Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Dragon in a three-piece suit : the emergence of capitalism in China /
Doug Guthrie
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1999.
description
xiv, 302 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691004927 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1999.
isbn
0691004927 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3170763
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"How have Chinese enterprises responded to the opening of the economy? Doug Guthrie surveyed Chinese managers, finding that many copied Western techniques, in labor markets, product markets, and inter-firm relations. Yet new practices retain the stamp of Chinese tradition. Guthrie uses the case of China to brilliant advantage to show that business practices are shaped by sociological as much as by economic imperatives."-- Frank Dobbin, Princeton University " Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit brings state-of-the-art institutional analysis together with a brilliant empirical study of the real world of economic reforms in China. Combining fieldwork, interviews, and unique quantitative data sources, Guthrie offers the clearest account available of how Chinas reforms translate into concrete organizational practices. His study is among the best at illuminating how markets and firms work in transitional economies."-- Craig Calhoun, New York University "Guthrie offers a sustained and intelligent treatment of an important topic using new data. The book will be of interest to China specialists (in sociology, political science, and anthropology) and to people who study comparative political economy. Guthrie also goes outside his specialization and draws connections with the literature on organizations and with economic sociology."-- Bruce Carruthers, Northwestern University "Guthrie brings new insights and fresh perspectives to the study of organizational change in China during the process of economic reform. The book is exceptionally well written and moves easily between organizational theory and big questions, on the one hand, and the particularities of Chinese experience on the other."-- Barry Naughton, University of California, San Diego
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
Based primarily on his 1994-95 field study of 81 industrial firms in Shanghai, Guthrie (sociology, New York Univ.) takes on a number of central issues in contemporary Chinese industrial sociology. He makes a strongly affirmative case that the operations of large manufacturing firms have indeed been undergoing constructive reform over the past 15 years. Contrary to received wisdom, formal rational bureaucracies in the Weberian sense are emerging in Chinese firms, the oft-proclaimed importance of quanxi (personal "connections") has significantly diminished in business transactions, and Sino-foreign contractual negotiations have had a positive impact on Chinese enterprises. Guthrie's most interesting finding stresses the role of emulation--Chinese firms tend to imitate the successful behavior of their Western counterparts, a telling argument (he contends) in favor of delinking trade policy and human rights issues. This monograph's strength derives from its 155 intensive interviews with factory managers in Shanghai's chemical, electronics, food, and garment industries. While necessarily limited in scope, Guthrie's research is stimulating, significant, and engagingly presented. Economic historians may not be fully satisfied--the book is rather weakly attuned to current scholarship on pre-1949 Chinese business and legal history--but other social scientists as well as the general reading public should applaud it. R. P. Gardella; United States Merchant Marine Academy
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A splendid book. . . . Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit provides a comprehensive examination of an important and timely phenomenon. The question is important. The data are not only unique, they are also remarkably comprehensive. . . . [It is] likely to stimulate both discussion and additional research."-- Lisa A. Keister, Contemporary Sociology
"[Guthrie] provides an admirably clear and detailed exposition of who runs what in reformera industry in China, complete with diagrams. . . . This book is essential reading for anyone interested in China's economic reforms and in transition economies more generally, and it will stand comparison with anything else in the field."-- Jackie Sheehan, The Times Higher Education Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Guthrie, who has spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides a detailed account of how China's large industrial firms have changed since the mid-1980s.
Main Description
Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit is an innovative sociological examination of what is perhaps the main engine of economic reform in China, the large industrial firm. Doug Guthrie, who spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers, and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides the first detailed account of how these firms have been radically transformed since the mid-1980s. Guthrie shows that Chinese firms are increasingly imitating foreign firms in response both to growing contact with international investors and to being cut adrift from state support. Many firms, for example, are now less likely to use informal hiring practices, more likely to have formal grievance filing procedures, and more likely to respect international institutions, such as the Chinese International Arbitration Commission. Guthrie argues that these findings support the de-linking of Western trade policy from human rights, since it is clear that economic engagement leads to constructive reform. Yet Guthrie also warns that reform in China is not a process of inevitable Westernization or of managers behaving as rational, profit-maximizing agents. Old habits, China's powerful state administration, and the hierarchy of the former command economy will continue to have profound effects on how firms act and how they adjust to change. With its combination of rigorous argument and uniquely rich detail, this book gives us the most complete picture yet of Chinese economic reform at the crucial level of the industrial firm.
