Chinese business. How to achieve this was the subject of much discussion,
which has been more fully summarized in the spring 1996 issue of Chinese
5 There was general agreement that more problem-oriented studies of business activities are essential. As Hao succinctly puts it,
"The main business of Chinese business history is business in history"
(p. 122). But there was also recognition that attention must be paid to the
context. Zelin makes a strong case for understanding the legal context. A
similar case could be made for understanding the religious context. Chan
insists that this context must be understood historically, not theoretically. At
this point, exactly how the field develops cannot be projected by any theory
or model but will certainly take its cues from what has gone before, as
indicated by the research reviewed in the following essays. It will also be
informed by the developments in Chinese business in the Pacific Rim and in
the global economy. These developments are rooted in a complex history
that demands further clarification.
Professor Leonard and her staff and colleagues at Akron provided all the participants with a congenial and stimulating atmosphere for the exchange of ideas. The
editors would like to thank, in particular, Ms. Jacci Baker, who took care of everything
from coffee to transcription. We also received crucial support from the History Department staff at the University of Louisville and special thanks goes to business manager Rita Hettinger and to Shirley Taylor who scanned and edited a number of the chapters.
Bennett Hill, and
John Buckler, A History of World Societies, 4th
ed., vol. 2 ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996), p. 714.
See Francis Fukuyama, Trust ( New York: Free Press, 1995).
Andrea McElderry, "Time and Space: Periodizing Chinese Business", Chinese
Business History 6, no. 1 ( spring 1996), pp. 5-6.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Chinese Business History:Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future.
Contributors: Robert Gardella - Editor, Jane K. Leonard - Editor, Andrea McElderry - Editor.
Publisher: M. E. Sharpe.
Place of publication: Armonk, NY.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 15.
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