We investigated the influence of economic and political institutions on the prevalence rate of formal and informal entrepreneurship across 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region during the period 2001–2010. We found the quality of institutions to exercise a substantial influence on both formal and informal entrepreneurship. One standard-deviation increase in the quality of economic and political institutions could double the rates of formal entrepreneurship and halve the rates of informal entrepreneurship. The two types of institutions had a complementary effect on driving entry into formal entrepreneurship, whereas only direct effects were observed for informal entry.
This review article starts from the question: how does the global business system appear to a challenger firm, and how have challenger Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) from formerly peripheral areas such as the Asia Pacific established themselves successfully, against the sometimes fierce resistance of incumbents? To answer this question, the review develops an argument concerning the pluralistic character of the process of globalization, as contrasted with the conventional account that sees global processes creating uniformity and convergence. This alternative account is based on a review of the experiences of latecomer and newcomer MNEs, particularly those from the Asia Pacific—such as Acer, Ispat International, Li & Fung and the Hong Leong Group—that are dubbed “Dragon Multinationals.” I argue that the innovative features that these MNEs share, such as their accelerated internationalization, strategic innovation and organizational innovation, fit particularly well with the characteristics of the emergent global economy as one of complex inter-firm linkages. The core proposition of the review is that this complementarity between the characteristics of the emergent global economy and latecomer and newcomer strategic and organizational innovations is what drives the remarkable success of these Asia Pacific firms in establishing themselves as serious international players. Such a proposition carries implications for the process of globalization as well as for the dominant frameworks utilized in International Business. The review argues that Dragon Multinationals adopt a different perspective to the resources accessed through internationalization, and that this requires a rethink of the criteria normally utilized in resource-based accounts of strategy. The challenger firm internationalizing in order to access resources also poses a challenge to the dominant OLI (ownership, locational, internalization) account of multinational advantage. Thus it is argued that the question posed at the outset goes to the core of the IB frameworks, and thereby counts as one of the ‘big questions’ that should guide research in IB in the 21st century.
Despite significant development, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China continue to experience institution-based barriers, especially in the area of innovation. What exactly are these barriers? How do these barriers influence innovation? How about the status quo of the institutional environment for SMEs’ innovation and development? We seek to uncover these underexplored areas by developing a model characterized by a cost-risk-opportunity (CRO) innovation triangle. We then enrich this model by interviewing 82 top managers and owners at 41 SMEs. We identify the five key institution-based barriers to innovation in China: (1) competition fairness, (2) access to financing, (3) laws and regulations, (4) tax burden, and (5) support systems. These findings enhance the institution-based view of entrepreneurship by shedding light on how institution-based barriers affect innovation in SMEs.
The prevailing ownership-based theories of the firm are increasingly being challenged by new forms of organising, as exemplified by the Asian network multinational enterprise (MNE). We believe that an institutional approach, that tries to bridge both the macro and micro levels of analysis, and that encompasses both formal and informal institutions, offers a promising way to advance our understanding of the different forms of the contemporary MNE. This paper introduces a theoretical framework that draws substantially on the work of Douglass North, and examines how an institutional dimension can be incorporated into the three components of the OLI paradigm.
It has long been recognized that indigenous research should be helpful, if not essential, for an adequate understanding of local phenomena. The indigenous approach is consistent with, but extends beyond, the repeated calls for contextualizing management and organization research. However, the challenges of indigenous research are enormous. The purpose of this article is to shed light on these challenges by providing an integrative framework of indigenous research. In particular, I seek to explicate the existing conceptual confusions and flesh out the appropriate methodological procedures for indigenous research on Chinese management. To illustrate the framework, I show the value of yin-yang thinking by developing a cognitive frame, Yin-Yang Balance, to illustrate the unique and novel features of local perspective, including its application to case study method.
From a social capital perspective, this article investigates how entrepreneurs in new ventures utilize their managerial ties (consisting of ties with other firms and ties with government) to capture opportunity. We also explore the moderating role of organizational learning (via exploratory learning and exploitative learning) in this process. Drawing on a sample of 159 new ventures, we find that ties with other firms have a stronger positive effect on opportunity capture than ties with government. We also find that organizational learning moderates the relationship between managerial ties and opportunity capture. Overall, our contributions center on an integrated view of organizational learning, social relationships, and opportunity capture.
Indigenous emerging economy (EE) firms are increasingly competing in global markets or against multinational corporations (MNCs) in their home markets. But their institutional context at the national and local levels often suffers from what has been termed “institutional weakness” which is believed to put them at a competitive disadvantage on the global playing field. Yet little is known about how EE institutional weakness at the national level translates into competitive disadvantage at the firm level. In this perspectives paper, we examine this shortcoming in the literature. We utilize three popular theories of the firm—neoclassical economics, the resource-based view, and the nexus of contracts view—to examine how EE institutional weakness at the national level affects strategic choices at the firm level. We then explain how these strategic choices affect firm boundaries, internal organization, and the nature of competitive advantage for firms in EEs.
