Sub-theme 17: Changing East Asian Business Systems
Call for Papers
In the last twenty years or so since scholars began to analyse how and why major East Asian business systems differed (e.g.
Orru et al., 1997; Whitley, 1992), the prevalent ways in which economic activities are organised and governed in the region's
major economies have continued to vary not only between themselves, but also to differ from those dominant in Europe and North
America (Carney et al., 2009; Walter & Zhang, 2012). Additionally, the distinctive patterns of economic organisation that
became established in the post-war trajectory of capitalist development of these economies have been seen as going through
substantial transformations since the early 1990s. In particular, the sustained processes of internationalisation and institutional
change have raised questions about the internal homogeneity and external distinctiveness of East Asian business systems.
This subtheme is intended to bring together scholars interested in exploring the evolving patterns of East Asian business systems in three major ways. First, to extend Whitley's (1992) comparative business systems framework to cover both Northeast Asia (China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) and Southeast Asia (mainly Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), as well as to bring it to bear on the analysis of recent changes and continuities in East Asian business systems over the past two decades. Second, to develop a more systemic understanding of how ownership and control structures, inter-firm competition and co-ordination and work management processes are interconnected and constitute distinctive patterns of economic coordination and control. Third, to describe and explain the key changes that have taken place in the ways in which economic activities are co-ordinated, firms governed and employment relations structured in Northeast and Southeast Asia.
We especially welcome contributions that consider the following issues:
- How should Whitley's (1992) framework be developed to deal effectively with the variety of economic coordination and control systems found in the developed, emerging market and nominally socialist economies in the region, particularly in view of recent institutional changes across a range of Northeast and Southeast Asian countries?
- To what extent, and in what ways, have recent changes in established East Asian business systems constituted qualitative and radical ruptures with their past patterns of organisation?
- What have been the primary causes of institutional changes at the interface between systemic forces, market pressures and socio-political structures? More specifically, how have external and market influences altered the structures of interests, power and ideas in different political economies and how have cross national economic forces been mediated by state actions, dominant coalitions and policy discourses?
Carney, Michael, Eric Gedajlovic & Xiaohua Yang (2009): 'Varieties of Asian capitalism: towards an institutional theory of Asian enterprise.' Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 36 (2), 361–380.
Orru, Marco, Nicole Biggart & Gary Hamilton (eds.) (1997): The Economic Organization of East Asian Capitalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Walter, Andrew & Xiaoke Zhang (eds.) (2012): East Asian Capitalism: Diversity, Continuity and Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Whitley, Richard (1992): Business Systems in East Asia. London: Sage.