Catch-Up and Competitiveness in China: The Case of Large Firms in the Oil Industry, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Catch-Up and Competitiveness in China

The Case of Large Firms in the Oil Industry, 1st Edition

By Jin Zhang


256 pages

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This book examines the role of corporate structure, including the role of corporate headquarters, in the success of large firms. It considers these issues in relation to large global corporations, thereby providing a 'benchmark', which is then used as a contrast in a discussion of corporate structure and the role of corporate headquarters within large Chinese firms, many of which have evolved from former government ministries. It includes a detailed case-study of firms in the crucially important oil and petro-chemical sector. Overall, the book shows what a hugely competitive battle China's emerging 'national champions' face with their global competitors, and puts forward policy implications both for large Chinese firms and for the Chinese government concerning how business systems should be reformed further still in order to construct globally competitive large industrial corporations.


'It is not only one of the most comprehensive histories of institutional change in the Chinese oil sector to date, but it also illustrates the height of the hurdles the Chinese oil companies must clear in order to join the ranks of the super majors.' - The China Quarterly

'The book gives in-depth information about the evolution that China's oil industry and large oil SOEs have gone through. The research has extended the discussion on how organisational structures and corporate headquarters construct globally competitive firms as well as adding to the knowledge on large Chinese state-owned enterprises.' - The Journal of Energy Literature

'This study is a welcome contribution to the literature, particularly at a time when oil prices have recently soared and oil is at the top of many national agendas. Understanding the inner workings of China's oil companies and the timing, motives and means for various restructurings is of major interest not only to industry analysts worldwide but also to those monitoring the special problems and progress of China's major international companies.' - The China Journal

Table of Contents

List of Tables List of Figures List of Abbreviations Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. The Function of Corporate Headquarters 3. Corporate Structure and Headquarters' Function: BP and Shell 4. Government Centralisation and Corporatisation: CNPC and Sinopec from 1950s to 1997 5. Restructuring for Vertical Integration and Flotation: CNPC and Sinopec in 1998 and 1999 6. Corporate Structure and Headquarters Function: PetroChina and Sinopec7. From Production Unit to Autonomous Enterprise and back to Production Unit: Daqing and Zhenhai 8. The Challenges for Large Chinese Firms 9. Conclusion Bibliography

About the Author

Jin Zhang is Leverhulme Research Fellow in the Judge Institute of Management and Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge. Her main research interests are international business and China. She is currently undertaking research on China's large corporations and their position within the global business system.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on the Chinese Economy

The primary aim of this series is to publish original, high quality, research-level work, by both new and established scholars in the West and East, on all aspects of the Chinese economy, including studies of business and economic history. Works of synthesis, reference books and edited collections will also be considered. Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General