Journal Name: Asian Business & Management: March 2008, Volume 7, Number 1
Knowledge Acquisition and Performance: The Role of Foreign Parents in Korean IJVs (pp11–32)
Byung Il Park (Bradford University School of Management, Emm Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD94JL, UK), Axèle Giroud (Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK), Hafiz Mirza (Bradford University School of Management, Emm Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD94JL, UK) and Jeryl Whitelock (Bradford University School of Management, Emm Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD94JL, UK)
In this paper, we investigate the influence of the foreign firm, through its interaction with the local partner, on the extent to which international joint ventures (IJVs) acquire knowledge and reach a higher level of performance. Based on the literature, we posit and test the proposition that there is a positive relationship between IJVs' knowledge acquisition from foreign firms and their performance. To date, very few studies exist on IJVs in Korea, and fewer still examine the relationship between management knowledge acquired from foreign parents and IJVs' performance. Using a sample of IJVs in Korea, this paper contributes to the literature, firstly by examining and confirming the positive relationship between managerial knowledge acquisition from foreign parents and IJV performance; and secondly, by testing for the extent of foreign firm support, and the relationship between parents with respect to both managerial knowledge acquisition and performance. This study extends knowledge on IJV knowledge acquisition and performance, more specifically in the Korean context.
Keywords: IJVs, foreign parents, knowledge acquisition, performance, Korea
Working for Japanese Corporations in China: A Qualitative Study (pp33–51)
Jie Yu (Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore, Blk AS4, 9 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, Singapore) and Hendrik Meyer-Ohle (Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore, Blk AS4, 9 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, Singapore)
China's economy is emerging rapidly and foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) are playing an important role in this process. MNCs no longer view China just as a place for cheap production, but increasingly as a marketplace. This has led to increased interest in how to manage local white-collar employees and this article addresses this issue with regard to Japanese MNCs. Based on a qualitative exploration of the perceptions of local employees, the article develops a series of proposals in regard to the underlying factors and problems of human resource management (HRM) by Japanese MNCs in China. Local employees describe the management style of Japanese corporations as highly ethnocentric and despite Japanese management having been portrayed as an overall good fit for fast-developing economies, local employees voice discontent over several points, ranging from seating arrangements to incentive structures. This situation can be explained by an incomplete transfer of Japanese business practices, the heavy reliance on expatriate managers, and with the presence of multiple modes of competing management styles in the current rapidly developing Chinese economy.
Keywords: Japanese management, Japanese MNCs, China, HRM
Determinants of Backward Linkages: The Case of TNC Subsidiaries in Malaysia (pp53–73)
Chie Iguchi (College of Business Administration, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Shiga, Kusatsu-city 525-8577, Japan)
This research focuses on the organizational linkages between transnational corporation (TNC) subsidiaries and local suppliers in the Malaysian electrical and electronics (EE) industry. Local suppliers, especially in host developing countries, are involved in the process of manufacturing either in sourcing parts or components, or manufacturing under sub-contracting arrangements, depending on a supplier's technological capability. TNC subsidiaries in the EE industry are major players in Malaysia's process of industrialization. Despite the significant contribution of TNCs, several weaknesses have been identified in inter-organizational relationships. Although various studies have identified weaknesses, there is also evidence of significant linkages between TNCs and local suppliers. Therefore, we try here to explore evidence of significant inter-organizational linkages between TNC subsidiaries and local suppliers and to configure factors affecting provision of backward linkages by TNC subsidiaries. We find that firm-level factors such as a subsidiary's level of autonomy and local sourcing rate, as well as environmental factors such as location aspects, are all positively related to the intensity of backward linkages.
Keywords: backward linkages, transnational corporations (TNCs), subsidiaries, Malaysia
Influence of Tie Strength and Behavioural Factors on Effective Knowledge Acquisition: A Study of Korean New Product Alliances (pp75–94)
Ludwig Bstieler (Whittemore School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing, University of New Hampshire, McConnell Hall, 15 College Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA) and Martin Hemmert (Korea University Business School, Anam-dong, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea)
We investigate the influence of tie strength and the mediating effect of behavioural factors on knowledge acquisition in new product development alliances in the Korean machinery and electronics industries. Tie strength on the operational level, as measured by interaction intensity and intimacy between partners' project managers, was found to enhance knowledge acquisition, whereas the depth and length of firm-level ties did not. Moreover, the influence of interaction intensity and intimacy on knowledge acquisition was mediated by communication quality and fairness, suggesting that operational-level tie strength becomes less relevant for knowledge acquisition when good communication and perceptions of fairness between alliance partners have been established. Taken together, when knowledge acquisition is the objective, behavioural factors seem to play a more prominent role than tie strength in Korean new product alliances.
Keywords: product development, alliances, knowledge acquisition, social ties, Korea
International Expansion Strategies of Korean Venture Firms: Entry Mode Choice and Performance (pp95–114)
Jay Hyuk Rhee (Korea University Business School, Anam-dong, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea)
This study seeks to advance the state of our theoretical as well as empirical understanding of the determinants of entry mode choice and internationalization performance of new ventures. Based on three leading theoretical perspectives - transaction costs, social networks and absorptive capacity - we develop hypotheses focusing on the role of technology-based advantage, the social networks of start-up team members and the absorptive capacity of employees in predicting entry mode choice and new venture internationalization performance. Using data on the internationalization of new Korean ventures, we find evidence that social network and absorptive capacity theories have considerable explanatory power beyond that of transaction cost theory in predicting entry mode choice and the internationalization performance of new ventures.
Keywords: entry mode, performance, new venture, transaction costs, social networks, absorptive capacity
A Quest for Repositioning: The Emerging Internationalization of Chinese Companies (pp115–142)
Sten Söderman (Stockholm University School of Business, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden), Anders Jakobsson (Sveaskog AB, Stockholm 105 22, Sweden) and Luis Solerc (Saab Avitronics, Saab AB (publ.), Stockholm 164 84, Sweden)
When the third wave of internationalization appears in the near future, how will Chinese firms, especially small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs), position their products strategically? The framework of this paper is composed of price/volume segments and impacts on product strategy theory. The aim is to identify important drivers and focus areas for Chinese companies and measure what role these play in different segments. The survey is a quantitative study based on responses given in April 2006 by 102 Chinese EMBA students currently working, largely as managers, in the Shanghai region. The results indicate that Europe has potential to be a priority target market for Asian companies. Net flows, over time, illustrate how the respondents believe their companies are presently positioned and how they will be positioned in the 'future' (year 2010). These net flows indicate that some Chinese companies will reposition themselves strategically when internationalizing and that they will focus on other factors or drivers when doing so, compared to companies adapting the prevalent price leadership strategy. The results should be seen as indicative and as presenting a template for deeper research.
Keywords: China, internationalization, repositioning, future, Europe and EMBA
(This journal is available online: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/abm)
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