Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: September 2008, Volume 7, Number 3
Upgrading Resource-Based Regional Industrial Clusters to Innovative Clusters: The Case of Shanxi Province in China (pp277–295)
Xuanwei Cao, Youmin Xi and Xian-Ju Zeng (School of Management, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No. 28 Xianning W.Rd, Xi'an 710049, P.R.China)
This paper is aimed as a contribution to the process of upgrading old industrial clusters towards a new status of innovative clusters. The concept of 'lock-in' is followed as it applies to a specific resource-based industrial cluster, to assess the value of this concept in the degradation of such clusters in a Chinese context. After identifying factors leading to the lock-in situation, we introduce the analytical framework of He–Xie Management Theory to investigate the potential role of this emerging management theory in promoting transition from old industrial clusters to innovative regions.
Keywords: resource-based regions, industrial clusters, lock-ins, innovation, He–Xie management theory
Support for Working Parents: Government Policies and Corporate Responses in Japan (pp297–319)
Kenji Suzuki, Kanji Tanimoto (Hitotsubashi University) and Naoki Atsumi (Fujitsu Research Institute)
The falling birth rate is one of the problems of greatest public concern in Japan in recent years. While support for working parents is widely recognized as a key solution for this problem, the government has not adopted strict regulation, but tried to attract voluntary support from employers. To discuss the effect of such 'soft regulation', we identify characteristics to explain the responsiveness of firms to such an institutional demand. Using a data set of about 750 Japanese firms compiled from several sources, we conducted factor analysis to identify factors underlying firms' support for working parents, and then examined the association of those factors with various firm characteristics by regression analysis. As a result, progressiveness and time-flexibility are identified as the underlying factors. While they are positively associated with firm size, degree of foreign ownership and attention to corporate social responsibility, there are significant differences in the pattern of association with several characteristics regarding the presence of female workers and the participation of labour unions. Difference across business sectors is also significant.
Keywords: work–life balance, falling birth rate, Japan
Transfer of Organizational IT Usage Best Practices to the Indian Retail Industry — An Imperative for Enhancing Competitiveness (pp321–351)
Arvindd Narayanan, Gaurav Chandna and Himadri Das (International Management Institute, B-10 Qutab Institutional Area, Tara Crescent, New Delhi 110016, India)
The recent opening up of the Indian retail industry to foreign direct investment is expected to result in high growth in the industry. This high growth will increase competition on a global scale, especially with international retail organizations entering the Indian market. In order to survive and grow in this highly competitive environment, the Indian retail industry will have to enhance its competitiveness; and to be competitive, it must employ organizational IT usage best practices. This study involved measuring current IT usage in the Indian retail industry, relative to global best practices, across different retail segments, different business processes and critical features within each business process. Our study shows that organizational IT usage in India's retail industry is currently very low, relative to global best practices. Large gaps between current IT usage and best practices were found in many business processes and critical features within them. It is, therefore, imperative to close these gaps by transferring organizational IT usage best practices to the Indian retail industry to enhance competitiveness.
Keywords: India, retail industry, IT usage, best practice, competitiveness
The Effects of Entry Strategy and Inter-Firm Trust on the Survival of Japanese Manufacturing Subsidiaries in Brazil (pp353–380)
Mário Henrique Ogasavara (Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore) and Yasuo Hoshino (Graduate School of Accounting, Aichi University and University of Tsukuba)
This paper examines the effects of entry strategy and inter-firm trust on the survival of overseas subsidiaries in an emerging market, recognizing different types of firm exit, levels of ownership equity and types of joint venture in the analysis. The findings demonstrate that international joint ventures are more likely to be exited than wholly owned subsidiaries, though the high exit rate is due to capital divestiture, not firm closure. Further, when controlling for different levels of equity ownership and considering other types of joint ventures, only subsidiaries with minority equity ownership show a higher likelihood of divestment than other entry modes. Concerning inter-firm trust, the results suggest that partners having prior partnership experience will experience less exiting than first-time alliance partners. A sample of 224 Japanese manufacturing subsidiaries established in Brazil over 1989–2003 provides empirical evidence for this study.
Keywords: Japanese subsidiaries, joint ventures, inter-firm trust, firm survival
Executive Staffing Practice Patterns in Foreign MNC Affiliates Based in Japan (pp381–402)
Ralf Bebenroth (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University), Donghao Li (Wakayama University) and Tomoki Sekiguchi (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
Our empirical study provides insights into executive staffing practice patterns in foreign MNC affiliates based in Japan. Using a sample of 3,241 foreign companies, our results show that affiliate size and high ownership ratio are associated with larger numbers of parent-country nationals (PCNs) in top management and board positions. However, contrary to research in other countries, affiliate age was not related to the likelihood of sending PCNs. Two cultural variables relating to parent countries, Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance, were found to be associated with the likelihood of multinationals sending PCNs to executive positions at their affiliates. Furthermore, Japan's two major centres (Kanto and Kansai) have more PCN top managers and PCN board members than other parts of the country. Finally, we found Asian countries to be most likely to send PCNs as top managers or board members, and English-speaking countries the least, with European countries in between.
Keywords: PCNs (parent-country nationals), MNC affiliates in Japan, MNC affiliate behaviour ownership, size
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
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