Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: April 2003, Vol.2, No. 1
Reforming East Asia for Sustainable Development (pp7 - 38)
Kwame S Jomo (Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.)
This article reviews the challenges faced by four East Asian economies in the wake of the currency and financial crises of 1997-98. Perceptions and opinions of East Asian economic development moved swiftly from commendation to condemnation, revealing a simplistic response to an experience that was seen to have challenged the neo-liberal orthodoxy. As such, government-business relationships and corporate governance have received particular attention and criticism. However, recovery is now recognized to have been facilitated by reflationary Keynesian policies, rather than the draconian IMF-prescribed programmes or 'reform' of corporate governance. Indeed, there is growing attention to, and concern with, the consequences and appropriateness of ongoing Anglo-American inspired financial liberalization. The regional slowdown of foreign direct investment, slowness of technological progress, and changes in investment policy present considerable challenges for ASEAN economies in particular. This article concludes that while liberalization of the global financial infrastructure continues, convergence of economic arrangements is not necessarily inevitable, and indeed, that an eclectic mix of policies and institutions is not only possible, but preferable.
E-service Hubs: Paradox or Local Advantage? (pp39 - 62)
Günter Heiduk (Gerhard-Mercator University, Duisburg, Germany) and Nicole Pohl (Franklin & Marshall College, USA)
This paper considers the impact of new technologies on service hubs. While it is too simple to conclude that 'place' is being superseded by a 'space of flows' in business activity, we acknowledge that new technologies have enhanced the mobility of certain economic activities. Service hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong, traditionally dominated by trading and decision-making functions, are increasingly drawn by new technologies into other 'enabling' services, and more economies are outlining development strategies predicated on utilizing new technologies to assume e-service hub roles for the global economy. This can point towards two different paths of development ¾ to apply new technologies to expand global reach and enhance efficiency in their existing role, or, even without a background of specialist traditional services, to attract new information and communication technologies related service providers in sufficient numbers to qualify as e-hubs. It is not necessarily the case that new services must be located in established centers, nor that they need to cluster at all; hence we ask here what kind of profile e-hubs can have, whether electronic business activities will rely on established centers, and whether such centers offer any advantages in an electronically driven global economy that can justify their aspirations. It is raising relevant questions rather than claiming conclusions that this paper aims at.
Institutions and Industrial Governance in India: Learning to Cooperate the Japanese Way (pp63 - 89)
Anthony P D'Costa (Comparative International Development Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, University of Washington, USA)
Development theorists and practitioners recognize the importance of durable and adaptable institutions for economic and social transformation. The decline of the Euro-centric modernization models and the collapse of the centrally planned 'socialist' bloc draws our attention to Japan, a nation that has successfully combined the market system with indicative planning. This study examines Japanese social institutions underlying economic governance and their applicability to developing countries, such as India. The discussion centers around the social basis of cooperation between the state, capital, and labor and the challenges encountered in industrial governance in India. I provide evidence of Japanese-induced cooperation in a Japanese auto joint-venture in India. Cooperation fosters group participation in a structured environment, creating job satisfaction and social solidarity. It also provides the basis for self-regulating capitalism and pre-empting India's inegalitarian consequences of high growth. This advances, even if modestly, institutional 'solutions' to some of India's endemic industrial governance problems. The study also re-affirms the importance of non-market institutions such as the state and non-state institutions such as social networks at a time when they are being hastily marginalized by economistic neo-liberal policies. Reinventing institutions of cooperation and constructing social networks for industrial governance remains the most promising avenue for Indian development.
An Exploratory Study of Market Orientation in China (pp91 - 110)
Yiming Tang (Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Sydney) and Yijin Tang (Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, China)
The concept of market orientation (MO), originally developed in the West and applied to the market economies, also seems to apply to China. Companies operating in China are found to have practised three forms of MO, namely underdeveloped, competitor-focused, and comprehensive MO. Differences among the three forms of MO lie in five key MO factors and two market environment (ME) variables. The MO items most characteristic of the MO concept are 'Customer satisfaction frequently and systematically measured', 'Close attention given to after-sales service', 'Inter-functional communication of customer information and experience', 'Managers understand how each staff can contribute to creating customer value', and 'Rapid response to competitive market actions'. The ME items are 'Changes in technology of R&D operations', and 'Change in total market share held by the four largest competitors in the industry', reflecting the turbulent nature of the ME in China. While companies practising a specific form of MO are found to have achieved a different level of business performance, they are not found to have particular organizational characteristics.
Recent Trends in Japanese Human Resource Management: The Introduction of a System of Individual and Independent Career Choice (pp111 - 141)
Takashi Watanabe (Faculty of Business Administration, Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
Japanese-style management has long been characterized by its 'lifetime seniority-based employment' system, based on a collective and long-term philosophy of human resource management, and its enterprise labour unions; its ethics and efficacy have come under frequent discussion.
However, the end of the high-growth period and the resultant collapse of the bubble economy have introduced new trends affecting 'business organization and the individual' in Japan. A flexible individualistic management system better suited to short- and medium-term fluctuations is being sought. Major banks and trading companies have particularly seen the need to adapt, with unprecedented restructuring leading to corporate division and the introduction of holding companies.
Against this background has developed a personnel system in which the individual's independent and autonomous career development is put in the context of watchwords such as 'will and capacity', 'freedom and self-responsibility' and 'self-development'. This represents a significant challenge to the traditional views and attitudes of Japanese-style management, and while we cannot estimate the final impact of this new trend, we must at least acknowledge its contemporary emergence.
Taking major banks as its core example, this paper seeks to introduce the structure and features of this flexible individual-oriented management system, and to update international perceptions concerning Japanese-style management.
Paradigm Shifts and Time-lags? The Politics of Financial Reform in the People's Republic of China (pp 143-166)
Shaun Breslin (Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK)
This paper assesses the political implications of financial reform in the People's Republic of China from the key reforms of 1994 to China's entry into the World Trade Organisation. It argues that the reforms implemented after 1994 in China shows a watershed in the evolution of economic reform. While the period before 1994 was dominated by dismantling the old system, subsequent reforms represent the attempt to build a new structure. But while the incomplete nature of reform provides the rationale for reform, it also provides the main obstacle to successful reform. Financial reform provides a case study of how the old and new economic systems are clashing with each other ¾ and how the political interests associated with the old economic system are conflicting with those interests associated with the emerging new system.
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
Posted with permission from the publisher.