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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #65: December 9, 2002

Asian Business & Management

Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: August 2002, Vol. 1, No. 2

The Asian Academy of Management

Chung-Ming Lau (Department of Management, University of Hong Kong)

"In the interests of furthering research, education and the dissemination of knowledge relating to Asian management issues, the Asia Academy of Management was founded in 1998, at an inaugural conference in Hong Kong, hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Affiliated to the Academy of Management, the aim was to encourage contextualized management research with relevance to Asia. It is intended to develop a cutting-edge position in the fields of management theory, research and education, expanding from its Asian focus to global relevance in its research and study. It is open to all persons, academic or managerial, with an interest in Asian management issues....................

The Asia Academy has close links not just with the Academy of Management, but also with other regional affiliates, including the Iberoamerican Academy and the Australian and New Zealand Academy. Professional development workshops are regularly organized at the Academy of Management Annual Meetings. Through a variety of scholarly activities and relationships, including the journal, conferences and workshops, the Asia Academy stands ready to achieve global recognition and take management research to new frontiers."


Incorporating the Multinational: Socio-technical Interfaces between the MNC Affiliate and the Host Country
Ray Loveridge (Said Business School, University of Oxford,UK.)
This paper begins by describing an attempt to evaluate the contribution of the overseas affiliates of 20 European parent multinational enterprises (MNEs), based in four South-East Asian countries; Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand. This was done through semi-structured interviews carried out by the author in parent headquarters, regional offices and affiliated plant locations, together with state institutions in the host nations. The visits were repeated over a 2-year period from 1997 to 1999. The resource-dependency model used to structure the research focused on two characteristics of the affiliates. The first was whether the contribution of the affiliate was to high-value-added locally designed products or to low-value, low-design products. A second dimension was provided by the place held by the plant on local/global supply chains. An initial hypothesis was that distinctively different modes of organizational learning would emerge from the conjunction of nationally differentiated parent MNEs and the institutional context of the host country and would, therefore, shape the manner in which dependencies were operationalized. In practice, two factors seemed more important in shaping the business strategy and style of the affiliate. The first was the nature of the operational technology, particularly the sunk costs of local investment, and the degree to which these 'captured' the MNE for the national economic development strategy of the host government. The second was the political economic context of both the parent and affiliate, and the manner in which these caused the dissipation or enhancement of managerial and technical capabilities. In essence, the focus of the study shifted from one in which the MNE and host state were treated as holistic actors interacting along a single common dimension, to one in which the political incorporation and social embeddedness of the former within the context of the latter was accomplished through multiple and socially segmented networks. The question of the extent to which the MNE can act autonomously to shape either its internal or external structure might, therefore, be taken as a matter for political and ethical judgement as much as for market forces.

A Historical Review of Japanese Management Theories: The Search for a General Theory of Japanese Management
Masaki Hayashi (Department of Commerce, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan)
Japanese management theories have not developed into a general theory of Japanese management, that is, a theory drawn from the 'mutual mediation' of historical and theoretical studies of local business management. One reason for this is a focus on specifically Japanese traits within its system of management, from cultural aspects embedded within business to issues of the financial system, relations with government, kigyoshudan and keiretsu, industrial relations and labour management and management methods such as production control. No study has yet addressed general theoretical issues regarding Japanese management, and this is reinforced by the recent specialization and fragmentation in management studies. Given the broad scale of the development of industry and management in Japan, it is unsurprising that individual areas should receive priority. Nonetheless, individual areas are in a relationship of mutual mediation with the development of a general theory, and thus we cannot disregard the importance of the latter. This article reviews historically existing Japanese management theories, classifying them into four approaches, and considers the possibility of developing a general theory of Japanese management through the mutual mediation of historical and theoretical studies, as well as of individual management studies and studies of general theory.

Globalization Strategies of Chinese Companies: Current Developments and Future Prospects
Robert Taylor (School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, UK.)
The object of this study is to examine the globalization strategies of Chinese companies which, it is contended, have been influenced by China's current stage of economic development. Since the initiation of its open-door policy in 1978, China has, in this respect, followed to a considerable extent the path of other Asian countries. Currently, China's foreign direct investment (FDI) is present in 139 states and territories but heavily concentrated in Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa and Macao. Such ventures overseas are, however, small scale, with an average capitalization of US$ 3 million. This figure may nevertheless be set to rise, as Chinese companies move into more high-tech ventures; to date, China's firms have been more heavily involved in the service and processing sectors. In addition, China's FDI has been constrained both by government regulation of the economy and lack of experience on the part of China's companies in international competition. Accordingly, the role of both business and government in the promotion of managerial, financial and linguistic competence is assessed. In conclusion, the study summarizes the salient features of Chinese FDI to date and the future prospects for the globalization of China's companies.

Government Policy and the Competitive Advantages of Foreign-financed Firms in Guangdong Province of Southern China
Godfrey Yeung (School of Social Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK) and Vincent Mok (Department of Business Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
This paper investigates the impact of various Chinese government policies on the competitive advantages of foreign-financed manufacturing firms in Guangdong province of southern China. The objectives of various government sector-specific policies are to lubricate the factor markets in labour, capital and products and to facilitate the operation of foreign-financed firms. However, the actual effects are often quite different: the ambiguity, complexity and inflexibility of policies impose higher transaction costs on foreign-financed firms. These disadvantages offset some economic benefits gained under the central government's preferential foreign direct investment policy and thus damages the competitive advantages of foreign-financed firms based in Guangdong. Worse still, the lack of co-ordination among various bureaux further hampers arbitration between government bureaux and foreign investors.

Globalization, Labour, and Economic Crisis: Insights from Southeast Asia
Vedi R Hadiz (Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, Singapore.)
This article highlights some of the problems pertaining to the relationship between globalization and labour in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The experience of workers and organized labour during the Asian Crisis is used to gauge the position of workers and their organizations in relation to the state and other social forces in this 'era' of globalization. Thus, much attention is paid to the domestic power structures which organized labour confronts. It is contended that the position of organized labour in all four Southeast Asian countries considered had been uniformly less than strong prior to the crisis, and this greatly influenced the degree to which labour organizations had the capacity to affect state policy during the debacle of 1997/98. However, the relative position of organized labour in each country was not exactly the same and, it is argued, the capacity of labour to respond to the crisis was an indicator of its standing in relation to the wider constellation of state and society forces. The analysis is informed by the theoretical position that policy-making is not a matter of arriving objectively and neutrally at 'rational' decisions, but involves contests between competing interests, and is therefore affected by the nature of the distribution and use of power in society.

Locational Adjustment of Japanese Management in Europe
Rolf D Schlunze (Faculty of Management, Department of International Management, Otemon Gakuin University,Osaka, Japan)
This study examines locational adjustment in Japanese manufacturing subsidiaries in Europe. A survey was carried out and extensive statistical analyses were made. The degree of adjustment was formulated for main managerial elements, such as job classification, wage system, job rotation, quality control, job security, and small-group activities; involvement in community relations was also investigated. Although the Japanese transplants favored mainly the adoption of their own methods, it was found that they have started to adapt to local production practices in areas where efficient operation is ensured. Applying cluster analysis, three different types or degrees of locational adjustment of Japanese management can be found: the application-oriented hybrid, intermediate hybrid, and adaptation-oriented hybrid. By plotting their location, a clearer geographical picture of hybridization in the Japanese management system within the EU can be achieved.

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