Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: December 2003, Volume 2, Number 3
Path Dependency and Growth in Rural China Since 1978 (pp301-321)
Chris Bramall (School of East Asian Studies, Arts Tower, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK)
The remarkable pace of economic growth in rural China over the last two decades cannot be understood without reference to post-1978 policy change. However, using a newly created data set that covers a third of China's counties, this article shows that growth was path-dependent: those counties where the industrial base was well-developed at the time of Mao's death grew rapidly over the next two decades, and vice versa. The continuities in Chinese economic growth across the 'great divide' of 1978 should be recognized: the growth of the Dengist era bore the imprint of the Chinese past. Nevertheless, the importance of path dependency should not be overstated. The industrial legacies of the Maoist and Republican eras were not always conducive to growth, and some counties supplemented their meagre inheritance by importing labour from the Chinese interior, or by attracting capital from abroad. Furthermore, despite the positive legacies of the past, the success of Chinese rural industrialization remains in doubt.
Keywords: China; rural industry; growth; path dependency; skills; Third Front
Flexibility in Japanese Manufacturing Industries: Synchronization of Production, Sales and Purchase (pp323-346)
Hirokimi Okamoto (Faculty of Commerce, Doshisha University, Karasuma-Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori, Kamigyou-ku, Kyoto 602-8580, Japan)
This paper considers how the flexible production system formed by Japanese companies is linked with sales and purchasing, and seeks to elucidate its significance. While manufacturing and categorizing diverse product lines, the essence of the flexibility of production systems lies in their capacity to adapt swiftly to changes in market trends. It is therefore necessary to investigate how production may react to market developments and what adjustments may be made for sales and purchasing. However, there exists little research conducted from this angle. This paper introduces, compares and examines the links between production, sales and purchasing in automobile, steel, electrical appliance and semi-conductor companies in Japan. By examining various different industries, it will be possible firstly to provide a clear illustration of the diverse nature of the actual state of production flexibility. Secondly, by extracting common factors, the paper examines what constitutes flexibility, clarifying the objectives common to each industry regarding reductions in lot size of planning (LSP) and shorter lengths of lead-time for scheduling prior to production (LLS). Thirdly, it considers the various factors borne of this diversity ¾ namely why LSP and LLS differ between industries. Finally, it points out the importance, in practical terms, of considerations of product specifications combined with LSP and LLS.
Keywords: JIT; flexibilty; synchronization; lead-time; forecasting
Japanese and Korean Multinationals: The Replication and Integration of Their National Business Systems in China (pp347-369)
Jos Gamble (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK), Jonathan Morris (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, CARDIFF, CF10 3EU, UK) & Barry Wilkinson (School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK)
Differing national institutional environments are considered to have fostered the development of distinctive national business systems. These business systems have an impact upon the way in which companies from different countries operate their international ventures. Based upon data from case studies conducted in Japan, Korea and China, this paper compares and contrasts the impact of national business systems on Japanese and Korean multinationals' operations in China's electronics sector. The main focus is upon differences in the extent of integration of these two countries' multinational companies into the Chinese economy. Our research indicates that the different business forms of Japanese and Korean firms in their home context affect the way firms from these countries internationalize. We demonstrate that although ventures from both Japan and Korea operate in an economy largely parallel to rather than integrated with indigenous firms, the degree of separation is particularly marked for Japanese enterprises. Korean firms develop more linkages with Chinese suppliers and customers. We explore the reasons for this and some of the consequences and implications both for the businesses themselves and for the development of the electronics sector in China. We suggest, for instance, that the Japanese business system, which works well in the parent country, is less well adapted when transported overseas, whereas the Korean form throws up unexpected advantages.
Keywords: multinationals; electronics; business systems; China; East Asia
Control in Japanese-Chinese Joint Ventures: Antecedent Factors and Effect on Performance from the Japanese Viewpoint (pp 371-391)
Xinjian Li (Minamisuna 3-2-2-308, Koto-ku, Tokyo 136-0076, Japan)
The relationship between ownership, control, and performance has been the focus of most previous research on international joint ventures (IJVs). However, there has been little empirical and systematic study on this topic in the context of Japanese-Chinese joint ventures (JVs). Based on data collected from Japanese managers, this study reconfirms that ownership ratio is the foremost determining force for control in IJVs. At the same time, with the inclusion of additional factors that, although not necessarily having a legal basis, are important in international management of parent firms, this paper finds that interdependence in physical-process resources between parent firms and JVs and strategic monitoring by the parent firms are also significant factors for control. As for the relationship between control and performance, this paper divides IJV performance from the Japanese perspective into two kinds, export- and local-oriented, and finds that control by Japanese parents is significantly linked to the former, but not the latter, indicating that the prominence of control is contingent on the parent firm's distinct objectives at the IJV.
Keywords: international joint venture; Japanese-Chinese joint venture; ownership; interdependence; control; performance
Institutional Embeddedness of the Balance between Internal and External Technology: A Comparison between Japanese and German Firms (pp393-415)
Martin Hemmert (Institute of Production and Industrial Information Management, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany)
International differences in the balance between internal, collaborative and external technology acquisition of firms have been under intensive discussion during the last two decades. A survey of 16 leading semiconductor and pharmaceutical firms from Germany and Japan, based on data concerning the structure of R&D expenditures, a questionnaire survey and interviews with R&D department heads, reveals considerable differences between the two countries. Moreover, they are rooted in country-specific institutional surroundings which result in different motives of German and Japanese R&D managers for conducting internal, collaborative or external technology acquisition. This indicates the necessity of careful consideration of the institutional environment in which firms operate when analyzing and evaluating their strategies.
Keywords: technology management; innovation systems; R&D collaboration; Japan; Germany
This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
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