Chinese Management Studies

Published by Emerald
Print ISSN: 1750-614X
Publications
Growth of Shaoxing textile cluster and Taizhou pharmaceutical cluster Shaoxing textile cluster a Taizhou pharmaceutical cluster b
Descriptive statistics and correlation matrix
Results of OLS regression
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) intermediary ties on new ventures’ product innovation. Product innovation is a critical strategy for new ventures’ survival and growth. However, as a result of smallness and newness, new ventures usually face considerable difficulties in product innovation and require support to help their innovation search and innovation activities. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey of 145 Chinese new ventures is used to test presented hypotheses empirically. Findings – This study finds that the intensity of KIBS intermediary ties has a positive influence on innovation, while the diversity of KIBS intermediary ties has no influence on new ventures’ product innovation. Moreover, the relationship between the intensity of KIBS intermediary ties and new ventures’ product innovation is moderated by the degree of their international venturing and ties with other firms. Originality/value – This study enriches understanding of the important roles of KIBS intermediary ties on new ventures’ product innovation.
 
Results (path coefficients with t-value in parentheses)
Purpose – This paper tests which theoretical perspective(s) can better explain firms’ external knowledge search behavior. Information processing and resource-based view theories propose a positive relationship between environmental turbulence and knowledge search breadth, whereas transaction cost economics and managerial attention theoretical perspectives posit that knowledge search breadth will be negatively influenced by environmental turbulence. In the context of Chinese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study examines the direct effect of environmental turbulence and the interactive effect of environmental turbulence and absorptive capacity (ACAP) on external knowledge search breadth. Design/methodology/approach – This study adopted firm-level data collected via questionnaires from SMEs within the manufacturing sector in China. The partial least squares method was used to explore the determinants of the external knowledge search breadth of Chinese SMEs. Findings – The results reveal that external search breadth tends to increase with an increase in a firm’s perceived environmental turbulence. In addition, the interaction between ACAP and environmental turbulence will be negatively related to external knowledge search breadth. The empirical evidence indicates information processing and resource-based view theories are more powerful in explaining the external knowledge search behavior of Chinese SMEs. Originality/value – Unlike most of the innovation search literature, which have focused on the effect on performance of external search, this study focuses on the antecedents of firms’ innovation search behavior. The study contributes to the understanding of the relationship between environmental turbulence and knowledge search breadth as well as the understanding of the influence of ACAP on external knowledge search in the context of SMEs from emerging economies.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to explore pathways and issues of small business technological commercialization in China, probing the particular characteristics of the Chinese context and the ways in which innovation frameworks, institutions and business strategies are embedded. Design/methodology/approach – The authors examine in detail the case of an innovative Chinese indigenous small firm engaged in innovative nanotechnology materials development. The strategies and push- and pull factors underlying the company’s innovation practices were investigated. The proposition that the institutional relationships formed to secure access to research expertise and aid business survival also influence the ways in which technology is commercialized was explored. Findings – It was found that while technological development is company-driven, it is also highly connected to regional innovation structures and networks. This stimulates a “spin-in” rather than a university-led model of development, as this small firm embeds its technology and business development strategies in conjunction with partner organizations. Broader management and policy implications are discussed. Originality/value – While China has rapidly expanded scientific research in emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, commercialization through the development of entrepreneurial technology-oriented small companies faces a series of challenges. New enterprises in the emerging area of nanotechnology encounter problems of technology transfer and intellectual property management, capital acquisition, market uncertainty and constrained access to global markets.
 
Purpose – This study aims to investigate the relationships between radical innovation, market forces and political/business relationships in China by combining social capital theory and contingent theory. The paper focuses on how two types of managerial ties (i.e. business and political ties) impact firms’ capacity for radical innovation. It also examines the different moderating effects of market forces (i.e. demand uncertainty, technological turbulence and competitive intensity) on the linkage of managerial ties with radical innovation in the Chinese transitional context. Design/methodology/approach – A systematic literature review on managerial ties, radical innovation and market forces in emerging markets provides the theoretical foundation of our conceptual model and hypothesis. Using a survey sample of 119 Chinese firms, the authors conduct a regression analysis on the theoretical model and hypotheses. Findings – The results show that business ties have an inverted U-shape effect on radical innovation, while political ties have a positive impact on radical innovation. Furthermore, the market forces in transitional economies (i.e. demand uncertainty, technological turbulence and competitive intensity) have different moderating effects on the relationships between two types of managerial ties and Chinese firms’ radical innovation. Research limitations/implications – This study adopts its data set from the Chinese context. It would be necessary to replicate this research in other transitional economies because of specific differences between China and other transitional economies. Practical implications – Findings from our study indicate that firms which wish to succeed in radical innovation may need to adapt their tie-based strategies according to different market settings. Originality/value – The paper is original in its comparative investigation of the effect of business ties and political ties on radical innovation in contingent transitional market environments using a combination of social capital and contingent theories.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impacts of technological capability (TC) and technology management (TM) on the development of China’s telecommunications industry by examining two interrelated questions: Which is the order parameter for China’s telecommunications industry? and What are the relationships between TC and TM? The paper will develop models to analyze TC, TM and the development of China’s telecommunications industry quantitatively. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews literature related to TC and TM and investigates the technical features of China’s telecommunications industry. Then, the paper makes a theoretical analysis of the relationships among them. First, it analyzes the effects of TC and TM on the industry and tries to explore the order parameter. Second, the paper analyzes the interaction between TC and TM. Then, the paper applies the Haken model to construct an analysis model. It also constructs models for measuring TC and TM. Using the data of China’s telecommunications industry from 1991 to 2010, the paper identifies the order parameter for the industry and tests the relationships between TC and TM. Findings – The paper finds that TC plays a dominant role in the development of China’s telecommunications industry. The paper also finds that TC promotes the development of TM. However, TM fails to promote the development of TC. The paper presents two other important findings. The first one is that China’s telecommunications industry has constructed a positive feedback mechanism for continuous development of TC, which provides an impetus for industry upgrades and development. The second one is that there is no positive feedback growth mechanism for TM capability, which has increased the lag between TM and TC and has become one of the important reasons why TM does not promote TC. Research limitations/implications – Theoretical and managerial implications are put forward. Thus, TC must be improved to propel the development of China’s telecommunications industry; TM should be greatly improved and an effective growth mechanism for TM should be constructed; the synergy between TM and TC should be achieved. Research limitations are also pointed out. Thus, the results in this paper probably cannot be generalized to other industries; it does go on to discuss the synergetic mode of TM and TC that can best compel industrial development, and it does not explain what the growth mechanisms for TM and TC should be. Originality/value – The paper is original, as it provides new perspectives of TM and TC for analyzing industrial development, and it provides the method and model for quantitatively analyzing TC and TM at an industry level. It discovers the order parameter and new problems of China’s telecommunications industry, which no one has identified before. The paper also offers references for analyzing other industries from the perspectives of TM and TC.
 
The “Obama” Phone 
The Profile of Interviewed Firms
The model of rapid product development 
Mobile phone export and market share by brand
Intense interactions among the cluster 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to integrate the global value chain (GVC) perspective with firms' innovation in emerging economies (EEs) and explain why EE firms can improve their innovation capabilities more from their domestic markets by focusing on R&D and marketing than from original equipment manufacturer/original design manufacturer (OEM/ODM) modes in the GVC and how they contribute to the national innovation system (NIS). Design/methodology/approach – The literature on GVC is reviewed and then several propositions are developed using the example of the underground mobile phone developers in China by integrating the GVC perspective. Findings – The paper proposes that EE firms, especially firms that have a large underdeveloped domestic market such as China, should focus on R&D and marketing instead of on OEM/ODM in GVC to increase their competitiveness and strengthen their NIS. Also implications are drawn from their success in the underground markets to advance knowledge on NIS. Originality/value – The paper shows that EE firms can build and strengthen their innovation capabilities through intense interaction and learning in domestic markets, which, subsequently, moves them upwards in their GVC. Industrial policy needs to change in order to facilitate such technological entrepreneurship in NIS, whether it is informal or underground.
 
This article has no abstract
 
-Mean Number of Business Segments by Country, 2001-2005
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic comparison of the level of business diversification in China and eight other large economies for the 2001‐2005 period. The reasons why publicly listed Chinese firms are more diversified than companies elsewhere are investigated. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected on the number of business segments in which publicly traded companies operate from the Thomson One Banker database and analyzed using non‐parametric tests and regression analysis. Findings The mean number of business segments per firm varies significantly by country. Notably, there is no evidence in the authors' sample that emerging‐market companies are systematically more diversified than their developed‐market counterparts. In most countries, firms have become less diversified over time. However, there is no such trend in China. The level of diversification of Chinese enterprises does not vary over the authors' study period (2001‐2005), making Chinese firms the most diversified in the sample by 2005. China's growth rate does not seem to explain the higher level of firm diversification. However, the authors find that Chinese state‐owned enterprises (SOEs) diversify their operations more aggressively than other Chinese firms. Research limitations/implications Ownership data and business group affiliations were not available for all firms in the sample, making it difficult to control for these effects across economies. The study's findings are limited to publicly traded firms. Practical implications Government involvement in SOEs may be contributing to a divergence in the pattern of business diversification between China and other economies. Originality/value This paper quantifies anecdotal evidence that Chinese firms are more diversified than similar firms in other countries.
 
A model of the strategic decision-making process in SMEs  
Purpose This paper aims to examine the process and characteristics of strategic decision making (SDM), and their influencing factors in Chinese small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach This study adopted a case‐study research design. It collected data from 20 Chinese SMEs with multiple approaches, including interviews with owners/managers, focus groups, gathering of internal documents and access to their web site. Findings Several important conclusions can be drawn. First, the steps involved in the SDM process in Chinese SMEs are less complex than the theoretical models; second, Chinese SME owners/managers rely heavily on their personal networks for identifying opportunities in the business environment, and for information search and advice; third, a firm's ownership significantly influences the degree of participation and the level of political activities in the SDM process; and fourth, decisions made in Chinese SMEs can be implemented quickly partly due to slack legal enforcement in China. Practical implications For SME owners/managers, a better understanding of the decision‐making routes provides a basis for enhancing the quality of the decision‐making process. They can expand and/or improve the steps in executing their decision‐making process. For Chinese government policy‐makers, they can better sponsor training programs in strategic management and develop mentoring programs among SME owners/managers for better connecting them with peers and external advisors. For SME researchers, this paper has pointed out several important areas for future research. Originality/value This research is one of the pioneering studies on SDM in Chinese SMEs. It provides a detailed description of the SDM process and several important characteristics associated with this process in Chinese SMEs, and thus contributed significantly to our understanding and potential improvement of SDM in Chinese SMEs.
 
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the development and characteristics of industrial clusters in the province of Zhejiang, China with particular emphasis on the hosiery industry in the town of Datang. Design/methodology/approach The study used case study methodology and data triangulation techniques based on archival research and reports of statistical agencies both at central and local government level. Findings Industry clusters assist in regional economic development by increasing local competitive advantages and creating an industrial regional identity through specialisation which attracts resources, labour and capital for investment. The industrial cluster in Datang has been stimulated by the local entrepreneurial climate, effective local networks and support from local government. Practical implications The hosiery industrial cluster in Datang is in a less‐developed rural region characterised by low‐level labour intensive industrial activity. Their ability to compete internationally is hampered by low levels of innovation. The global networks are controlled by buyers of product. Design and/or innovation capability could be improved by developing strategic alliances with Italian producers in the same industry. Originality/value This paper contributes to our understanding of the problems facing industrial clusters in provincial China which, as yet are unable to match the design and branding capabilities achieved by clusters in similar industries in Castel Goffredo (Italy) where outstanding design and branding have enabled them to build a dominant position in the European market in higher added‐value products.
 
Purpose The purpose of this study is to explain the stability of the alliance of “a company+farmers” from the perspective of farmers. Design/methodology/approach Based on 462 usable data collected through survey, structural equation modeling (SEM) technology was employed to examine the research model. Findings From farmers' perspective, the authors find that the positive correlation between alliance performance and alliance stability, relationship quality promotes alliance performance and different powers have different impacts on relationship quality. Together, these results illustrate the formation process of the stability of the alliance “a company+farmers”. Research limitations/implications This research is limited to a particular sample: farmers from Guangdong and Hainan Province in China. Thus, the results need to be generalized to other samples. Originality/value Previous studies do not have good explanations on the formation mechanism of the stability of the alliance of “a company+farmers”. From the perspective of farmers, based on resource dependence theory, social exchange theory, this study builds an empirical model of “power‐relationship quality‐alliance performance‐alliance stability” to address the gap.
 
Purpose ‐ Business model innovation is a new way for Chinese firms to compete in the global economy. Due to the unique context in China, the authors aim to clarify what is a business model, how to design a business model, and how different designs affect firms' competitive advantages in China. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Literature review and multiple case studies (i.e. Dinghan Technology, Flush Network, Aier Eye, and Huayi Brothers) are used. Findings ‐ After defining business model, the authors integrate the activity system approach and the configurational approach to construct a unique framework for business model design, and four different models for Chinese firms emerge, namely, focused cost innovation, integrated cost innovation, focused value innovation, and integrated value innovation. Then the authors explore the main mechanisms through which different designs could help firms achieve competitive advantages. Practical implications ‐ Business model matters for Chinese firms. The authors' results provide a roadmap for Chinese entrepreneurs to design effective and efficient business models. Future success of Chinese new firms depends on the continuous improvement of their business model. Originality/value ‐ The authors' results contribute to a better understanding of business model, particularly in the context of China. The authors also contribute to the entrepreneurship literature by providing insights of how to configure entrepreneurial activity system to gain competitive advantages.
 
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to address the specific challenges with which resource‐based cities are faced when they begin along the path of industrial transformation and to employ empirical studies to determine whether relevant reforms in resource‐based cities (taking Pingxiang, one of the first round of resource‐exhausted cities acting as pilot cities in the national sustainable development transformation program, as an example), promoted by local government in recent years, have brought significant changes to their development modes and facilitated the real transition. Design/methodology/approach The paper carried out some empirical studies from different angles: employing the “vertical table graph” method, to turn Pingxiang's statistical data (1997‐2010) into a graph that visually shows Pingxiang's economic and social development; comparing several major economic and social development indicators (especially the energy consumption per unit of GDP) of 11 cities within Jiangxi Province in order to learn Pingxiang's relative positions; based on time series data from 1997 to 2009, calculating the change rates, the variation coefficients and the shift‐share indexes of industrial structure so as to measure the quality of Pingxiang's structural transformation; comparing the above results with the cities of Jiaozuo, Benxi and Dalian; and comparing economic and social development state of 16 resource‐based cities (which are all among the list of 44 national resource‐exhausted cities) from the perspective of “green GDP”. Findings Although Pingxiang has gained great progress in economic development, its industrial structure is not rational enough, and shows great dependence on mining industry with a too high share of the secondary industry and a too small proportion of the tertiary industry. Its heavy dependence on resources and investment does not suggest a fundamental change in development modes. Accordingly, the city's development idea should be switched from GDP‐orientation to sustainable development. It should proceed with the optimization of the industrial structure adjustment, increase manpower capital investment and develop new green substitutable industries, so as to catalyze the success of transition. Originality/value This integration of empirical analysis methods from three angles in multivariate statistical analysis, environmental economics, and industrial economics is novel in the field of research on resource‐city and industry change. It not only could be of some help in decision making for Pingxiang municipal government, but also could provide reference for other cities dependent on resource exploitation.
 
Purpose Small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) have long been the main carrier of technology innovation and technology transformation in China, and the main force of technological innovation. The “Twelfth Five‐Year” plan puts forward the necessity of stimulating SMEs' innovation vigor. Thus, whether from the subjective desire for upgrading the industry level, or from the objective needs of the market, technological innovation has become an important impetus for restructuring and upgrading many SMEs, and for enhancing their core competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to study technology innovation models from multiple perspectives such as growth stage of SMEs, the environmental features in the enterprises' locations, competitive characteristics of the industries and the enterprises' innovation ability. Design/methodology/approach This research topic is designed to study the SMEs' innovation ability and characteristics in the different stages of development and in different industrial and development environments. On this basis, this paper puts forwards a dynamic multi‐dimensional technology innovation model, combines SMEs' innovation practice to continuously improve their technology innovation model and establish the innovation system, thereby enhancing the innovative capability of SMEs and strengthening their core competitiveness. Findings Through data analysis and research, the paper researches the SMEs' technological innovation factors, and finds the development law of technological innovation; various different modes of SMEs' technological innovation are analyzed from multiple perspectives to construct a multi‐dimensional dynamic model of technological innovation. Originality/value This is of great practical significance to China's economic construction and social harmonious development; the study of this topic will form the theory and methodology with regard to the SME's technology innovation model.
 
Purpose This paper aims to investigate the moderating effects of employee commitment, customer loyalty and corporate reputation on the relationship between family influence and international expansion. Design/methodology/approach A cross-national research design was conducted using both survey and secondary data of 119 firms taken from the top 1,000 Taiwanese enterprises. Findings This study found moderating effects in the positive impact of family influence on international expansion. Specifically, the study found the relationship between family influence and international expansion stronger for companies with greater relational support from employees, customers and the public. Research limitations/implications Multi-level data collection and a longitudinal research design in future research could help in further understanding the relationships between the variables in this study. Practical implications This paper suggests that family business should establish enduring relationship with their employees and customers and have a plan to improve family reputation that will benefit international market expansion. Originality/value This study draws on the relational perspective to investigate how family influence results in different international expansion.
 
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a unique approach to researching into the mind of Mao and, at the same time, review of papers in this issue of Chinese Management Studies. Through this paper, the editor hopes to communicate the three simple yet important criteria that should feature in the selection of future papers. Design/methodology/approach Values of scholarly community as embodied within the 1,040-year-old Yuelu Academy are first introduced as translated by the joint efforts of the authors. The relevance of such cultural values for modern scholars is then discussed. This is followed by the author highlighting the unique research opportunity (documentary study and analysis) as offered by the Shaoshan Mao Memorial Museum. Perhaps it is possible to get a hint of the thinking of Mao Zedong. Finally, consistent with the earlier two review papers, a bird-eye view of key findings is given of the nine selected papers, namely, on politics, state-owned enterprises, team, socialism, planning, human resource management, leadership, competition and knowledge. Findings Clearly the modern scholarly community will benefit by imbibing the values of the Yuelu Academy with their strong emphasis on ethical behaviors, diligence and the deep pursuit of scholarly inquiry. Also, the Chinese, by documenting the writings of Mao Zedong (Shaoshan Museum), made him perhaps the most well-documented strategist for in-depth research. From the latest review of manuscripts, authors have yet to incorporate Chinese cultural, historical and social background as an integral part of their papers. Originality/value This paper calls for scholars to try to reintegrate Chinese cultural values back into research on Chinese management. Professor Warner Malcolm, Cambridge University, a contributing author wrote to the journal saying in essence: “[…] Chinese management is […] deeply rooted in Chinese cultural norms […]” Hopefully more of the submissions will begin to reflect such an orientation.
 
The structural model  
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among organizational learning, absorptive capacity, imitation and innovation in the Chinese context. Design/methodology/approach – Based on the organizational learning theory and innovation theory, the paper presents a framework linking organizational learning, absorptive capacity, imitation and innovation. Using a key informant technique, a survey questionnaire was designed and sent to the middle or top management managers of 115 firms located in Peking, People’s Republic (PR) of China. Structural equation modeling (SEM) with the maximum likelihood (ML) estimation procedures was applied to test the hypotheses developed in the research. Findings – The empirical results show that both organizational learning and absorptive capacity have positive impacts on innovation; imitation has a positive impact on absorptive capacity; absorptive capacity mediates the relationship between imitation and innovation. Practical implications – This study has implications for firms aiming to enhance innovation by organizational learning, absorptive capacity and imitation. Originality/value – Despite the number of studies concerning organizational learning, absorptive capacity, imitation and innovation, research that encompasses the interrelationships between the four concepts simultaneously remains scarce. The paper provides a framework linking organizational learning, imitation, absorptive capacity and innovation, and it advances the argument that absorptive capacity is an important factor in predicting the Chinese firms’ transition from imitation to innovation.
 
Purpose This paper aims to theoretically and empirically demonstrate the role played by business continuity management (BCM) to address risks such as trade conflicts and natural disasters. This paper also answers whether compliance with international standards such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22301 is adequate. Design/methodology/approach A case study of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is conducted to examine how a robust end-to-end BCM system has been established in two decades and in what way it has helped Huawei to efficiently maintain growth under pressure, such as being added to the “Entity List” and the pandemic. Findings Huawei case contributes to BCM theory in its approach to establishing the BCM system and its well-established BCM model. Huawei establishes and continually improves its BCM system by applying the Plan (establish), Do (implement and operate), Check (monitor and review) and Act (maintain and improve) cycle. Characterized as 4Ps: BCM policy, BCM process, incident management plan and business continuity plan, Huawei BCM system is shaped into a loop with end-to-end BCM process, covering all steps along its value chain – from suppliers and partners to Huawei itself and then on to its customers – with key initiatives for all domains such as R&D, procurement, manufacturing, logistics and global technical services. In practice, implementing international standards such as ISO 22301 enables Huawei to develop business continuity but not enough. Optimizing the BCM system is an ongoing effort, and BCM maturity is ever present: continually improving Huawei’s own BCM system and benchmarking against best practices available worldwide. Research limitations/implications Apart from the case study, other methods such as counter-factual analysis can be used to further test whether Huawei’s BCM system is cost-effective. Another direction for future study is whether suggested BCM maturity levels should be supplemented into ISO 22301. In the digital age, how to use digitalization to ensure business continuity is a current issue not just for practitioners such as Huawei but also for researchers worldwide. Practical implications In practice, implementing international standards such as ISO 22301 enables Huawei to develop business continuity but not enough. Optimizing the BCM system is an ongoing effort, and BCM maturity is ever present: continually improving Huawei’s own BCM system and benchmarking against best practices available worldwide. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies to focus on how an organization continually improves the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of its BCM system, with special attention to standards compliance.
 
Purpose The COVID-19 outbreak has been effectively controlled in China, but the resulting public psychological crisis is a latent, persistent and torturous disaster. This crisis affects not only the individual’s health but also social stability. This study aims to reveal the structure and situation of public psychological crisis during the remission period of the COVID-19 epidemic. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey of the psychological crisis was conducted from February to May 2021. Data was collected from 1,056 respondents from different provinces in China. Findings The findings reveal the dangerous risks of public psychological crises. The specific results are as follows: first, a hierarchical state structure of psychological crisis is constructed and characterized as a significant gradient decline, namely, anxious state>panic state>depressive state>hostile state. Second, 43.939% of respondents reported an anxious state, 46.780% reported a panic state, 40.909% reported a depressive state, 28.883% reported a hostile state and 22.254% of the respondents had four psychological crisis states. Third, those with 56–65 years of age, equal or below high school and PhD, with monthly family incomes of ¥50,000–¥100,000 and living in the county and city areas have relatively high levels of psychological crisis. Originality/value This study enriches the research on the evolution of the psychological crisis in terms of structure and periods. This study also provides substantial evidence for hierarchical intervention and differentiated intervention of psychological crisis.
 
Purpose Work from home has become as regular as the traditional commuting system after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have discussed the influence of working at home on the work–family interface. However, there is limited understanding of how diverse workforces manage their work–family issues with various family-friendly policies. This study aims to bridge this research gap by examining the collective influence of work conditions and family-friendly policies on work–family balance. Design/methodology/approach A survey experiment featuring two working conditions (work from home or commuting) × four family-friendly policies (household subsidy, family-friendly supervisor, financial profit, paid leave vs no policy) was approached based on 703 valid responses in China. Findings The results indicate that family-friendly policies are more effective under the work-from-home condition than the commuting condition, household subsidies and financial profits are considered more helpful for work–family balance under the work-from-home condition and employees’ policy preferences depend on personal identity and work conditions, which help them maintain work and family issues concurrently. Originality/value This study explores the joint impact of work conditions and family-friendly policies from a situational perspective. This study indicated that professional organizations need to perform delicacy management considering policy preferences. Moreover, changing working arrangements help employees facilitate their work–family balance.
 
Purpose The rising uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment exacerbate the challenges firms face in the export market. This study aims to explore which strategy is suitable for export enterprises to develop sustainably under COVID-19. Design/methodology/approach Based on the sample data of China’s A-stock listed manufacturing firms from 2010 to 2020, this study applies a survival analysis method to explore the impact of strategic flexibility on export firm survival. Furthermore, this study uses the difference-in-difference model to test the relationship between strategic flexibility and firms’ profits in the context of the pandemic. Findings The results show that strategic flexibility can increase firms’ survival time, improving dynamic production and innovation capabilities, which is favorable for their sustainable development. Meanwhile, after the spread of COVID-19, firms with strategic flexibility have higher profits than those without. This influence mechanism mainly involves exploring new markets that can improve the company revenue and the coordination capabilities of the supply chain; this reduces corporate costs. Originality/value This study expands relevant research on the factors affecting the survival of export enterprises and supplements research on the economic consequences of firms’ strategic flexibility; this also enriches the dynamic capability theory. Additionally, it provides important implications for firms to enhance strategic flexibility and recommends government implementation of policies that encourage the domestic sales of commodities originally produced for exports under COVID-19.
 
Purpose This paper aims to analyze the rates of returns on education in China and in the process raises issues relevant to the management of China’s system of education. In the ongoing great transformation period of China, the rising rates of returns on education may have been indicators reflecting China’s social progressiveness. However, very little research efforts have been devoted to the study of the impacts of such factors as geographical regions and genders, etc. The authors hope to fill these gaps in the literature. Design/methodology/approach The China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) database is used for this study (University of North Carolina). The longitudinal nature of the data sets covering 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011 provides a good basis for comparative analyses. The theory is grounded upon the Mincer equations through which econometric estimates are then made. Findings Disparities in returns on education are found between genders and across geographical regions. The regression results show that the women’s returns on education are consistently higher than those of men. However, the scales of such gender differences differ between the rural and urban areas: smaller for rural area and larger, more significantly so for urban. Additionally, we have found that the rates of returns on education in China have risen significantly over these years, and these increases have been largely due to the effects of institutional reforms. The urban-rural gap in their degrees of market orientation has contributed to the differences in their rates of returns on education. The analyses also suggest that foreign direct investment inflows, international trade and the increasing competitiveness from private enterprises render human capital more valuable to urban businesses. In case of the rural areas, a lack of incentive system tends to have contributed to the lower rates of returns on education. Originality/value The authors have presented evidence on the trends in the rates of returns on education during China’s critical transition period. Analyses of the possible reasons behind the differential rates of returns are provided. These findings are helpful for the government to shape their policies towards education. For instance, the government should give more emphasis to vocational schooling due to their significantly higher rates of returns.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to track the changes of leadership attributes during the process of social development from 1998 to 2008 in China, and then to explore whether the significant events have potential impacts on the changes of leadership attributes during this time. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted two studies through qualitative approach, based on data collected from Chinese official newspapers (People's Daily and Guangming Daily) covering 216 stories (90 stories in Study 1 and 126 stories in Study 2). The first study focuses on comparing the leadership attributes in 2008 with those in 1998 and 1988 presented in previous research to find out the changes. In the second study, the most significant events are selected during the period of 1998‐2008 and their effects on the changes of leadership attributes are examined. Findings – The findings show that leadership attributes changed during the ten years and some new attributes are advocated in China. Furthermore, the changes of leadership attributes, especially for non‐business leaders, relate to the occurrence of significant events and reflect the changes of government policies. Originality/value – Although some literature has explored leadership attributes in China, this study contributes to the extant research in two ways. First, it promotes the use of existing documents as data sources of longitudinal study to track the changes of leadership attributes. Second, it advances the line of inquiry of leadership attributes in China by concentrating on the factors driving those changes.
 
Purpose The paper aims to provide a comprehensive investigation of the relationship between corporate governance (CG) structure and firm performance in Chinese listed firms from 2001 to 2015. The authors’ motivation derives from the fact that the CG system in China is different from those in the US, the UK, Germany, Japan and other countries. Design/methodology/approach A large unbalanced sample, covering more than 22,700 observations in Chinese listed firms, was used to explore, by means of a system-generalized method-of-moments (GMM) estimator, the relationship between CG structure and firm performance to remove potential sources of endogeneity. Findings Results show that Chinese CG structure is endogenously determined by the CG mechanisms investigated: there is no relationship between board size (including independent directors) and firm performance; CEO duality has a significantly negative effect on firm performance; concentration of ownership has a significantly positive influence on firm performance; managerial ownership is negatively correlated with firm performance; state ownership has a significantly positive effect on firm performance; and a supervisory board is positively correlated with firm performance. Practical implications The findings provide policymakers and firm managers with useful empirical guidance concerning CG in China. Originality/value Few integrative studies have examined the impact of CG structure on firm performance in China. This study adds new empirical evidence that the relation between CG structure and performance in China is endogenous and dynamic when controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, simultaneity, and dynamic endogeneity.
 
Purpose This paper aims to investigate the economic consequence of the tax reductive strategy on stock price. The authors’ theory, empirically reinforced, suggests managerial tax aggressiveness endangers the corporation through a heightened risk in stock price crashing. Information opacity worsens the situation by reinforcing the relationship. Policymakers should emphasize two aspects: market openness and tighter institutional monitoring. The evidence shown in this paper demonstrates that these two weaken the tax aggressiveness impact on risk of a crashing stock price. Design/methodology/approach The sample in this paper consists of 9,702 observations from listed firms from 2008 to 2013 in China. The tax rate is manually collected and all the other original data used in this study are sourced from Wind and China Capital Market and Accounting Research databases. Both logistic regression and ordinary least squares regression methods are used to test the hypothesis in this paper. Findings One key insight is in tax aggressiveness to be strongly correlated with a greater risk of future stock price crashing. The authors also found information opacity to exert a positive moderating effect. That is, the higher the information opacity, the stronger and more positive the correlation between tax aggression and stock price crash risk. However, the market process and an institutional investor have opposite, negative impacts. An open market environment reduces their correlativeness. Similarly, stronger institutional vigilance leads to an attenuation of such a co-relationship. Practical implications The findings of this paper have wide policy implications for management and control by authorities of listed corporations. Aggressiveness in management of corporate taxes accentuates the risks borne by stockholders. If so, internally within the corporation, such aggression shown by management, if not proscribed, could be subject to scrutiny, possibly by an independent committee. Externally, this may be countered by the authority in emphasizing three key factors: openness in information sharing, the market environment and tighter institutional monitoring. Originality/value This study provides a consequential theory of aggressive management of tax, rigorously analyzed and strongly, empirically supported. Overall, aggressiveness in tax management is related with assumption of higher risks in the crashing of stock price. The relationship is enhanced through information opacity, but reduced via market environment and institutional monitoring.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the possible benefits and effects of shared vision and integration on entrepreneurial management for new Chinese ventures. By examining new enterprises, rather than already established and operating firms, this study can better demonstrate the impact of shared vision and internal or external integration on entrepreneurial performance. The empirical analyses demonstrate the importance of shared vision and both types of integration for new ventures, particularly enterprises in China. Design/methodology/approach – This study collected data from firms in Greater China, including China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Five hypotheses were tested, for which the total sample size was 246 respondents. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were applied for statistical analyses. Findings – The results indicate that entrepreneurial vision correlates positively with shared vision. In its turn, shared vision correlates positively with internal integration and external integration. Furthermore, internal integration correlates positively with entrepreneurial performance. Although external integration is essential during new enterprise establishment, analytical results indicate that external integration is not strongly correlated with entrepreneurial performance. Practical implications – Shared vision plays a critical role in the integration process during the establishment of new enterprises. The results of this study show that newly established firms need to put more efforts than do operating firms into integrating external resources. Originality – / Value This study contributes to a better understanding of the effects of shared vision and the different kinds of integration on entrepreneurial management. Knowing the driving forces behind these phenomena may help new firms to engage more actively in resources integration and enhance their entrepreneurial performance.
 
Purpose ‐ This study aims to investigate the influence of various categories of institutions on international joint ventures' (IJV) strategic mutation behavior from an institutional perspective. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The authors test their hypotheses using a sample of 494 Chinese small and medium IJVs over a three-year period (2006-2008). They conducted empirical result with Cox hazard models. Findings ‐ Changes in law environment will increase the likelihood of IJVs' strategic mutation. Changes in governmental policy will increase the likelihood of IJVs' strategic mutation. The positive correlativity between the variance of law environment and the propensity of IJVs' strategic mutation will be positively moderated by the distance of normative institutional pillar. The positive correlativity between the variance of governmental policy and the propensity of IJVs' strategic mutation will be negatively moderated by IJV performance. Originality/value ‐ Variation of regulatory institutional pillar increases the likelihood of IJVs' strategic mutation. Meanwhile, the effects of law environment and governmental policy, which are two types of regulatory institutional pillar, are moderated by normative institutional pillar and firms' performance, respectively.
 
Purpose – Due to the great distinctions for the legal environments, institutions and taxations, the restrictive external financing and costly financing cost, and great influence of macroeconomy or regulations on single industry, firms may change or adjust their organization structure to adapt to rapidly changing environment. Flat structure can decentralize the powers to subsidiary managers and can internalize the managerial market to promote competition among subsidiary managers and create an internal capital market within firms to alleviate external financing constrains, and it is matched with the diversification strategy to lower the operation risk and regulation risk for firms in changing environment. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The data of 6,065 listed corporations in China securities market since 2001-2006 are used to empirically test the hypotheses. Findings – The paper examines the efficiency of flat structure within the firm, investigating its influence on capital allocation and corporate performance. It shows that flat structure is better in emerging market since it is efficient in capital allocation, reducing the inefficient investment by reducing the overinvestment and alleviating the underinvestment, thus beneficial for corporate performance, both short-term and long-term accounting returns. Practical implications – From the results of this study, the paper can derive the important managerial implications that top managers should strengthen flexibility through flat structure so that their firms can grasp opportunities and obtain advantages through efficient improvement of mobility, adaptability, and combination in an uncertain environment. Moreover, flat structure can decentralize the powers to subordinate managers and create an internal managerial market and internal capital market within firms. Originality/value – By using the previous and change of multi-unit structure, the change of corporate performance, diverse and concentrated firms, the paper shows that results are not due to the endogenous problem. The study finds that in less-developed capital market under the current situation, flat structure is better, which suggests that flat structure can properly implement the strategies in emerging market and beneficial for corporate performance.
 
