Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: December 2005, Volume 4, Number 4
Transfer, Intercultural Friction and Hybridization: Empirical Evidence from a German Automobile Subsidiary in India (pp365-387)
Florian A A Becker-Ritterspach (Department of International Business and Management, University of Groningen)
The study of the cross-country transferability of organizational forms and practices is assuming ongoing interest for both the learned scholar and the multinational enterprise. It is argued that while extant research ¾ mainly the enormous body of Japanization literature ¾ has made important contributions to understanding the conditions of transferability of organizational forms and practices, it has largely neglected non-Japanese transfer origins as well as non-Western (mostly South Asian) transfer destinations and not extensively explored the institutional embeddedness of transfer and adaptation. This study seeks to make a contribution to filling this gap by focusing on the transfer of shop-floor-related work concepts and work roles within the intercultural context of a German automobile multinational in India. The paper combines a micro-macro-level analysis and shows that an institutional perspective is instrumental to understanding the transfer, intercultural friction and organizational hybridization on the micro-level.
Keywords: multinational enterprise; Indian automobile industry; transfer of organizational forms and practices; inter-cultural management; hybridization; societal effect
Embedding the Multinational: Bridging Internal and External Networks in Transitional Institutional Contexts (pp389-409)
Ray Loveridge (Said Business School, The University of Oxford, Park End Street, Oxford)
The social embeddedness of the guest multinational enterprise (MNE) is presented as a multi-layered series of interfaces between expatriate managers and agencies and actors within the host state. In contrast to the unilinear and intentional development of strategic relations between the parties described in much of the literature on international business, the author seeks to demonstrate that relations are segmented by a diversity of micro- and macro-social and political considerations. Not least among these are differences of life chances among ethnic groups in the host country and by careers within the guest MNE. The study that provides the basis for these observations is presented as a 'high-context' deep description of roles and actors within the head offices of 20 European MNEs and within their affiliates located in Brunei Darassalam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Keywords: multinationals; governance; expatriates; translation; innovation; corruption
Catalysis, Not Leapfrog: An Institutionalist Argument for a Limited Role of ICTs in India's Development (pp411-429)
Raza Mir and Ali Mir (Cotsakos School of Business, William Paterson University)
In response to the impressive performance of information and computer technologies (ICTs) in India in the corporate and the development sector, and relying upon a variety of optimistic estimates, the Indian government has set its sights on the ICT sector not only as a vehicle to 'leapfrog' the nation into the forefront of the global knowledge economy, but also as a facilitator of internal development initiatives. This paper takes a more sober view of the possibilities of ICTs as agents of national economic transformation. It argues for a more limited and grounded view of the potential of ICTs. The paper contends that ICTs work best when integrated within an existing matrix of institutionally led programmes of growth and welfare. The metaphor of 'catalysis' perhaps is more apt to describe the role of ICTs in India's economic transformation. A catalyst plays more of an accelerating role in a reaction than a transformative one, and its success is predicated upon the reaction being already underway. Likewise, ICTs can enhance already existing trajectories of economic development, rather than generate them, or 'leapfrog' developmental stages.
Keywords: catalysis; institutional theory; information technology; economic development; India
Chinese Management as Discourse: 'Chinese' as a Technology of Self and Control? (pp431-453)
Loong Wong (School of Business, University of Newcastle)
Analyses of Chinese management and business practices have traditionally invoked specifically 'Chinese' cultural traits as explanatory variables. While the cultural explanation extends our understanding and points to the inadequacy of a strict economistic approach, it falls into the trap of historical fallacy. Assuming and often reinventing a Chinese historical and philosophical continuity and unity, particularly via the tropes of Confucianism and Chinese history, researchers have failed to critically engage, connect with, interrogate and appreciate Chinese history, particularly the contestation of ideas within China itself and the impact of alternative Chinese cultural practices. In over-privileging selected aspects of 'Chineseness', they have produced partial and skewed analyses and many have invariably reproduced dualistic practices and thinking. This paper takes issue with the triumphal culturalist explanation of Chinese management and business practices and argues that a sustained critical analysis requires greater reflexivity and necessitates a historically informed approach to the genealogical roots of Chinese business practices ¾ Confucianism, relationships, networks, family and traditions. In doing so, it facilitates the development of new insights providing a more critical and nuanced appreciation of business systems.
Keywords: Chinese management; guanxi; Confucianism; foucault
An Exploratory Study of Using Micro-Credit to Encourage the Setting up of Small Businesses in the Rural Sector of Malaysia (pp455-479)
Sow Hup Chan (Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau)
Eradicating poverty is a fundamental development challenge. Can micro-credit programmes be effective in poverty alleviation? This case study focuses on a replication of the Grameen Bank Approach (GBA) in Malaysia. It reviews access to capital in rural Malaysia, and examines Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia's membership requirements, types of loan offered, and administration; how rural women use their loans; the major characteristics of the businesses; and the motivation to set up small businesses. The objective is to identify whether providing start-up loans for small businesses in rural areas can be effective in achieving the Malaysian Government's long-term objectives. Similarities between Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and the Grameen Bank are discussed. Suggestions are made to enhance small-business development in rural areas.
Keywords: small business; start-up loan; rural women; micro-credit; borrowers
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
Posted with permission from the publisher.