China Business: The Rules of the Game

By Carolyn Blackman | Go to book overview

9
Shared management

In the initial phase of foreign investment in China, it was required that foreign companies enter the Chinese market by establishing joint ventures with Chinese enterprises. Wholly-owned enterprises are now permitted, and their popularity equals that of joint ventures. Western companies which entered the Chinese market through the joint venture structure saw virtue in having Chinese partners as an entry mechanism into the local market and as go-betweens with the bureaucracy. They also used joint venturing with huge Chinese enterprises as a way of dominating the market against the threat of other multinationals and local companies in the same industry. As part of the joint venture structure the Chinese want to share management equally, regardless of their equity level. However, shared management is a potential time bomb.

Shared management joint ventures, no matter what the nationality of the joint venture partners, or where they are located globally, face the divisive forces of two partners involved in a struggle for power. Managers are appointed by their own side, and generally see their future as lying with their own side, so naturally they attempt to implement the agenda of their parent organisation. This conclusion comes from a study of the issues of joint venture management carried out by J. Peter

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China Business: The Rules of the Game
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface viii
  • Glossary xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Quick Reference Chart to Aspects of the Chinese Business Scene xix
  • I - The Chinese Face of Globalisation *
  • 1 - A Lot to Learn: ‘nowwhere Else in the World is It like This!’ 3
  • 2 - Sustaining Competitive Advantage 16
  • 3 - Corruption: ‘legitimate Loot’ 24
  • 4 - Communication 40
  • II - Strategic Plans Meet Chinese Reality *
  • 5 - Disappointed Expectations 55
  • 6 - Hidden Agendas 68
  • 7 - Corrupt Practices 83
  • 8 - Trust 94
  • III - Foreign Managers, Chinese Staff *
  • 9 - Shared Management 107
  • 10 - Culture Change 116
  • 11 - Skills Differential 133
  • 12 - Supervision 142
  • 13 - Manager Quality 151
  • IV - Bureaucracy and Business *
  • 14 - The Socialist Market Economy 169
  • 15 - Local Government Power 175
  • 16 - Exorbitant Levies and Sundry Taxes 185
  • 17 - Mutual Co-Operation, Mutual Benefits 194
  • 18 - Talking to the Bureaucrats 204
  • 19 - Conclusion 215
  • Bibliography 222
  • Index 226
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