Advanced

Administrative Reforms and the Quest for Foreign Investment in China - The Case of Shenzhen

Sönne, Maria LU (1999) In Lund political studies 107.
Abstract
This study examines the attempts made by one local government in China, Shenzhen, to improve its investment environment for foreign-invested enterprises through administrative reforms between 1980 and 1997. Three empirical questions are posed: what reforms have been undertaken, what effects have they had and how have changes in the organizational environment affected them.



The theoretical aim is to contribute to the development of organization theory in general and our knowledge about change in public organizations in particular by combining resource dependence theory and neo-institutional organization theory, and by expanding the use of organization theory to a new field of empirical research.



The... (More)
This study examines the attempts made by one local government in China, Shenzhen, to improve its investment environment for foreign-invested enterprises through administrative reforms between 1980 and 1997. Three empirical questions are posed: what reforms have been undertaken, what effects have they had and how have changes in the organizational environment affected them.



The theoretical aim is to contribute to the development of organization theory in general and our knowledge about change in public organizations in particular by combining resource dependence theory and neo-institutional organization theory, and by expanding the use of organization theory to a new field of empirical research.



The study shows how the local government in Shenzhen has become increasingly large and complex and more similar to the rest of the state apparatus since the beginning of the 1980s, despite the central government's stress on the need for a small and efficient public administration in the special economic zones and more frequent reform drives than the rest of the country. Demands from various ministries at the central level, the search for social fitness and the inflow of new personnel were some of the environmental mechanisms behind this development.



Through an account of how the local government's technical/competitive and institutional environment changed from the early 1980s and how these changes affected the local government, the study also shows how the reform efforts aimed at improving the investment environment for foreign-invested enterprises were triggered by the increasing domestic and international competition for foreign investments. When the amount of foreign investments decreased sharply in the first few months of 1995 the local government finally undertook a reorganization aimed at simplifying the foreign-invested enterprises' relations with the local government, a measure which by then had been on the government's agenda for over a decade but which had met resistance from some of the departments involved. The central government's demands for more revenues, the central government's and the foreign-invested enterprises' call for an improved investment environment as well as the fact that other cities around the country had already undertaken similar reforms were other environmental factors affecting the local government's decision to undertake this reform.



A tentative evaluation of the reforms also showed that they were not merely used as a means to improve the government's facade but that they did in fact have a positive impact on the investment environment. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Christensen, Tom, Department of Political Science, Oslo University, Norway
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
China, competition, resource dependence, investment environment, foreign investments, institutions, organizational environment, organization theory, public administration, administrative reforms, Shenzhen, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
in
Lund political studies
volume
107
pages
268 pages
publisher
Lund University Press
defense location
Edens hörsal, Lund, Sweden
defense date
1999-04-28 10:15
ISSN
0460-0037
ISBN
91-7966-565-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
51511b90-596d-4c5a-8557-04566a5f667f (old id 19335)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 09:29:54
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:52
@phdthesis{51511b90-596d-4c5a-8557-04566a5f667f,
  abstract     = {This study examines the attempts made by one local government in China, Shenzhen, to improve its investment environment for foreign-invested enterprises through administrative reforms between 1980 and 1997. Three empirical questions are posed: what reforms have been undertaken, what effects have they had and how have changes in the organizational environment affected them.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The theoretical aim is to contribute to the development of organization theory in general and our knowledge about change in public organizations in particular by combining resource dependence theory and neo-institutional organization theory, and by expanding the use of organization theory to a new field of empirical research.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The study shows how the local government in Shenzhen has become increasingly large and complex and more similar to the rest of the state apparatus since the beginning of the 1980s, despite the central government's stress on the need for a small and efficient public administration in the special economic zones and more frequent reform drives than the rest of the country. Demands from various ministries at the central level, the search for social fitness and the inflow of new personnel were some of the environmental mechanisms behind this development.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Through an account of how the local government's technical/competitive and institutional environment changed from the early 1980s and how these changes affected the local government, the study also shows how the reform efforts aimed at improving the investment environment for foreign-invested enterprises were triggered by the increasing domestic and international competition for foreign investments. When the amount of foreign investments decreased sharply in the first few months of 1995 the local government finally undertook a reorganization aimed at simplifying the foreign-invested enterprises' relations with the local government, a measure which by then had been on the government's agenda for over a decade but which had met resistance from some of the departments involved. The central government's demands for more revenues, the central government's and the foreign-invested enterprises' call for an improved investment environment as well as the fact that other cities around the country had already undertaken similar reforms were other environmental factors affecting the local government's decision to undertake this reform.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A tentative evaluation of the reforms also showed that they were not merely used as a means to improve the government's facade but that they did in fact have a positive impact on the investment environment.},
  author       = {Sönne, Maria},
  isbn         = {91-7966-565-9},
  issn         = {0460-0037},
  keyword      = {China,competition,resource dependence,investment environment,foreign investments,institutions,organizational environment,organization theory,public administration,administrative reforms,Shenzhen,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap,förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {268},
  publisher    = {Lund University Press},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund political studies},
  title        = {Administrative Reforms and the Quest for Foreign Investment in China - The Case of Shenzhen},
  volume       = {107},
  year         = {1999},
}