Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Organisational transformations of China's state-owned enterprises : a new institutional perspective
Author: Terpstra Tong, Jane Lai Yee
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis investigates the reform process and outcomes of China's large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with a focus on the reform strategies and measures adopted after 1993 till 2003. It also attempts to conceptualize the general reform process and specific organizational changes that have taken place in SOEs, from a new institutional perspective. The guiding research question of this study is, "To what extent has modern enterprise system (MES) achieved its goals?" MES, together with the "grasping the big and letting go the small" principle has been the reform model adopted in the second phase of enterprise reform ever since 1993. The fate of large SOEs and that of small SOEs are very different in the last decade of reform. Some large SOEs in the select industries related to basic livelihood, hi-tech and national defence will stay in the nation's portfolio of state enterprises. In addition, they are also given resources and preferential treatments to grow even bigger and become more competitive. Others, mainly the small SOEs, are allowed to be privatized by various means after restructuring. In other words, some large SOEs are selected, restructured and groomed to become future dynamos while others are given up by the state and they will eventually cease to be part of the state enterprise system. Those SOEs are the disappearing dinosaurs. Case study is the research design for this study and two in-depth case studies were conducted. The chosen companies are both extremely large steel makers - Wugang and Tanggang. Data were primarily collected through on site semi-structured interviews. Theoretically, this study applies a new institutional approach to delineate the complex issues involved in the change process and to explain why and how the reform process has taken its course. Based on new institutional theories, enterprise reform is better viewed as part of the social transformation of the nation's transition towards market economy. This transformation involves changes in cognitive, normative and regulative institutions. Successful transformation depends upon the mutual reinforcement of all three types of institutional changes. On a micro level, Greenwood and Hinings' model of organizational transformation (1996) was applied in analyzing the dynamics of enterprise reform process. It was found that this model is largely applicable in explaining the intra-organizational resistance of change and the enabling forces of transformation. The two case studies exemplify two typical problems, redundancy and non-productive assets, that are faced by large SOEs today. Given the legacy of the pre-reform economy and later changes, the author proposes a two-class model- "modem" SOEs vs "old" SOEs, to assess the consequences of reform. Modem SOEs are those that are carved out of traditional SOEs and given productive assets and a limited number of personnel or those that were established after the beginning of reform. They are free from social burden carried forward from the era of the planned economy. The usual financial ratios to measure firm's performance are applicable to this class ofSOEs. The "old" SOEs are those that still perform the traditional social roles and thus they continue to be burdened with substantial social welfare costs. Reasonable performance assessment for this class should focus on the social and organizational perspectives. This study extends the previous works on SOE reform and fills in the gap of change literature by applying a contextual approach in analyzing organizational transformation of China's SOEs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available