Transnational Corporations and Business Networks: Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region

Transnational Corporations and Business Networks: Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region

Transnational Corporations and Business Networks: Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region

Transnational Corporations and Business Networks: Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region

Synopsis

Drawing upon extensive field research in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, this book focuses on networks of business and personal relationships as a key means of transnational operations.

Excerpt

The literature on transnational corporations is, at last, evolving away from conceptualisations based, implicitly or explicitly, on Western forms of organisation and behaviour. For far too long, the Western-centric view has been presented not as geographically and historically specific but as the norm from which all others are an aberration. the notion of the so-called ‘Third World multinational’, which began to gain currency in the late 1970s and early 1980s, reflected this perspective. Such firms, we were informed, were ‘unconventional multinationals’ with a set of organisational, behavioural and sectoral characteristics which applied to the group as a whole (regardless of which country it originated from). Such characteristics were contrasted with the ‘conventional’ multinationals originating in Western countries, notably the us. a similar, though less extreme, interpretation was often promulgated about the Japanese transnational corporation, which had become so visible during the late 1970s. But, as Henry Yeung demonstrates in this excellent addition to the literature, not only is the whole idea of ‘Third World’ transnationals as a distinct species heavily flawed but so, too, is the idea that TNCs originating from developing, non-Western economies can be understood only in terms of their degree of deviation from a developed country benchmark.

The essence of this innovative book is that firms of all kinds, whatever their geographical origins, should be seen as complex relational (intra-firm) networks connected into a multiplicity of inter-firm and extra-firm networks. the author shows clearly that the network form of organisation is not the novel phenomenon it is so commonly presented as in the modern business literature but a generic form. Whereas the West seems just recently to have discovered networks as an organisational panacea, it is clear that such forms have long been the fundamental nature of business structures and relationships in Asia. Through a perceptive conceptualisation of networks and, especially, through a series of in-depth case studies of Hong Kong TNCs operating in the asean region, Henry Yeung enriches our knowledge and understanding not only of this specific set of firms from one of the world’s most dynamic economies but also of business relationships in general.

In particular, he demonstrates the fundamental significance of place in the . . .

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