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Asia Pacific Business China and Australia
A Contrast and Comparison
The purpose of this paper is to:
Compare and contrast the characteristics of industrial and institutional environments in one of the nine (9) Asia Pacific countries identified by Lasserre and Schutte with those of Australia; and II. Further this work will discuss South Korea in relation to their adoption of a similar business system and institutional framework which is the same as that applied successfully by the Japanese.
"In the international financial institutions (IFI), governance takes places under explicit sets of binding rules. Key to any discussion of any international institution is the question of what rules members use to organize and operate the institution. Voting procedures in international institutions can be structured in a variety of ways. The United Nations General Assembly, for example, utilizes the logic of one nation, one vote. Other international assemblies explicitly grant some members more influence"
In terms of the organization and its' operational and strategic orientations it has been suggested by Lasserre and Schutte (1995) that a "satisfactory fit along four dimensions (strategic, organizational, resources and cultural) must be achieved."
The four dimensions are those listed as:
Strategic: Includes a level of compatibility between the partners and their strategic objectives.
Review of Case Study:
A study conducted and the results are still current has made identification of differences of a significant nature between Australia and China. Stated in the study is that: Sharing the same business logic is a requirement for cultural fit. However, in relation to principles in management there are vital differences between Australia and China and it is clear that "such differences have the potential to cause considerable problems managers need to be aware of, and resolve."
There are four archetypes of organizational forms existing in Southeast Asia which are those of:
1. Colonial Business Groups
2. Family Business Groups
3. Government Linked Enterprises; and
4. New Managers.
The decline of colonization as well as industrial growth and other factors of the cold war, privatization and the free-trade blocks creation are not elements that are nationally contained but are global in the impact with the effect of stimulation responses on a national basis. While there are differences in the response to forces on a global level there are also very important commonalities across the spectrum of societies.
Differences between Australian and Chinese practices in management include the:
"Use of rank, extent of confrontation and assertiveness, information sharing and communication and also in management principles in particular status/achievement orientations, philosophical assumptions about employees and extent of internal/external control
Further differences were identified between Chinese and Australian motivators: Chinese managers are significantly more motivated by economic security, independence and control in contrast to their Australians counterparts. "Significant differences were also identified in the direction of management commitment." Australian managers are significantly more committed to ethical principles and less committed to business objectives regardless of means, organization, results, and work compared to Chinese managers. Further differences were identified in operational and strategic orientations: Chinese organizations are generally more control oriented than Australian organizations, with Chinese managers happy with this situation. In contrast, Australian organizations appear to be more people oriented than Chinese organizations, with Australian managers believing this to be significantly more ideal than Chinese managers."
It is suggested by Kabanoff, Jimmieson, and Lewis (in press) that 'Command and control' style organizations endure and thrive in a relatively stable, predictable and undemanding environment." The belief they hold is that Australia possibly made provision for a ground of fertile growth for this type of organization in the twentieth century.
The Government regulations have an operation that is under central control with the environment of industrial relations that is under protection from foreign taxes or competition rendering a "comfortable, bureaucratically controlled existence." Stated in the case study is the fact that: "However, as these conditions have ceased and, are unlikely to return in the future, Australian managers' belief of a continued control orientation raises questions about the efficacy of changes to organizational structures, policies and practices (Dunphy and Stace, 1990), reportedly designed to move organizations away from a 'command and control' approach."
During the year of 1978 the reforms implemented in China have resulted in unheard of changes in management for the Chinese (Zhu 1997). The move is away from the commonly referred to 'rice bowl' methods of management with the results of reduction in lifetime employment. The economy of Australia depends greatly on the future health of the Australian economy although a large extent depends on the competent nature of its enterprises inclusive of the companies "ability to efficiently produce and export both elaborately transformed manufactures, and services.
The 1995 Karpin Report made identification of the developing international competitive enterprises stating that this is the:
"fundamental means of achieving improvised living standards for Australians and the ability for manage issues affecting international standards for Australians and the ability mange issues affecting international business is paramount to Australian managerial and business achievement ... By extending our understanding of the impact of national cultures and social systems upon both organization and management, Adler (1997) and Teagarden et al. (1995) argue that management practices from developed countries can be appropriately adapted and transferred to emerging countries."
The study states further that while some of the research has made an examination in major forms of business enterprise that the countries used for basis in the research in Asia, most of these studies have "utilized a prima facia criteria, country of origin, as the basis for their categorizations. Such an approach is ill suited for the identification of shared characteristics among organizations from different nations because an explicit or implicit objective is to relate organizational characteristics to particular institutional structures and/or cultural phenomena
(Hamilton and Biggart, 1988; Hall and Xu, 1990; Whitely, 1992). Such research has made many important contributions to our understanding of East Asian business forms (Lowe, 1998). However, in emphasizing the salience of social and cultural determinants of corporate organization, these perspectives may overstate differences between organizations within the larger regional context. Moreover, such approaches may also understate the influence of economic incentives and market forces (Wilkinson, 1996)."
The Australian economy has seen significant changes in the past fifteen years. The government in Australia initiated a series of macro and micro-economic reforms. These reforms were inclusive of phasing out tariffs, waterfront, shipping and air freight reform, financial deregulation, floating of the dollar as well as the freeing up of the labor market gradually. Stated 'key elements' of the reform agenda on the micro-economic scale is that of public sector reform and privatization. (ACIRRT 1999)
Policy reforms in Australia have taken the shape of a new 'post industrial settlement'. Australia's old smokestack industries have been replaced by the ETMs, or the elaborately transformed manufacturers and the service sector economy. (Burrell 1999) There exists in the Australian economy trends that reflect a global tendency for national economics to propel ahead into a free market system. The market in China is the fastest growth economy in Asia. One of the world's quickest growth and fastest developing economies (Wright,
Mitsuhashi & Chau, 1998) as well as being one with a large and growing middle class, China is representative of a potential market and opportunity in the future market. This presents a challenge for the Australian firms and their managers who desire to do business in and with China specifically because the cultural differences are markedly different that the Western cultural elements.
The economic growth in China is accredited to the direct foreign investment which after the opening of the economy in accepting such the joint ventures with partner organizations oft he Chinese as well as multinational corporations. (Lindholm 1999)
Direct and committed investment from Australia into China was for the total of 5 billion dollars in Australian dollars and the realization of Australian direct investment in the country of China was for an approximately total of 1.55 billion dollars (Austrade 2000) The fifth largest investor in the special economic development areas of shenzen, guangzhou and Zhuhon of China is Australia. (Harris 1994) India has become a fast growing market for the goods and services of Australia. ETM exports coming from Australia have increased approximately $20 million in the late eighties to the amount of $190 million in the years 1998 and 1999.
Current investment covers 100 companies and is in excess of the amount of $1 billion compared to the approximate total of $250 million combined in 30 joint ventures in the early part of the decade of the nineties. The businesses in Australia are expanding into the countries of South Africa via investments that are into the nature of foreign direct investments and exportation in the branches or foreign subsidiaries, joint ventures and strategic alliances.
Companies in Australia are not as bound in relation to regulations of government are the Chinese. Union influence is not appreciated in Australia. Another factor in the Australia industry and institution is that the organizations have less fear in terms of…[continue]
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