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Bridging ‘home’ political and economic rationalities with ‘host’ demands and constraints: The case of regional Chinese state-owned multinational corporations

Li, Xinxiang and Le, Bo and Shen, Dan and Soobaroyen, Teerooven (2022) 'Bridging ‘home’ political and economic rationalities with ‘host’ demands and constraints: The case of regional Chinese state-owned multinational corporations.' British Journal of Management. ISSN 1045-3172

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Abstract

Regional state-owned multinational corporations (SOMNCs) are a major constituency of the ‘going out’ strategy of the Chinese state. Although SOMNCs are nominally infused with political rationalities, they also have explicit contractual economic targets. We therefore explore the underlying rationalities of regional SOMNCs and the roles of expatriate managers in relation to their international expansion strategies. We mobilize Foucault’s conception of ‘governmentality’ in providing a holistic understanding of the case of a regional SOMNC (and its subsidiary in Ghana), notably how its managers rationalize their decisions in terms of reconciling political vision with local contexts, tackling domestic competition via foreign market exploration, mobilizing local engagement, improving expatriate managers’ morale and reinterpreting an interdependent government–business relationship. Our study suggests that coexisting economic and political considerations between the regional government and SOMNCs are instrumentalized with a view to ‘governmentalize’ overseas operations via business strategies and localization management practices in the Ghanaian subsidiary. In such an interdependent relationship, political appeals and market imperatives are mutually beneficial and complementary, with expatriate managers skillfully deploying the SOMNC’s government affiliation. Our theoretical contribution lies in adapting a governmentality-driven framework to forge an alliance between liberal forms of management and non-liberal forms of governing and control.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Regional State-Owned Multinational Corporations (SOMNC); International expansion; overseas operations; governmentality; China
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 16:34
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2022 15:13
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32307

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