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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #166: September 17, 2004

Asian Business & Management

Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: September 2004, Volume 3, Number 3


Recasting East Asian Economic Governance: An Institutional Perspective (pp281-297)
Hyuk-Rae Kim (Korean Studies Program, Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Korea), Ingyu Oh (Department of Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Jumonjibaru, Beppu, Oita 874-8577, Japan), Yongsun Paik (International Business and Management, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659, USA) and Shigemi Yoneyama (Faculty of Economics, Musashi University, 1-26-1 Toyotama-kami, Nerima, Tokyo 176-8534, Japan)
In this paper, we explore how neo-liberal economic reforms after the 1997 Asian economic crisis significantly restructured the institutional nexus of the East Asian political economy and its economic governance framework in the attempt to restore competitiveness and ensure economic development. Neo-liberal economic reform programs do not simply promote market-oriented policies, but significantly recast how East Asian economic governance should be managed and coordinated. We argue that recasting economic governance requires institutional shift in the framework within which economic transactions occur and in the nexus within which the framework emerges and functions. For this, East Asian states must replace directive and interventionist roles with facilitative and regulatory market reform measures, while the private sector minimizes rent-seeking behavior and monopolistic market power by adopting global standards of liberal capitalism.
Keywords: East Asian economic governance; institutional nexus; governance framework; developmental state; regulatory state; liberal capitalism

How Multinational Corporations Deal with their Socio-political Stakeholders: An Empirical Study in Asia, Europe, and the US (pp299-313)
Dirk Holtbrügge (Department of International Management, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany) and Nicola Berg (Chair for Strategic and International Management, University of Dortmund, Vogelpothsweg 87, D-44221 Dortmund)
In this paper, the interactions of German Multinational Corporations (MNCs) with their socio-political stakeholders are analysed. An empirical study in two Asian countries (China and India), three European countries (France, Germany and Russia) and the US demonstrates that the operations of MNCs are influenced by several socio-political interest groups. Among them central government has the highest relevance, followed by state government. The media, industrial associations and local government are of average relevance, while the importance of non-governmental organizations and supranational organizations is relatively low. The results differ significantly between the six countries. To deal with their socio-political stakeholders and the issues raised by them, MNCs use several instruments of public affairs management. The most important instrument in China appears to be lobbying, followed by bribery; while in India, the reverse order is found. Both countries differ considerably from other countries in the study, where codes of conduct, public relations and sponsorship are much more important, and bribery is insignificant.
Keywords: public affairs management; stakeholder theory; socio-political issues; corporate ethics

Alternatives to Hierarchy in Japan: Business Networks and Civic Entrepreneurship (pp315-335)
Kathryn C Ibata-Arens (Department of Political Science, DePaul University, 990 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60614, USA)
Japan has often been described as a 'network society'. Business networks are said to succeed as alternatives to markets and hierarchies by fostering cooperation and competition among members. Interpretations of existing business networks in Japan are biased toward the central state and big business, while failing to examine underlying power asymmetries, which have been masked by assumptions of 'trusting' relations between large firms and small. In essence, in Japan most networks are in fact hierarchies. High-technology small- and medium-sized firms that have de-linked and formed some kind of alternative (non-hierarchical) inter-firm interaction (network) type are much more innovative in terms of R&D output and new product creation than their 'linked' (ie to hierarchical production structures, or keiretsu) counterparts. In other words, de-linking, not firm location, is what matters. That said, there exist more independent firms in Kyoto, coupled with a sense of 'civic entrepreneurship'. This civic-minded independent entrepreneurship dynamic leads to innovative outcomes, more so than in other regions in this study. I examine three local business networks: Kyoto's 'Kiseiren', Osaka's 'TOPS Higashi Osaka' and Tokyo's 'O-net'. The most successful networks are enterprise-initiated and independent of state and big business. Emerging network forms are proving to be an important alternative to hierarchy in Japan.
Keywords: Japan; innovation; high-tech industry; inter-firm networks; civic entrepreneurship

HRM in Japan and the West: What are the Lessons to Be Learnt from Each Other? (pp337-361)
Markus Pudelko (University of Edinburgh Management School, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JY, UK)
In view of increasing perceptions of Japanese human resource management (HRM) as in crisis, this paper examines whether Japanese HR managers are seeking to adopt Western practices to overcome these difficulties, and if so, which Western model is most favoured. Given the esteem accorded until recently to Japanese HRM by many Western commentators, the extent to which Western HR managers (still) see reasons for learning from Japan is also examined. The specific aspects of HRM to which each set of managers is disposed are analysed in detail by surveying the views of Japanese and Western (US and German) HR managers. Results show that both Western and Japanese HR experts perceive Japanese HRM increasingly critically, and that Japanese managers now seek to learn chiefly from American HRM practices. It is argued, however, that the predominant Japanese focus on the US model may be unwise; learning from other models is not just a question of which direction to go, but also how far to go. Taking inspiration from a more 'balanced' model, such as that of Germany, might offer valuable guidance, as it better 'fits' the Japanese context than the in many ways opposite American model.
Keywords: Japan; USA; Germany; HRM; human resource management

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