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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #233: April 21, 2006

Asian Business & Management

Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: March 2006, Volume 5, Number 1


The Important and the Unimportant in Business Education (pp9-21)
Ronald Dore (Cavanazza, Veggio, Grizzana 40030 BO, Italy)

Importance can only be measured by one's own values; hence, this prescription is personal. Business schools should aim to produce not just efficient, but also decent human beings whose business life is guided not just by a concern with legal compliance but with criteria of fairness, which they have worked out themselves and which their conscience makes them want to stick to. Courses in business ethics can be designed to mesh with and evaluate the rest of the curriculum. The ideal graduate should also be someone who not only operates efficiently in the economic and social structure in which he or she works but also has reasoned views about how those structures should be improved. If it is too much to expect business schools to train people for the public sector or non-profits, at least it should produce people with a sense of their responsibilities as elite citizens, who are the public sector's owners. Courses in political economy, for example, comparative capitalisms, are one way of doing that.

Keywords: business education; ethics; political economy; public sector; comparative capitalisms


North American Research Agenda and Methodologies: Past Imperfect, Future - Limitless Possibilities (pp23-35)
Rosalie L Tung (Faculty of Business, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6, Canada)

This paper reviews the accomplishments and deficiencies in North American management research. Despite its growing popularity - as evidenced by the surge in membership in management professional associations - there appears to be (a) a disconnection between theory and research; and (b) inadequate attention to international management research. Hence, the subtitle, 'past imperfect'. However, the opportunities for change and further development of the field appear to be 'limitless'. These include: (a) the growing participation of non-North Americans in traditionally North American professional associations; (b) the 'bandwagon effect'; (c) the increasing emphasis placed on research in non-North American business schools; and (d) the proponents of change appear to be gathering force.

Keywords: international management research; professional associations; research methodology and paradigms; theory and practice; epistemology

US Research on Asian Business: A Flawed Model (pp37-51)
Leonard H Lynn (Department of Marketing and Policy Studies, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-735, USA)

Increasingly, publication in the top US business research journals is being accepted as an indicator of excellence in research by management schools around the world. This is problematic for research on Asian business. The US management journals, most highly valued in evaluating academic success, have developed a very narrow focus. These journals are most receptive to articles that rely on theory that was developed in a US context, and thus may not be easily applicable to Asian business. They tend to define rigor in terms of the use of quantitative methods, and thus require the use of variables that are easily quantifiable (and data that is readily available). As a consequence, they limit the sorts of exploratory research that still may be most productive in helping us understand Asian business and management. Ironically, just as non-American institutions are increasingly relying on American management journals in evaluating the research performance of their faculty, there are growing qualms within the United States about the legitimacy of US management research enterprise.

Keywords: Asian business research; research on Japanese business; research paradigms; US management schools

Achievements, Challenges and Research Agendas for Asian Management Research Studies (pp53-66)
Chung Ming Lau (Department of Management, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong)

In this paper, what has been done in Asian management research in the past will be examined in terms of publications in key management and international journals. Based on an understanding of the current status of certain research publications, the paper discusses the possible contributions of Asia-focused studies to mainstream management research. The contributions are discussed across three dimensions: the application of theory in a new context, the extension of theory in a new context and the development of new theories and constructs. Current and future studies are cited as examples to illustrate the potential contributions and issues of Asian management research. Lastly, challenges and research agendas for Asia-focused studies are discussed, including cultural differences within Asia, biased research foci, methodological issues and research quality, questions and infrastructure.

Keywords: Asian management; theory development; research agenda; international studies; indigenous studies

Developing Management Studies as a Social Science: Globalization and Japanese Management Studies (pp67-85)
Harukiyo Hasegawa (Doshisha Business School, Karasuma-Imadegawa, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580, Japan)

Themes in management studies change with the times. Moreover, the major approaches to management studies - whether a functional, quantitative, cause and effect-related method or one of social relations, qualitative, dialectical - differ according to the themes involved. The former method lends itself well to the elucidation of practical issues, while the latter is more suited to the realm of social science. One method or set of issues is not superior to the other. The order of priority attached to themes and methods also changes with the times. Issues that affect civil societies are increasingly growing in importance, as is the need to deal with these themes and questions in the context of management studies. The main argument of this paper is that management studies fulfil their mission as a social science when they are able to transcend a nationalistic or ideological ethos. What are the issues involved in management studies? Why and how are they studied? And for whose benefit? Can management studies transcend nationalistic developmentalism? These are the questions addressed in this present paper.

Keywords: managerial practice; social science; democracy; nationalism; globalization

The 'Tray of Loose Sand': A Thick Description of the State-Owned Enterprise Sector of China Seen as a Business System (pp )
Gordon Redding (Euro-Asia and Comparative Research Centre, INSEAD, Fontainebleau 77300, France) and Michael A Witt (INSEAD, 1 Ayer Rajah Avenue, Singapore 138676, Singapore)

The study of economic behaviour comparatively between societies has been handicapped by a weakness in the handling of societal 'context', and this arises from epistemological challenges inadequately met by much positivist research. Consideration is given here to certain contributions to meeting this challenge, namely: Geertz's work on the analysis of culture via 'thick description'; Maurice's advocacy of the society as an appropriate unit of analysis; Ragin's proposals for the comparative method; and Whitley's development of the business systems model. Ideas drawn from these contributions are applied in an analysis of the Chinese state-owned enterprise system, seen as a business system. Thus, a set of coordinative features of organizations are seen as embedded in a set of institutions distinct to China, these in turn resting on a cultural base, the latter serving to provide 'meaning' to the rest. The evolution of the business system is seen historically.

Keywords: business systems; capitalisms; China business; comparative management; state-owned enterprises; institutions

Developing Institutions - 'Crony Capitalism' and National Capabilities: a European Perspective (pp113-136)
Ray Loveridge (Said Business School, University of Oxford, Park End St, Oxford OX1 1HP, UK)

The comparative institutionalist approach to differences in national business systems necessarily highlights variations in the workings of contemporary capitalism. Less emphasis is given to similarities in historical events leading to the institutionalization of eventual forms of governance. These must include a common underlying ideational orientation of political elites to develop an industrial base from which to expand GDP. This urge to industrialize has led to a second common phenomenon - the importance of the family- or personally controlled business group (FBG). The alliance between political state and family business group is evidently a long-standing feature of national business systems. This paper suggests that such relational capitalism might also be seen as dangerously dependent on national communities that are homogenous in respect to ethnic identity. In South-East Asia, relations between the state and FBG can exacerbate inequities among multi-ethnic communities and provide institutionalized blockage to technological innovation. However, a different element of this process between ASEAN and earlier industrializers is the presence of foreign MNEs, which intrude upon state-FBG coupling and provide new options in the formation of local markets for labour and capital.

Keywords: family business group; national business systems; institutionalization; state formation

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