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The JGM Blog

Apr 10

Written by: Professor Stephen A. Drew
10/04/2015 09:09 

In this Spring edition of the Journal of General Management we include an eclectic mix of general management topics including top management team incentives, corporate social responsibility, financial services in China, international business strategies, management of volunteers and the history of general management. The authors of these papers come from institutions in Taiwan, Singapore, Portugal, USA and UK. However, the issues discussed and research findings have implications that extend far beyond the borders of these countries.

Our first paper by Professor Yong-Yeon Ji will interest readers concerned with corporate governance, executive compensation and corporate social responsibility (CSR). His work investigates the importance of incentives for the top management team (TMT) and not just the CEO. Many countries outside the Anglo-Saxon world adopt a more group oriented and collectivistic approach to governance, where orientation towards CSR as a corporate objective is more of a team consideration. Professor Ji contributes to the knowledge in this field using upper echelon theory and agency theory to investigate how TMT pay structure, egalitarianism, future orientation and other factors shape CSR performance. This study provides meaningful insights to both researchers and practitioners by filling gaps in the existing research as well as by providing guidelines for creating TMT pay structure.

As the rapidly growing second largest economy in the world, China attracts attention especially with respect to entry strategies for multinational firms. Our second article by Drs Hsiu-Ling Wu, Chien-Hsun Chen and Chih-Yi Hsieh reports on the situation for multinational bank entry into China, with a focus on Taiwanese banks. Banking is a highly regulated strategic industry. Major banks in China are very large and state owned. Prospects for entry by foreign banks into the China market might seem challenging and limited to niches. However, the Chinese banking sector is reputedly plagued by problems of bad debts, poor lending practices, lack of innovation, corruption and need for structural reform. The expertise of foreign banks is needed to improve industry practices, efficiency, innovation, and to serve multinational clients. The aims of this study were to explore reasons why foreign and leading international banks choose to establish Chinese operations, and to identify the factors determining how aggressive foreign and multinational banks are in the Chinese market. The article will assist bank strategists pondering how to overcome the ‘liability of foreignness’ in one of the world’s most influential financial services markets.

Our third paper presents research on the management of volunteer behaviour in religious and secular organisations by Drs de Abreu, Laureano, Alwi, da Silva and Dionı´sio. These authors consider not only the factors leading to donations and fundraising in religious and secular organisations, but also the factors leading to the engagement and commitment of volunteers to donate their time and energy. While this may at first sight seem to be a relatively narrow field of interest, the study has important implications for NGOs, CSR in corporations, spirituality in organisations and cross-cultural general management. In many non-western societies religious and volunteer values are important shapers of corporate culture, leadership, marketing, and human resources strategies. The Islamic world and Indian business are cases in point.

This journal owes a large debt to Malcolm Warner, who is co-author with MorgenWitzel of our fourth paper on ‘Taylorism Revisited: Culture,Management Theory and Paradigm-Shift’. Malcolm has been a diligent article and book reviewer over many years. The authors of this paper explore the history of general management thought to the present day. They note that although maligned in some quarters, ‘Taylorism’ appears to remain alive and well today in the ‘lean’ principles of management, continuous improvement and Total Quality Management. To this I would add the principles of evidence-based management and data-driven approaches to management. A modern day emerging market version of this is apparent in the rapid growth and success of the Chinese online travel firm Ctrip. Malcolm and Morgen encourage practitioners of general management to balance both ‘hard’ as well as ‘soft’ approaches to more effective people management.

Finally we include a number of book reviews by Malcolm Warner on entrepreneurship and Keynesian economics.

Professor Stephen Drew

Executive Editor of the Journal of General Management

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