Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: December 2007, Volume 6, Number 4
International Expansion Path, Speed, Product Diversification and Performance Among Emerging-Market MNEs: Evidence from Asia-Pacific Multinational Companies (pp331–353)
Juichuan Chang (Department of International Trade, Faculty of Business Administration, Ling Tung University, #1 Ling Tung Rd., Taichung City 408, Taiwan)
The purpose of this study is to provide an integrated framework that conceptualizes multifaceted antecedents pertaining to international expansion of emerging-market businesses in relation to firm performance. This paper develops multiple-item measures of multiple dimensions to clarify how internationalization path, expansion speed, product diversification and geographic scope affect emerging-market multinational enterprise (MNE) performance in a sample of 115 Asia-Pacific MNEs over the period 1998–2002. The results show that the relationship between internationalization and firm performance is non-linear. The results also indicate that moderate product diversification, foreign expansion speed and geographic scope can increase emerging-market MNE capacities to exploit different market opportunities when they engage in foreign activity. By contrast, firm performance will turn negative if MNEs heavily expand their product range and geographic scope.
Keywords: MNEs, three-stage theory of international expansion, product diversification, international expansion speed, geographic scope
Managerial Choice between Equity Joint Ventures and Contractual Joint Ventures in China: A Critical Test of Transaction Cost Economics and Resource-Based View (pp355–375)
Yue Wang (School of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia)
Despite substantial research on foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, there have been few empirical studies on the strategic choice between the two major joint venture (JVs) types, equity joint ventures (EJVs) and contractual joint ventures (CJVs). This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the managerial choice between these two strategies. It also provides a critical test of two main theories, transaction cost economics (TCE) and resource-based view (RBV), in explaining the choice. Data from structured interviews with 55 Sino–Hong Kong JVs in Guangdong province showed that the choice of CJVs over EJVs largely mirrored transaction cost-saving rationale from both Hong Kong and Chinese perspectives. When choosing EJVs over CJVs, there was a larger variety of considerations between Hong Kong and Guangdong partners, and TCE and RBV intertwined in providing insights. The paper shows that transaction costs in setting up and running EJVs vs CJVs are dependent on firm-specific capabilities to negotiate and manage equity or non-equity-based alliance partnerships. While some Hong Kong and Chinese firms chose CJVs to exploit the contracting flexibility allowed in CJV non-equity alliances, others chose EJVs to avoid the same contract attribute, due to lack of ability to manage a flexible partnership.
Keywords: equity joint ventures, contractual joint ventures, China, transaction cost economics, resource-based view
The Management of Culture in Chinese International Strategic Alliances (pp377–407)
Li Dong (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK) and Keith W Glaisterb (Management School, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK)
This study examines the rationale and consequences of the adoption of culture management policies by Chinese parent firms in their international strategic alliances (ISAs). We distinguish between national and corporate culture and examine the perceptions and effects of both constructs. From a sample of 238 Chinese ISAs, using questionnaire data obtained from Chinese partners, we find that (i) a policy of active culture management is more likely to be adopted the more important national and corporate culture differences are perceived to effect ISA outcomes, such as performance, learning and trust; (ii) the perception of culture difference between ISA partners is reduced in firms adopting culture management policies, for the perception of both national and corporate culture differences and (iii) firms adopting culture management policies report a much higher degree of trust at different relationship levels of the ISA compared with firms not adopting these policies - this tends also to be the case for Chinese firms whose foreign partners have adopted culture management policies compared with those whose partners have not.
Keywords: international strategic alliances, culture management, national culture, corporate culture, China
Boosting Japan's IT Labour Force - From Shortages to Skill Standards (pp409–430)
Kevin McCormick (Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9SN, UK), Kurata Yoshiki (School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8601, Japan) and Tsuzaki Katsuhiko (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 4-5-7, Konan, Minatoku, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan)
This paper examines alleged shortages and institutional weaknesses in the education, training and employment of Japan's IT labour force at the beginning of the 21st century. In particular, the paper focusses on recent initiatives taken by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to develop IT skill standards (ITSS) in order to promote external labour markets for IT professionals. Drawing on official sources, surveys and interviews with officials in Japan and the UK, the authors argue that similarities between skill standards in Japan and the UK are more apparent than real. The authors argue that the development, design and application of skill standards must be understood in their respective national institutional contexts.
Keywords: information society, Japan's 'lost decade', IT labour force, IT labour market, IT careers, skill standards, foreign labour, Japanese employment system
Forty Years On: Researching the Globalization of the Japanese Firm in the UK (pp431–449)
Peter Matanle (SEAS, Floor 5, Arts Tower, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK)
Forty years have now passed since the economic relationship between Britain and Japan started to deepen beyond arms-length trading ties. This article presents an overview of research on the globalization of the Japanese firm by looking at work produced from the UK standpoint over the last four decades. By reconfiguring and re-presenting existing research on the Japanese firm, the article seeks to challenge some established orthodoxies by presenting analyses and arguments on the following three subjects: the system of employment in large Japanese organizations, industrial convergence and the 'Japanization' of British industry thesis, and Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK. Although the article continues to recognize the relevance of cross-national perspectives and comparisons, it also urges scholars to take account in their discussions of socioeconomic systems at the sub-national and trans-national levels of analysis.
Keywords: Japanese firm, Japanization, foreign direct investment, lifetime employment
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
Posted with permission from the publisher.