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Career Mobility and Performance Evaluation of China's SOE Managerial Elites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2024

Linlin Zhang
School of Economics and Management, Research Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China
Feng Liu
Center for Accounting Studies of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
Xin Yuan*
School of Accounting, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China
Corresponding author: Xin Yuan; Email:


This paper examines the career mobility and performance evaluation of the leaders of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at the central, provincial and prefectural levels. Using data on executive turnover within publicly listed SOEs, we find that central and local SOE leaders have a similar career flow pattern. Specifically, vertical mobility within the same business group is common and more than 60 per cent of SOE leaders leave their office within three years. Only a minority of SOE leaders achieve political promotion. We also find that performance evaluation criteria are different across central and local SOEs. The leaders who provide better economic outcomes for central SOEs obtain a higher evaluation score, while close political connections boost the promotion prospects of local SOE leaders. Overall, our findings provide granular evidence on the personnel management of China's SOEs from a comparative perspective.



本文考察了中国中央、省级和地市级国有企业管理精英的职业流动和绩效评估。利用中国国有上市公司高管更替数据,我们发现中央国企领导人与地方国企领导人的职业流动模式相似。具体而言,在同一国有集团内的纵向流动很普遍,并且超过 60% 的国有企业领导人在三年内从现任岗位离职。只有少数国企领导人能获得政治晋升。我们还发现,中央和地方国有企业的绩效评估标准不同。经济表现优异的央企领导人更能获得高分评价,而与地方政府有密切政治联系的地方国企高管在职业晋升上更具优势。本文从比较研究视角提供了中国国企人事管理的详细证据。

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of SOAS University of London

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