Field research was conducted in the Li Cheng District (about 1,200 km 2) of Shan Dong Province. Data collection occurred during a two-week period in July 2006. At that time, seven villages represented all relevant sites in the district that contained gasification technologies. Small-group interviews with village leaders, station managers, and community members were conducted locally. Contact with external government agencies and technology scientists completed the set of potential stakeholders.;This study analyzes the failure of state-owned energy development initiatives in China. Communication barriers in bureaucratic structures and culturally prescribed patterns of interaction were revealed as inhibiting information transfer, thus restricting capabilities for individual decision making, group decision making, and learning. These presented significant challenges to maintaining successful operation of community-level gasification technologies in rural Chinese villages.