Chinese listed firms have gained the world’s attention with several ambitious, high-profile cross-border mergers and acquisitions. In most of these deals, the Chinese government is the largest shareholder of the acquiring firms. As such, it may be the case that the Chinese government pushes through such deals even though they are not in the best interests of minority shareholders, giving rise to principal–principal conflicts. Along these lines, we hypothesize that increased government ownership in the acquiring firm will be associated with investors viewing a cross-border merger deal in less favorable terms. In addition, we hypothesize that environmental complexity will moderate this negative relationship. We test our hypotheses with a sample of cross-border mergers and acquisitions involving Chinese firms from 2000 to 2008. We find support for the main hypothesis, that is, that investors are indeed skeptical of cross-border mergers and acquisitions deals when the government is the majority owner (i.e., principal–principal conflicts). However, we find no support for the moderating effect. We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners and suggest future research directions.
This study investigated the antecedents and outcomes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the moderating effects of ethical leadership. We collected two-wave, temporally lagged data from two sources (general and vice-general managers) in 199 tourism firms (hotels and travel agencies) in southeast China. We have two major findings. First, ethical leadership moderated its own indirect effect on firm reputation via CSR. It had an indirect and positive effect on firm reputation through CSR when ethical leadership was strong but not when it was weak. Second, ethical leadership also moderated the indirect effect of CSR on firm performance via firm reputation. There was an indirect and positive effect of CSR when ethical leadership was strong but not when ethical leadership was weak. This study highlights the role of ethical leadership in linking the antecedents and outcomes of CSR, and provides support for the stakeholder theory.
We present a critique of corporate governance research grounded in agency theory and propose that cross-national comparison of corporate governance should consider how the nature and extent of agency relationships differ across different institutional contexts. Building on prior governance studies grounded in sociology and organizational theory we argue that performance outcomes of boards of directors, ownership concentration, and executive incentives may differ depending on the legal system and institutional characteristics in a specific country. Institutions may also affect the extent of complimentarity/substitution among different firm-level governance practices producing patterned variations in firm-level governance mechanisms. Our discussion suggests that researchers need to develop more holistic, institutionally embedded governance framework to analyze organizational outcomes of various governance practices.
This paper argues that the role of informal institutions as well as formal ones is central to understanding the functioning of corporate governance. We focus on the four largest emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China—commonly referred to as the BRIC countries. Our analysis is based on the Helmke and Levitsky framework of informal institutions and focuses on two related aspects of corporate governance: firm ownership structures and property rights; and the relationship between firms and external investors. We argue that for China and some states of India, “substitutive” informal institutions, whereby informal institutions substitute for and replace ineffective formal institutions, are critical in creating corporate governance leading to enhanced domestic and foreign investment. In contrast, Russia is characterized by “competing” informal institutions whereby various informal mechanisms of corporate governance associated with corruption and clientelism undermine the functioning of reasonably well set-out formal institutions relating to shareholder rights and relations with investors. Finally Brazil is characterized by “accommodating” informal institutions which get around the effectively enforced but restrictive formal institutions and reconcile varying objectives that are held between actors in formal and informal institutions.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) contribute approximately 10% of the world’s GDP. SOEs at one time were predicted to disappear from the economic landscape of the world, but today SOEs are growing more prevalent in the world economy. The current theories of the firm that form the pillars of the management discipline largely ignore the theoretical differences that SOEs introduce into the conceptualization of the firm. Therefore, we extend four core theories of the firm by incorporating SOEs as a mainstream (not special or marginal) organizational form into these theories. We focus specifically on property rights theory, transaction cost theory, agency theory, and resource-based theory, culminating in a research agenda with 12 testable propositions.
The internationalization of Chinese enterprises is a subject that is receiving increasing attention in international business research. This paper analyzes the influence of political risk and cultural distance on the location patterns of large Chinese companies. Our results show some characteristics that differ from the conventional wisdom. A high political risk in the host country does not discourage Chinese multinationals. However, from a more conventional point of view, the presence of overseas Chinese in the host country is positively associated with Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI). In addition, firm size and the volume of Chinese exports to the host country have a positive influence.
