An Empirical Taxonomy of SOE Governance in Transitional China
China’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) traditionally have been governed by the Communist Party. Privatization has brought greater numbers of investors who have a stake and demand a voice in how SOEs are managed. Three traditional governance perspectives are agency theory, resource dependence, and institutional theory, but China’s transition introduces several additional governance approaches. Are “capitalism with Chinese characteristics” and “bureaucratic entrepreneurialism” paradoxes? Based on initial interviews of SOE executives, a survey of top managers and board chairs of listed companies, and subsequent interviews and observations in select case companies, this paper develop a taxonomy of SOE governance that now exists in China. Two of the approaches represent the extremes of the old state-centered regimes and the new shareholder-centered regimes. Considering China’s historical and cultural contexts coupled with its current stage of economic transition, two additional approaches to corporate governance are to have a vacuum as neither the state nor shareholders dominate or – in unique contrast to other countries – a hybrid of both. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006
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