Re: [spam?] Greg Chin's diss

From Stephen E Philion <>
Date Sat, 28 Aug 2004 12:57:00 -0500

Using more data than Greg accessed, Hassard et al came to a different

Policing the Slow Commotion:
Corporate Transformation and Its Consequences in the Chinese State-owned
Steel Industry

	The Chinese economic reform process of the last two decades has
engendered significant changes in the structure and management of
large-scale work organizations. Central to the reform process has been
the “corporatization” of large state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This
article examines the progress made in the most recent round of
state-enterprise reform in China - the introduction of the Modern
Enterprise System and Group Company System experiments. This reform
program is intended, by 2010, to transform 156 of China's largest SOEs
into internationally competitive corporations which, while still
remaining in overall state ownership, will more closely resemble typical
Western corporations in their structures and processes, with Boards of
Directors accountable to shareholders rather than being subject to the
political authority of the Chinese Communist Party. Drawing primarily on
interview data from three rounds of field visits to eight SOEs in the
steel industry, we assess the extent to which three key goals of the
reform process - reducing government interference in the running of
SOEs, improving managerial competence, and achieving cost reductions and
productivity improvements through large-scale workforce reductions -
have been achieved in the present reform-induced climate of labor unrest
and incipient political instability. We argue that, to date, the
majority of SOEs in our sample appear unable to achieve much more than
reform internally, as far as they are able, whilst waiting for movement
in the political-institutional environment that will allow them to
embark on more far-reaching phases of corporate change. On analysing the
apparent inability of our SOEs to embrace reform, we highlight the
influence of two factors - the failure of ministries to produce firm
strategies for channelling surplus labor and the inability of government
agencies to offer a sense of managerial autonomy to SOE executives.
Overall we identify problems inherent in managing, or perhaps better
policing, this slow experimental process, and focus on the principal
question to arise from it: how best to handle the surplus labor problem?