Challenges for China's Economic Development: An Enterprise Perspective

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Challenges for China's Economic Development: An Enterprise Perspective, edited by David H. Brown and Alasdair MacBean. London: Routledge, 2005. xvi + 180 pp. £65.00 (hardcover).

This volume collects nine short research papers offered to the Inaugural Conference of the Lancaster University Management School's Centre for Management in China in April 2003, preceded by an address from Chinese economist Fan Gang and a response speech by Lord Charles Powell of Bayswater, President of the China-Britain Business Council.

Focusing on enterprises, this work examines the sustainability of China's economic development. The introductory chapter by David Brown and Alasdair MacBean reviews the issues that offer a challenge to China's economic growth, including energy shortages, environmental pollution, an aging population and the reform of SOEs. Fan Gang's speech to the conference comprises Chapter 2, and provides a macro-economic analysis of the sustainability of China's economic growth under Wen Jiabao. Fan Gang optimistically predicts at least 10 more years of high growth for China, but admits that there is no easy solution to its thorny financial and unemployment problems. Fan did his analysis in 2003, but it seems to be consistent with current thought.

These two chapters are followed by micro-analyses from an enterprise perspective. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 focus on the corporate governance of enterprises in China, especially recently corporatized state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Chapters 6 and 8 use empirical case studies to examine business strategies. Chapters 7, 9 and 11 use data from questionnaire surveys to look at the issues of business relationships, management control assurance and differences in business style between Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Chapter 10 investigates China's burgeoning insurance industry.

What is distinctive about this book is that most papers adopt a comparative perspective. …