Reforming China's State-Owned Enterprises: From Structure to People
The China Quarterly (2017) pp. 1–23. doi: 10.1017/S0305741016001569
Posted: 4 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 3, 2017
The Chinese Communist Party has recently unveiled its new agenda for state-owned enterprise (SOE) reform. Most attention to date has focused on structural reform through the so-called “mixed ownership” policy. This article is to direct attention to a critically important yet much less analysed item on the SOE reform agenda: the professionalization of the SOE executive personnel. This article provides an empirical study on the managerial elite of China's financial and non-financial SOEs. The findings suggest a politically constrained management approach in the Chinese state-owned sector. Moreover, an innovative analysis of the SOE executive career patterns reveals that the state-controlled banks and industrial SOEs employ divergent human resource management methods. The anatomy of the SOE managerial elite in this article provides a timely evaluation of the recent SOE reform policy and a richer understanding of China's state-owned sector from a comparative capitalism perspective.
Keywords: state-owned enterprise, China, managerial elite, cadre management, business group, professionalization
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