Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to deliver further insights into empirical research on corporate governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by systematizing existing knowledge, identifying current investigation backlogs, and deriving specific implications for future empirical research to address the lack of empirical knowledge in this field. Design/methodology/approach: The study follows a literature analysis approach through a systematic, quantitative analysis of broad-based database queries from EBSCOhost and Web of Science to derive recommendations for future empirical research on SOE-oriented corporate governance. Findings: The results indicate that empirical SOE-oriented corporate governance research is a growing field with wide-ranging opportunities for investigation. Given the lack of qualitative empirical research (representing only 21.7 percent of the studies identified) and the massive focus on regression analyses (69.9 percent) and secondary database data (77.2 percent), future empirical approaches should consider different methods and data sources. More qualitative research is needed for exploratory designs and canonical correlation-based statistical methods seem helpful for confirmatory approaches. In addition, 50.4 percent of the studies identified have a Chinese background, indicating room for studies from different cultural contexts. Research limitations/implications: Given the range of the research field and the eclectic nature of the analytical approach, it is unlikely that every relevant scientific publication is included. Originality/value: Since this study is the first of its kind, it contributes to SOE-oriented corporate governance research by drawing on a wide-ranging selection of studies and analyzing them to derive straightforward recommendations for future empirical research.