It is common for Chinese in the P. R. C. to hold the opinion that the management of their commercial organizations is inferior to that of foreign-owned firms in the same industry in China. It is also assumed, by outside observers of commercial activity in the P. R. C., that some aspects of Chinese culture and organizational practices in the planned economic period will negatively affect the functioning of Chinese firms, especially state-owned enterprises, or SOEs (Steinfeld, 1998).
In this study, we investigate these assumptions, contrasting the differences between Chinese and Western approaches to management in a large industrial organization operating in Wuhan (the capital of Hubei province). The Shenlong Automobile Company (hereinafter, Shenlong) is a Sino-French joint venture—
The authors thank the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) for financial support. They also thank the managers of Shenlong Automobile Company for their cooperation.