Today's state-owned enterprises of China: are they dying dinosaurs or dynamic dynamos?

David A. Ralston, Jane Terpstra-Tong, Robert H. Terpstra, Xueli Wang, Carolyn Egri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

212 Citations (Scopus)


This paper raises the question and provides empirical evidence regarding the status of the evolution of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China today. In this study, we compare the SOEs to domestic private-owned enterprises (POEs) and foreign-controlled businesses (FCBs) in the context of their organizational cultures. While a new ownership form, many of the POEs evolved from former collectives that reflect the traditional values of Chinese business. Conversely, the FCBs are much more indicative of the large global MNCs. Therefore, we look at the SOEs in the context of these two reference points. We conclude that the SOEs of today have substantially transformed to approximate a configuration desired by the Chinese government when it began the SOE transformation a couple of decades ago to make them globally competitive. The SOEs of today appear to be appropriately described as China 's economic dynamic dynamo for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-843
Number of pages19
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Foreign-controlled business
  • Organizational culture
  • Ownership type
  • Privately owned enterprise
  • State-owned enterprise

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