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Strategies for performance improvement in the Chinese chemical industry: Evidence from case study investigations

Jeremy Cheng (Fragrance Resources (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, Shanghai, China)
David Bennett (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Journal of Technology Management in China

ISSN: 1746-8779

Article publication date: 1 May 2006



This paper sets out to explore the proposition that building competences is more effective than privatisation and restructuring to improve performance in the Chinese chemical industry.


Case study research has been undertaken in the Chinese chemical industry. The two case companies provide representative data on the factors under investigation. The case investigations that are described were complemented by a survey, the results of which have been reported elsewhere.


Results obtained from the research show that privatisation of Chinese state‐owned enterprises is not always an effective strategy to improve performance. In the case study companies, the development of core competences was more effective in enhancing performance.

Research limitations/implications

The research results are limited by the scope of the study, which was carried out in the Chinese chemical industry. They are also based on in‐depth case investigations in only two companies, but are supported by a large‐scale survey reported elsewhere. The results have implications for academic researchers interested in China's privatisation programme.

Practical implications

The research has practical implications for companies outside China that are considering collaborative operations with Chinese companies or investing in joint ventures. It also has implications for suppliers or customers of Chinese companies.


The paper is based on original case study investigations carried out in Chinese enterprises and is supported by a survey of representative companies in China's chemical sector. Value is derived from understanding the basis of improved performance in the companies studied.



Cheng, J. and Bennett, D. (2006), "Strategies for performance improvement in the Chinese chemical industry: Evidence from case study investigations", Journal of Technology Management in China, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 190-207.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited