Empirical research on corporate governance in china: A review and new directions for the future

Wei Shen, Qiong Zhou, Chung Ming Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The ownership structure of Chinese firms has experienced significant changes over the last three decades, including the development of a fast growing stock market through which a large number of domestic firms have become publicly traded corporations. These changes have drawn increasing attention from researchers of corporate governance. In this article, we review the empirical research on corporate governance in China, with a focus on the internal and external governance mechanisms that have been investigated and the findings about the effectiveness of these mechanisms. On the basis of our review of 132 studies, we summarize the major findings and discuss the limitation of agency theory in understanding the governance issue in Chinese firms. We offer several ideas (e.g., the importance of the social context, new conceptualization of governance, different outcomes of governance, and data/method issues) for a new agenda to guide future research in the corporate governance of firms operating in the Chinese and other emerging economy contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-73
Number of pages33
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Board of directions
  • Chinese firms
  • Corporate governance
  • Managerial incentives
  • Ownership structure
  • State ownership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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