.
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- Triple helix