Workforce Localization among Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Ghana

Antoine Kernen, Ngan Ting Katy Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have gradually localized their workforce since they began operating in Ghana in the 1980s. Examining their workforce localization patterns, the Chinese SOEs in Ghana appear to be diverse in their business practices and highly autonomous from the Chinese state. Our hypothesis on the substantial autonomy of Chinese SOE overseas subsidiaries, which is consequent to the lack of management control from the Chinese central authority since the Chinese economic reform, contrasts the dominant assumption in the China–Africa debate, in which Chinese SOEs are depicted as closely linked to the Chinese state and/or as the arms of the new Chinese policy in Africa. The workforce localization process of Chinese SOEs in Ghana is largely determined by factors like profit maximization objective, market competition and political pressure. The localization experience is similar to those of Western companies in Africa where complete workforce localization takes a long time to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1072
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number90
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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