An anatomy of state control in the globalization of state-owned enterprises

H. Liang, B. Ren, S. Li Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Integrating agency theory with institutional analysis in international business, we propose a state-control perspective to analyze government-control mechanisms in emerging economies’ globalization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). We identify two types of state control that influence SOEs’ globalization decisions and the degree of globalization (DOG): state ownership control and executives’ political connections, both of which are contingent upon the home country’s evolving institutional environments. Using a two-step corporate globalization decision model and 17,272 firm – year observations of non-financial, Chinese-listed companies, we find a strong impact of both types of state control on SOEs’ globalization, although the impacts differ between the periods before and after domestic governance reform and across different globalization decision steps. The diminishing impact of executives’ political connections and the increasing impact of state ownership control on firms’ DOG demonstrate the evolving relationship between the state and the managers, as well as the dynamics of state control in globalizing SOEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-240
JournalJournal of International Business Studies (JIBS)
Early online date27 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • agency theory
  • state control
  • state-owned enterprises
  • political relationships
  • corporate globalization


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