Project Participants

SOEs and Public Sector Reform in China (SDC PhD)


The PhD scholarship targets the intersection of business and politics in China. Key sectors of the economy are dominated by a group of large-state owned enterprises (SOEs). Each of them is structured as a huge conglomerate with a parent company at the center controlling several layers of listed and un-listed subsidiaries. They are characterized by ownership systems and control mechanisms that mix economic and political performance and development criteria. Thus profitability criteria are often overshadowed by attempts to maintain the Party-state’s political hegemony in economic decision-making. They have increasing global reach and most of them are now listed on the Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies. In spite of their increasing global significance little is known of the formation, functioning, and potential competitiveness of Chinese SOEs. Hence the PhD project should provide a conceptual framework and empirical foundation for understanding the operation of these companies and their links to the political system in China. The political links could be investigated by addressing the role of the Party organization in enterprise management and decision-making and by investigating the criteria and incentives for promotion of SOE executives. Moreover the project could look at the economic and political implications of the recent push for merging existing central SOEs and create even larger monopolies


Public (National)


Sino-Danish Center

Collaborative partners:

Peking University



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