We look at how three features of current business systems—governance and finance, work management practices and inter-firm relations—have evolved during the reform process since 1978 in China, and how over the last decade they have shaped the technology strategies of Chinese firms. We examine three cases of more-or-less successful innovators—Delixi, Midea, and CNEGC, in electrical distribution equipment, microwave cookers, and steel plant, respectively; the first two privately-owned, the third a central state-owned enterprise. We point to weaknesses—Delixi’s dependence on a foreign joint venture partner, Midea’s production engineering—and strengths: Delixi’s strong relationships with suppliers, Midea’s ability to fund R&D, CNEGC’s ‘engaged’ governance. We find that the strengths are less typical of Chinese business than the weaknesses, even in the medium-high technology sectors to which these firms belong. We argue that the situation is less favourable in high-tech sectors.
|Title of host publication||Changing Asian Business Systems|
|Subtitle of host publication||Globalisation, Socio-Political Change, and Economic Organisation|
|Editors||Richard Whitley, Xiaoke Zhang|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Feb 2016|