Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: August 2003, Volume 2, Number 2
China's Consumer Revolution: Distribution Reform, Foreign Investment and the Impact of the WTO (pp187-204)
Robert Taylor (Centre for Chinese Studies, School of East Asian Studies, Floor 5, Arts Tower, University of Sheffield Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.)
The Chinese leaders have stated that domestic consumption is the key to China's further economic development. An examination of consumer trends since the initiation of China's open-door policy in 1978 suggests market segmentation based on growing personal and regional income inequalities. There is also greater quality discernment as markets mature. Furthermore, credit provision is designed to stimulate consumption. It is argued that consumption will additionally be spurred by ongoing reform in the distribution system. Under the command economy, wholesale and retail services were a state monopoly, and this legacy has impeded the development of a nationwide market. Foreign companies have been playing a major role in the transformation of China's distribution system. Thus, companies like Walmart and Daiei, active in supermarket chains, introduce high levels of service, the use of information technologies in selling and marketing, and scientific management. In response, Chinese domestic concerns need to institute economies of scale and greater integration between supply and retail networks. Finally, membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will force China's leaders to open the country's service sector to foreign investors. In conclusion, WTO membership will provide impetus towards greater competitiveness in China's distribution system, thereby facilitating expansion of consumer markets.
Keywords: consumer demand; distribution reform; wholesale; retail
Cross-cultural Influences on Service Quality in Chinese Retailing: A Comparative Study of Local and International Supermarkets in China (pp205-221)
John H M Ellis, D R Williams & Y Zuo (Business School, Bournemouth University, Christchurch House, Bournemouth BH 1 3LG, UK.)
Customers and providers from different cultures may display different behavioural norms and expectations towards service encounters, with the expectations of service customers and providers likely to exhibit increasing dissonance as cultural distance between interaction partners widens. Most authors have ignored the international dimension of the service quality encounter that arises from increasing cross-border competition in the service sector. Internationalization of the service sector has prompted a paradigmatic shift where the definition, measurement and improvement of service quality have become an issue of primary importance. The study investigates similarities and differences in customer-perceived service quality between indigenous 'Local' (Linhua and Suguo) and European-owned and managed (Carrefour and Metro) 'International' supermarkets. Based on extensive data collection in China in 2002 of four sample groups - namely, management of European supermarkets (European citizens), management of Chinese supermarkets (Chinese citizens), Chinese customers of European supermarkets, and Chinese customers of Chinese supermarkets ¾ this pioneering study seeks to raise fundamental questions about the extent to which cross-cultural expectations and perceptions abound between provider and customer in the service sector.
Keywords: service sector internationalization; service quality; cross-cultural perceptions; supermarkets; China
Measuring the contribution of services to Japanese growth (1975-1995) (pp223-237)
B Andreosso-O'Callaghana (Euro-Asia Centre, Department of Economics, University of Limerick, Plassey Technological Park, Limerick, Ireland.) and Jean-Pascal Bassino (Department of Economics, Paul Valery University, 34000 Montpellier, France. Centre for International Economics and Finance, CNRS UMR 6126, 13290 Aix en Provence, France.)
In Japan, as in other countries of the world, structural change in recent decades has manifested itself by a significant increase in the share of services in total output. Using input-output tables for Japan, and by de-composing the growth rate over the years 1975-1995, we find that the level of final demand contributed more to output change during the 1975-1985 sub-period than during the following decade. Over the 1985-1995 period, an increase in intermediate requirements for inputs from the service industry is witness of the 'tertiarization' of the Japanese economy. When breaking down the results by separate service industries, we find that technological change explains more than 10 per cent of the output growth for industries such as Commerce, Communication & Broadcasting, and Education & Health during the 1985-1995 sub-period. With the exception of Education & Health, these industries are also those most affected by liberalization and privatization waves in the 1970s and 1980s.
Keywords: structural change; service industry; Japanese growth; technological Change
Growing Dependence of Public Banking on Private Consultants for Market Expertise and Risk Management in India (pp239-266)
Harald Bekkers (Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, Centre for Asian Studies Amsterdam (ASSR-CASA), University of Amsterdam, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.)
In 1991, India liberalized its regulatory market system, the 'License Raj', and opened up to global competition. This eliminated the chronic supply gap characterizing the Indian market and introduced efficiency, quality and innovation to a competitiveness previously based on political 'connectivity'. However, the largely nationalized banking sector has been unable to change in tune with the market environment. Pre-liberalization, banks mainly served as a credit distribution infrastructure, since investment approval was in government hands. Liberalization shifted this responsibility to banks; but lacking the infrastructure, professionals and tools to analyse market developments, to manage market risk, they paradoxically rely on consultants with reliable reputations. This paper explores two issues. Firstly, it shows that market liberalization requires an infrastructure of professional business services to analyse the market forces unleashed and to equip market parties with appropriate tools. Indian banks have so far failed to change from 'credit administrators' into market analysts. Secondly, the paper discusses the implications of this failure for other professional business services and industry generally. The banks' inability to distinguish between sophisticated business plans and frauds corrupts the market for business consultancy, while lending unguided by market analysis facilitates cut-throat competition in a saturated market.
Keywords: globalization; banking; small-scale industries; risk management; knowledge system; business consultancy
Regulation of Statutory Audit in China (pp267-280)
Elisabeth Bertin (Universite Francois Rabelais de Tours, Institut d'Administration des Entreprises, 50, avenue Jean Portalis - BP 0607, 37 206 Tours Cedex 03, France.) and Jacques Jaussaud (Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Institut d'Administration des Entreprises, Avenue du Doyen Poplawski - BP 575, 64 012 Pau Cedex, France.)
In China, following the growing number of scandals in recent decades, the statutory auditor's role and tasks have been questioned. This paper deals with the evolution of statutory audit in China, which aims to define high standards of auditing in order to protect the public interest. In this article, we discuss the current conditions for statutory audit in China to clarify who may be recognized as a qualified professional, specify the scope of relationships with clients and determine the manner in which professional discipline is maintained. Furthermore, we clarify the content of the statutory audit mission in China as defined by new standards of auditing. Where meaningful, we contrast the Chinese audit system with systems in industrialized countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, and note significant differences between China and those countries in a legal framework and professional standards. Although the context of the globalization of financial markets means ongoing reforms tend to bring statutory audit systems closer, specific features yet remain to be characterized.
Keywords: statutory audit; independence; reform; China; France; the United Kingdom
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
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