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Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS)

Management in China: Domestic Development

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On this course you will study the major domestic issues that have affected the development and growth of China's economy. This includes China's development strategy, the changing role of the state and its enterprises, the emergence of a private sector, reforms in management practices, and financial and exchange rate policy. The course also covers a wide range of issues related to the study of management, including theories of management and their application to China's domestic economic development.

The course will be of value to anyone expecting to work in or with the Chinese economy, or those who seek to understand the emerging importance of China to the global business system.


Study Guide

You will receive a looseleaf binder containing eight 'course units'. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings. The unit files are also available to download from the Online Study Centre.


Naughton, Barry (2007) The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth, MIT press MA.

Garnaut, R and Y Huang (2001) Growth Without Miracles, Oxford University Press, Oxford


You will receive a compilation of further readings: recently published articles or seminal writings which augment and illustrate the main text.

Online Study Centre

You will have access to the OSC, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OSC, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OSC also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

When you have completed your study of this course you will be able to:

  • outline the economic and political consequences of the pre-reform leap forward strategy, analyse its main implications, and discuss its influences on economic reform
  • evaluate the coherence of China’s economic reform in the light of institutional constraints and critically analyse the major sources of economic growth
  • examine the current managerial mechanisms from the major theoretical perspectives, evaluate the disciplining effects of the management reforms and outline the major trade-offs facing future reforms
  • discuss the reform of the state sector, assess its implications from the agency and resource dependence theoretical perspectives, and critically evaluate the future role of the state industry in China’s economy
  • explain how insider privatisation works in China, distinguish between the main forms of private ownership in the Chinese economy and discuss their contribution to economic growth
  • analyse the business practices of China’s leading non-state firms and explain why connections to the state are still important
  • evaluate the main challenges faced by China’s financial sector in making the transition to the market economy, including that of WTO entry
  • identify the key features of capital market development in China and discuss the main challenges faced by China in facilitating the future development of its capital market
  • discuss the main economic and political arguments on whether or not China’s currency is overvalued or manipulated and evaluate the main options for future exchange rate reforms and their likely impact on the domestic and international economy.

Scope and syllabus

Course content
Unit 1: The Pre Reform Economy
  • 1.1 The Comparative Advantage Strategy
  • 1.2 The Traditional Planning System and the Leap Forward Strategy
  • 1.3 New Development Strategies
  • 1.4 Summary Remarks
Unit 2: Economic Reforms in China
  • 2.1 Introduction: New Directions
  • 2.2 Macro Management Reforms: Decentralisation, Fiscal Policy and Federalism
  • 2.3 Market Reforms
  • 2.4 Assessing China’s Economic Transition
Unit 3: Management Reforms
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Management Reform Initiatives
  • 3.3 Case Study: The First Steel Mill in Beijing
  • 3.4 China’s Managerial Labour Market
  • 3.5 Ownership Reform
  • 3.6 Summary Remarks
Unit 4: State Enterprise Reforms
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Theoretical Perspectives
  • 4.3 Ownership and Governance of SOEs
  • 4.4 SOE Problems
  • 4.5 Remaining Challenges
  • 4.6 Concluding Remarks
Unit 5: The Non-State Sector
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Township and Village Enterprises
  • 5.3 Insider Privatisation: The Transition from Public to Private Ownership
  • 5.4 Private Enterprise
  • 5.5 Two Case Studies
  • 5.6 Review Question
Unit 6: Reform and Development in China’s Financial Sector
  • 6.1 Achievements in Institutional Building and Reform
  • 6.2 Challenges Faced by the Banking Sector
  • 6.3 WTO Membership and the Domestic Bank System
  • 6.4 WTO Membership and Foreign Banks
  • 6.5 Conclusions
Unit 7: Capital Market Development in China
  • 7.1 China’s Capital Market Development
  • 7.2 The Key Features of China’s Equity Markets in the 1990s
  • 7.3 From one-third to two-thirds Privatisation
  • 7.4 International Listing of Chinese Corporations
  • 7.5 Concluding Remarks
Unit 8: Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy
  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 Reforming the Foreign Exchange System
  • 8.3 The Revaluation Debate
  • 8.4 The effect of revaluation on China and its trading partners
  • 8.5 Concluding Remarks

Method of assessment

You will complete two Assignments which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 5, and the second assignment at the end of the course, on the Tuesday after Week 8. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Online Study Centre. You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in April each year.