Friday, October 7, 2011

Chinese Business History: New Literature Review

Morris L. Bian of Auburn University has recently published a review of the literature on modern Chinese business history, 1978-2008, entitled "Interpreting Enterprise, State, and Society." The article appears in the September 2011 issue of Frontiers of History in China (full viewing requires a subscription or access through a subscribing institution). According to the abstract:
This article offers a critical review of literature in the area of modern Chinese business history from 1978 to 2008.  It focuses on four interconnected topics: (1) the evolution of industrial capitalism, (2) the adoption of corporate hierarchies and/or social networks, (3) the change of financial institutions and monetary system, and (4) the development of state-owned industries and the formation of the (central) state enterprise system.  The review reveals not only significant growth of the field of modern Chinese business history over the last three decades but also the existence of major gaps. The article concludes by considering the implications of its findings for understanding the political economy of business enterprises and enterprise systems in different national and historical contexts.

   Bian is the author of The Making of the State Enterprise System in Modern China (Harvard University Press, 2005), and he is the recipient of the BHC's Newcomen Article Award (now the Oxford Journals Article Prize) for his essay, "The Sino-Japanese War and the Formation of the State Enterprise System in China: A Case Study of the Dadakou Iron and Steel Works, 1938-1945," published in the 2002 issue of Enterprise & Society