The analytical focus of the survey instrument is on the mechanisms structuring the relations between institutions, organizational field, and firm. The questionnaire explores typical entrepreneurial situations and standard operational decisions in key areas of firm activities, including supplier relations, customer relations, firm governance and organization, labor relations, and research and development. It examines company strategies in response to legal constraints, modes of compliance or decoupling, and modes of legitimacy seeking, as well as monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.
In parallel, the questionnaire elicits information on the individual founder, the quality of relations with other social groups, and social status assessments. Broadly speaking, the quantitative survey is designed to tease out in different contextual settings the actual micro-level mechanisms enabling and guiding China’s transformative institutional change toward a capitalist firm economy.
A separate survey module covers firm size, firm structure, ownership, firm performance, competition, taxation, and finance, for the three years before the survey year. To facilitate the interview process on these rather complex accounting issues and increase the accuracy of the responses, the CEO was invited to ask the chief financial officer (CFO) to complete the second part of the interview or to assist with it.