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Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit : The Emergence of Capitalism in China - Doug Guthrie

Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit

The Emergence of Capitalism in China

Paperback Published: 15th January 2002
ISBN: 9780691095196
Number Of Pages: 320

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"Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit" is an innovative sociological examination of what is perhaps the main engine of economic reform in China, the large industrial firm. Doug Guthrie, who spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers, and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides the first detailed account of how these firms have been radically transformed since the mid-1980s.

Guthrie shows that Chinese firms are increasingly imitating foreign firms in response both to growing contact with international investors and to being cut adrift from state support. Many firms, for example, are now less likely to use informal hiring practices, more likely to have formal grievance filing procedures, and more likely to respect international institutions, such as the Chinese International Arbitration Commission. Guthrie argues that these findings support the de-linking of Western trade policy from human rights, since it is clear that economic engagement leads to constructive reform. Yet Guthrie also warns that reform in China is not a process of inevitable Westernization or of managers behaving as rational, profit-maximizing agents. Old habits, China's powerful state administration, and the hierarchy of the former command economy will continue to have profound effects on how firms act and how they adjust to change.

With its combination of rigorous argument and uniquely rich detail, this book gives us the most complete picture yet of Chinese economic reform at the crucial level of the industrial firm.

Industry Reviews

"[Guthrie] provides an admirably clear and detailed exposition of who runs what in reformera industry in China, complete with diagrams... This book is essential reading for anyone interested in China's economic reforms and in transition economies more generally, and it will stand comparison with anything else in the field."--Jackie Sheehan, The Times Higher Education Supplement "A splendid book... Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit provides a comprehensive examination of an important and timely phenomenon. The question is important. The data are not only unique, they are also remarkably comprehensive... [It is] likely to stimulate both discussion and additional research."--Lisa A. Keister, Contemporary Sociology

List of Figuresp. vii
List of Tablesp. ix
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Firm Practices in China's Transforming Economy: Efficiency or Mimicry?p. 3
Path Dependence in China's Economic Transitionp. 24
Formal Rational Bureaucracies in Chinese Firms: Causes and Implicationsp. 42
Changing Labor Relations in the Period of Market Reformp. 75
The Politics of Price Setting in China's Transition Economyp. 101
Economic Strategies in the Face of Market Reformsp. 121
Institutional Pressure, Rational Choice, and Contractual Relations: Chinese-Foreign Negotiations in the Economic Transitionp. 150
The Declining Significance of Connections in China's Economic Transitionp. 175
Conclusions and Implicationsp. 198
Methodology and Samplingp. 219
Interviews and Informantsp. 228
Complete Interview Schedulep. 235
Sample Characteristics and Variablesp. 240
Notesp. 249
Referencesp. 281
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691095196
ISBN-10: 0691095191
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 15th January 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 15.29  x 1.98
Weight (kg): 0.45