Political democracy and public enterprise management : a study of Taiwan's state-owned enterprises

  • Cheng-Chiu Pu

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis is a study of why and how an authority model of managing state-owned enterprises has remained popular in Taiwan through the past two decades. The subject was chosen because it has to date, been a neglected subject in the literature on Taiwan, even though it is significant to any serious examination of Taiwan's continuing political development and the government's approach to governance. Taiwan has experienced three major milestones of political democratisation over the period, each greatly enhancing the democratic characteristics of the state and also reflecting a degree of absorption of global political and economic pressures. Taiwan's political democratisation has been widely discussed in recent years, but not much attention has been paid to the effect of the political changes on its public sector management. The discussions have simply speculated that the Taiwanese government no longer uses the authoritarian way of governing the country, in keeping with its promotion of democratic development. However, this research clearly indicates that the change of political regime from the previous Kuomintang (KMT) to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has not meant any significant change in the way state-owned enterprises are managed. The approach of the DPP government resembles that of the KMT government in that it continues with an authoritarian way of managing state-owned enterprises, despite the party's long established commitment to a democratic way. In other words, this huge change has not meant state-owned enterprises are any better placed than they were previously in terms of having a greater degree of enterprise management autonomy. This research also shows that Taiwanese governments, regardless of which of the two parties is in power, manipulate state-owned enterprise management using the enterprises as a major means of achieving multiple political objectives. In particular, it has become almost endemic in Taiwan's politics that the ruling party manipulates state-owned enterprise management in order to win political elections and protect its political position. In this sense, it has become evident that the democratic way of governance has still not been used within this part of the government yet.
    Date of Award2007
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRoger Wettenhall (Supervisor), Douglas Davies (Supervisor) & John Laver (Supervisor)

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