In this paper, we use the term jugaad to describe the frugal, flexible, and inclusive approach to innovation and entrepreneurship emerging from India. We articulate why this method is appropriate within the Indian context and highlight similarities between jugaad and related types of innovation originating from other emerging (and developed) economies. Next, we identify different types of organizations that engage in jugaad and elucidate their abilities, or lack thereof, to undertake such innovation. Finally, we incorporate the notion of jugaad within current theorizing on innovation and entrepreneurship and outline an agenda for future research on this topic. Overall, we provide insights on a mode of innovating that is increasingly prevalent in India as well as certain economies around the world and take steps towards integrating this concept into the mainstream theory, practice, and policy discourses around innovation and entrepreneurship.
The growing awareness of and regulations related to environmental sustainability have invoked the concept of green human resource management (GHRM) in the search for effective environmental management (EM) within organizations. GHRM research raises new, increasingly salient questions not yet studied in the broader human resource management (HRM) literature. Despite an expansion in the research linking GHRM with various aspects of EM and overall environmental performance, GHRM’s theoretical foundations, measurement, and the factors that give rise to GHRM (including when and how it influences outcomes) are still under-specified. This paper, seeking to better understand research opportunities and advance theoretical and empirical development, evaluates the emergent academic field of GHRM with a narrative review. This review highlights an urgent need for refined conceptualization and measurement of GHRM and develops an integrated model of the antecedents, consequences and contingencies related to GHRM. Going beyond a function-based perspective that focuses on specific HRM practices and building on advances in the strategic HRM literature, we discuss possible multi-level applications, the importance of employee perceptions and experiences related to GHRM, contextual and cultural implications, and alternative theoretical approaches. The detailed and focused review provides a roadmap to stimulate the development of the GHRM field for scholars and practicing managers.
Contrary to popular opinion, the crucial elements of the management process show strong continuity over time, but differ from one country to another, as a function of the local culture. Recent research reveals fundamental differences in the goals of business leaders from different societies. The article explores general characteristics of Asian management as opposed to management elsewhere, and what the study of Asian management and its cultural origins mean for the emerging Asian multinationals and for the state of the art in management research worldwide in the twenty-first century.
The rapid emergence of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging economies calls for a re-assessment of established theories of the MNE. We assess the usefulness of the internationalization process model (IPM), also known as the Uppsala model, to explain the recent strategies of emerging economy MNEs. We argue that popular stages models derived from the IPM are not helpful, but the underlying process of experiential learning driving steps of increased commitment is an important element in explaining the evolution of these MNEs over time. Focusing on the role of acquisitions within internationalization processes, we illustrate our arguments with six case studies of Thai MNEs. On this basis, we discuss how the IPM can inform future research on emerging economy MNEs. Specifically, the IPM suggests focusing on the internal and external factors that may induce firms to accelerate their cycle of international learning and commitment, in particular the roles of networks, acquisitions, human resources, big step commitments, the home country institutional environment, and possible managerial biases.
Approximately 1.7 billion people in Asia live in poverty today. To date, efforts to address poverty in Asia have largely focused on subsistence entrepreneurship rather than on creating ventures that empower them to break out of poverty. That is, the mechanisms that have been used, such as microlending, generally lead entrepreneurs to create businesses providing basic life essentials rather than helping them build businesses that generate capital to improve the entrepreneur’s standard of living. This article initially reviews what we know about entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty in Asia. We then examine what we know about other major tools to address poverty in Asia. Next, we propose a research agenda on poverty in Asia. Finally, we introduce the articles in this Special Issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management, “Asia & Poverty: Closing the Great Divide through Entrepreneurship & Innovation,” on new approaches to entrepreneurship to help address the key issue of the alleviation of poverty.
Guanxi (personal connection) has been identified as a necessary condition to do business successfully in China. In this paper, we seek a clear conceptual understanding of this prevalent construct and propose a three-stage model of guanxi development so as to stimulate systematic research in this area. Our conceptual and theoretical discussion of guanxi bases,guanxi objectives, and the operating principles at different stages of guanxi development will also help practitioners to use guanxi more effectively.
In this paper we respond to calls for an institution-based perspective on strategy. With its emphasis upon mimetic, coercive, and normative isomorphism, institutional theory has earned a deterministic reputation and seems an unlikely foundation on which to construct a theory of strategy. However, a second movement in institutional theory is emerging that gives greater emphasis to creativity and agency. We develop this approach by highlighting co-evolutionary processes that are shaping the varieties of capitalism (VoC) in Asia. To do so, we examine the extent to which the VoC model can be fruitfully applied in the Asian context. In the spirit of the second movement of institutional theory, we describe three processes in which firm strategy collectively and intentionally feeds back to shape institutions: (1) filling institutional voids, (2) retarding institutional innovation, and (3) deploying institutional escape. We outline the key contributions contained in the articles of this Special Issue and discuss a research agenda generated by the VoC perspective.