The adoption of western management methods by Chinese family and publicly listed companies in Asia.
The adoption of Western management methods and systems by companies in Asia has been hyperactive in the last 20 years, fuelled by Asia’s growth and thirst for technology, know how, methods, strategies and systems. Companies throughout Asia have spent huge amounts of resources on the adoption of Western management methods. Much of the management literature on Asian management since the 1980s has focused on the Japanese management system. However, in more recent times, an increasing number of publications have focused on overseas Chinese businesses in East and South East Asia, Korean and mainland Chinese management systems. \ud The research question this dissertation seeks to answer is whether or not Asian companies that are family managed can successfully adopt Western management practices? The methodology used included a mixed methods approach of a case study of a publicly listed overseas corporation controlled and managed by an overseas Chinese family, a comprehensive survey questionnaire of companies in Asia seeking answers to the research question and employees’ experiences with specific management practices along with a literature review.\ud Results indicated that the adoption of Western management methods was mixed within Family managed businesses in Asia. The adoption of Western management practices and systems was found to depend on the type of company. Publicly Listed companies were found to adopt Western management practices more than Privately Held or Family Owned enterprises, however, overall the adoption of Western management methods was limited in all three types of corporations. Western management methods were found to be at odds to the practices of the typical Chinese family business. Characteristics such as paternalism, high levels of centralized decision making, loyalty, obedience to the manager-owner and issues of trust toward outsiders may produce difficulties in advancing business interests in the future.\ud Asian political, economic, familial, cultural and environmental conditions limit the ability of Family Owned corporations to effectively adopt Western management practices. The size and type of the family controlled company influenced the extent to which a firm can effectively adopt Western management practices. Limited knowledge of Western management methods within Family Controlled corporations places constraints on growth that will require recruitment of professionals with management experience.
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