Online from: 2007
Subject Area: Regional Management Studies
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Article citation: Check Teck Foo, (2010) "60th anniversary: celebrating Chinese management?", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 4 Iss: 1, pp. -
I ask myself, is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (1 October 2009), also an occasion for us to be celebrating Chinese management? For the success of China is impossible without right management. Yet management, the twentieth century MBA variety, is seen in China largely as a US import. Not surprisingly, in the remotest parts of China, the acronym “MBA” rather than “” is used to signify “management” studies and has become the lingua franca.
In my editorial role, I have become sensitive to the use of words and their cross-cultural contexts and meanings. Oftentimes, the other problem for me as Editor-in-Chief is how to reconcile the divergence between a fast, ever changing reality and the terminology wrapped in words used to mirror its dynamics. And more so in a world that is turning upside down: China on top, US at the bottom.
Sometimes, the divergence can be glaring. For example, at the 60th anniversary Deng Xiaopeng’s “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is still being echoed. Yet anybody who has been to Shanghai knows that in Red China there is only brute capitalism, where the Darwinian fittest survives. Paradoxically, across the Pacific to Wall Street in the arch-capitalist USA, it is kinder. At least for the big banks, it is the not so fit that survive. Survival is an issue for many companies. Recently, a recruitment company CEO asked me: “Can you help us find an Art of War CEO?” In case others are interested, I have included my responses as a commentary in this issue.
So you can understand if I tell you why I ponder so often upon the true meaning of “Chinese management”: its scope and remit. Yes, every time I put together papers for an issue. Fortunately, this time around I have Rolf Cremer’s paper to the rescue. His commentary titled, “Chinese business schools and the future of management in the post-crisis era: responsibility and opportunity” is most timely. I find in his paper glimpses of what ought to concern us about the future of Chinese management. Or following Deng, in the coming decade when MBAs transform to become synonymous with “Management with Chinese Characteristics.”
Then we have, most appropriately, an in-depth and well-researched comparative study of European (emerging market; Estonian) versus Chinese management crisis by Ruth Alas, Junhong Gao and Sinikka Vanhala. After the 2008 Olympics, I almost forget that China is still an economy in transition albeit on a fast lane: “Crisis management in Chinese and Estonian organizations”. Next in the series of papers is a review by Diego Quer, Enrique Claver and Laura Rieneda on the extensive literature (62 empirical papers) on “Doing business in China and performance: a review of evidence.”
I am glad Chinese Management Studies (CMS) continues to attract empirically-grounded pieces and the next paper is a good example: “Examining Chinese managers’ work-related values and attitudes.” Even though qualitative, such studies illuminate by the quality of design and depth of inquiry. With these careful considerations, we can then rely on such a study to reaffirm what Chinese management is. What emerged from this study is a deeply Chinese cultural trait in management and in three words: boss, network, work. The Regional Editors and I look forward to welcoming such papers for CMS.
Finally, I have included, as part of Chinese management, research on financial engineering for future managerial applications. With the likely weakening of the US$, I anticipate the Chinese Yuan to become an international currency. Additionally, Chinese investors, having themselves lost millions, will realize the need to be themselves more sophisticated. From Taiwan, Pan Wen-Tsao’s approach is part of the algorithmic trend in hybridization. His “Performing stock prediction use of hybrid model” is illustrative focusing on cases from mainland China and Taiwan. Such research will grow in importance to management when Wall Street migrates to Shanghai.
I am very glad to be able to put together this collection of papers for the very first issue of Volume 4 of CMS. We have now gone a long way from our “early” beginnings. The diversity of papers reflects the holistic nature of management as a discipline. There is too a very wide geographical spread in terms of the country of origination of the authors. For this I must thank the Editors for working so well together as a team.
Check Teck Foo