Book Review

The Changing Face of Management in China

Edited by Chris Rowley and Fang Lee Cooke
Published by Routledge: London and New York; hardback (£95) paperback (£29.99)
Reviewed by Malcolm Warner A Professor and Fellow Emeritus of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and a senior research fellow in management studies at Judge Business School

How are China's business enterprises run? What part does Chinese management play? What are the specific roles of managers in different kinds of firms?

Chris Rowley, Professor of Human Resource Management and Director of the Centre for Research in Asian Management at Cass Business School, and Fang Lee Cooke, formerly of the Manchester Business School and now Professor of Human Resource Management and Chinese Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, have edited a useful collection of contributions on Chinese practice in The Changing Face of Management in China, part of Routledge's Working in Asia series.

They include many relevant case studies, each reflecting "the voices of local managers" in Chinese firms. As shaded box-insets in the text in each chapter, these are first-class and based on empirical material collected by the authors. They are probably the parts most likely to appeal to practitioners and MBA students.

The work covers a relatively wide range of the Chinese economy, its enterprises and its managers, and includes a survey by Drs Sek Hing Ng and Olivia Ip of firms in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Accounting, human resources management, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, state-owned enterprises, small and medium enterprises and other issues are covered amply in 10 authoritative chapters, all written by China-watching specialists in their fields.

There is perhaps rather more on practice than on theory but that is in the nature of the remit. That being said, the contributions are most certainly enlightening, interesting and instructive.

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