By the mid-1980s economic reform had seen some success and focus was turned toward the urban industrial areas. It quickly became clear, however, that reform issues were neither as straightforward nor as simple as originally conceived. The ad hoc nature of reform policy making was less effective at managing the growing complexity of reform, and China had entered upon a reform effort never before tried by a large, developing, planned economy. Greater comprehensiveness in policy research and formation was needed, and the organizational growth of SRI reflects its attempt to achieve it. 1 But as we see below, the demands of economic reform intensify a growing mission conflict within the institute over the degree to which it should be involved in the politics of economic reform. The push toward professionalization and the establishment of a new institution for research collide with the bureaucratic and political obstacles the SRI faced.