Main Description
Dragon in a Three-Piece Suitis an innovative sociological examination of what is perhaps the main engine of economic reform in China, the large industrial firm. Doug Guthrie, who spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers, and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides the first detailed account of how these firms have been radically transformed since the mid-1980s. Guthrie shows that Chinese firms are increasingly imitating foreign firms in response both to growing contact with international investors and to being cut adrift from state support. Many firms, for example, are now less likely to use informal hiring practices, more likely to have formal grievance filing procedures, and more likely to respect international institutions, such as the Chinese International Arbitration Commission. Guthrie argues that these findings support the de-linking of Western trade policy from human rights, since it is clear that economic engagement leads to constructive reform. Yet Guthrie also warns that reform in China is not a process of inevitable Westernization or of managers behaving as rational, profit-maximizing agents. Old habits, China's powerful state administration, and the hierarchy of the former command economy will continue to have profound effects on how firms act and how they adjust to change. With its combination of rigorous argument and uniquely rich detail, this book gives us the most complete picture yet of Chinese economic reform at the crucial level of the industrial firm.
Unpaid Annotation
"Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit is an innovative sociological examination of what is perhaps the main engine of economic reform in China, the large industrial firm. Doug Guthrie, who spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers, and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides the first detailed account of how these firms have been radically transformed since the mid-1980s.Guthrie shows that Chinese firms are increasingly imitating foreign firms in response both to growing contact with international investors and to being cut adrift from state support. Many firms, for example, are now less likely to use informal hiring practices, more likely to have formal grievance filing procedures, and more likely to respect international institutions, such as the Chinese International Arbitration Commission. Guthrie argues that these findings support the de-linking of Western trade policy from human rights, since it is clear that economic engagement leads to constructive reform. Yet Guthrie also warns that reform in China is not a process of inevitable Westernization or of managers behaving as rational,
Unpaid Annotation
Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit is an innovative sociological examination of what is perhaps the main engine of economic reform in China, the large industrial firm. Doug Guthrie, who spent more than a year in Shanghai studying firms, interviewing managers, and gathering data on firms' performance and practices, provides the first detailed account of how these firms have been radically transformed since the mid-1980s.Guthrie shows that Chinese firms are increasingly imitating foreign firms in response both to growing contact with international investors and to being cut adrift from state support. Many firms, for example, are now less likely to use informal hiring practices, more likely to have formal grievance filing procedures, and more likely to respect international institutions, such as the Chinese International Arbitration Commission. Guthrie argues that these findings support the de-linking of Western trade policy from human rights, since it is clear that economic engagement leads to constructive reform. Yet Guthrie also warns that reform in China is not a process of inevitable Westernization or of managers behaving as rational, profit-maximizing agents. Old habits, China's powerful state administration, and the hierarchy of the former command economy will continue to have profound effects on how firms act and how they adjust to change.With its combination of rigorous argument and uniquely rich detail, this book gives us the most complete picture yet of Chinese economic reform at the crucial level of the industrial firm.
Table of Contents
Figuresp. vii
Tablesp. ix
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Dragon in a Three-Piece Suitp. 2
Firm Practices in China's Transforming Economy: Efficiency or Mimicry?p. 3
Path Dependence in China's Economic Transitionp. 24
Formal Rational Bureaucracies in Chinese Firms: Causes and Implicationsp. 42
Changing Labor Relations in the Period of Market Reformp. 75
The Politics of Price Setting in China's Transition Economyp. 101
Economic Strategies in the Face of Market Reformsp. 121
Institutional Pressure, Rational Choice, and Contractual Relations: Chinese-Foreign Negotiations in the Economic Transitionp. 150
The Declining Significance of Connections in China's Economic Transitionp. 175
Conclusions and Implicationsp. 198
Methodology and Samplingp. 219
Interviews and Informantsp. 228
Complete Interview Schedulep. 235
Sample Characteristics and Variablesp. 240
Notesp. 249
Referencesp. 281
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem