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From Maoist Self-Reliance to International Oil Consumer: A Resource-Based Appraisal of the Challenges Facing China’s Petrochemical Sector

Tobin, Damian (2008) 'From Maoist Self-Reliance to International Oil Consumer: A Resource-Based Appraisal of the Challenges Facing China’s Petrochemical Sector.' Journal of Chinese Economic & Business Studies, 6 (4). pp. 363-383.

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Abstract

Resource-based theories of the firm argue that the success of one firm over another is largely due to its resource endowments. Large enterprises have long been recognised as leading sources of learning, innovation and growth. This is not just restricted to large firms in developed economies, but also applies to firms in developing economies like China, where large firms have long and complex histories in the state bureaucracy. Focusing on the case of China’s petrochemical sector, this paper argues that even in a sector with a long history in central planning, the critical resources of a firm matter. It shows how existing organisational resources inherited from the pre-reform era, when provided with the correct incentive structures, can survive economic transition and be successfully applied under market conditions. In the petrochemical sector a key inducement was the commitment of the state to expose the sector to international developments where possible. The paper describes how this commitment has resulted in a mostly positive adjustment, but has also created ambiguities over how resources should be developed in future in a rapidly changing global industry.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: Critical Resources, Firm Theory, Petrochemicals, Oil, China
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Financial and Management Studies
ISSN: 14765284
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/14765280802431761
Depositing User: Damien Tobin
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2008 10:44
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/5435

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