Imitating the west? Evidence on administrative reform from the upper echelons of chinese provincial government

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

24 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-806
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


This article explores the attitudes of officials in the upper echelons in Chinese provincial and local government toward the origins of administrative reform. The authors examine the somewhat dichotomous argument that reform imitates the West or is indigenous and contend that both influences are present. Data drawn from a survey of party cadres and government officials show that cultural factors (time in government, overall knowledge of administrative reforms, together with familiarity with the move from a planned system of government to a market economy) and structural variables (upper echelon and familiarity with business management techniques) are correlated with learning from the West. Cadres and officials who spend more time managing outward and those who are familiar with performance assessment do not learn from the West. The theoretical and research implications of these findings-that learning from the West is an important influence on the adoption of administrative reforms in China-are discussed. © 2012 by The American Society for Public Administration.

Citation Format(s)