In my research historical inquiry plays an important part in understanding the continuities from the pre-1949 past and the complex convergence of business institutions in the process of China’s current economic, political, and social modernization. Historians are able to offer a unique contribution to our understanding of China’s business environment by uncovering the institutional and organizational origins of firms, different forms of entrepreneurship in society, and the relationship between government and business in a long-term perspective. For example, historical analyses with an external focus have demonstrated the complex political and economic agenda of the Chinese state in its interaction with businesses and entrepreneurs which long predates the 1949 revolution and socialism. This insight is relevant to scholars comparing business development under different political regimes and varieties of capitalism as well as managers who need to understand the principle of aligning interests with government authorities when doing business in China today.
Keywords: business history;
business government relations;