Purpose – Here, the paper aims to model major corporate characteristics associated with corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting (in particular, its quality). Corporations in China are increasingly expected by the public and government to be more socially responsible. As such, it will be intriguing to ask, what are the characteristics associated with higher quality CSR reporting? Design/methodology/approach – CSR report quality scores are hand-gathered from HEXUN (web site) whilst financial and stock market information from the China Stock Market and Accounting Research (CSMAR) database. A total of 613 CSR reports' quality scores were utilized (Rankins CSR ratings) in the process of developing the model. Reports are hand-gathered from corporations listed on both the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges (SSE). Findings – The results suggest most interestingly, the quality of CSR report (mandatory) to be strongly, positively related with corporate financial characteristics: market capitalization (corporate size), shareholders' concentration of powers, corporate financial leverage (implying bondholders/debtors' influence). Surprisingly, CSR reporting is associated neither with corporate profitability nor by state-ownership. The presence of independent directors (at least in China) seems to have negative influences. Practical implications – CSR reporting may easily be mandated by government through a regulatory process. However, this does not necessarily lead to reports of a high quality. Instead, orientation towards higher visibility in social responsibility for listed corporations is better explained by financial characteristics: market valuation, ownership and leverage. Originality/value – This paper utilizes for the first time, in-depth and multi-faceted quality CSR scores (overall, segregated into macro-social, content and technology) for investigating CSR behavior of listed corporations in China. The findings suggest financial characteristics size (market valuation), ownership (shareholders' concentration of powers) and corporate leverage are better predictors of CSR behavior among listed corporations.
 
Purpose This study aims to investigate the relationship between entrepreneurship and innovation efficiency (IE), as well as the moderating role of absorptive capacity. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a sample of industrial enterprises from Chinese provinces from 2005 to 2016, and it tests the research questions using the method of stochastic frontier analysis. Findings The results of this study indicate that entrepreneurship promotes IE, and that absorptive capacity plays a positive moderating role. In addition, the effect of entrepreneurship on IE differs between the central and eastern regions and the western region. Originality/value This research provides direct policy implications by demonstrating the role of entrepreneurship and absorptive capacity in IE, thereby guiding corporate management practices and the formulation of government innovation and entrepreneurship policies.
 
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between different types of team goal orientations (team learning orientation, team prove orientation and team avoid orientation) and team performance in new product development (NPD) and how these relationships are mediated by team absorptive capacity. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected through two surveys from 71 NPD teams and analyzed by the confirmatory factor analysis, correlation and hierarchical regression analysis methods. Findings The authors find that both teams’ learning and prove orientations are positively related to their absorptive capacity, which leads to increasing team performance in NPD. Further, the authors find support for the mediating role of team absorptive capacity in connecting team learning orientation and team prove orientation with team performance in NPD. Practical implications For practitioners, this paper suggests that to benefit from their NPD team efforts, firms with innovative aspirations should consider their existing and desired access to external knowledge sources and particularly the extent to which they can successfully integrate external knowledge with their internal knowledge structure. Originality/value The explication of team absorptive capacity is as a key mechanism through which different goal orientations of NPD teams inform the ability to successfully develop new products. By integrating the concepts of team goal orientations, team absorptive capacity and team performance in NPD, the authors seek to gain a better understanding of why some firms are more likely to do better than others in NPD. Findings of this paper extend concept of the nomological network on how absorptive capacity may serve as a direct outcome of different goal orientations. This paper responds to how Chinese firms can increase their innovative performance by infusing their current knowledge bases with external knowledge and extends the literature on knowledge management and managerial ties on innovation.
 
Purpose Based on the conservation of resources (COR) theory, this paper aims to explore the potential influence of perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip on abusive supervision in China. Moreover, the COR theory helps in examining the mediating role of self-esteem threat and psychological distress and the moderating role of mindfulness on the effects of perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip on abusive supervision. Design/methodology/approach Data was collected from 305 supervisor-subordinate dyads in China using the time-lagged and multi-source methods and hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings Results reveal that perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip is positively related to abusive supervision and the relationship is moderated by the supervisor’s traits of mindfulness. In addition, perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip has an indirect effect on abusive supervision via self-esteem threat (cognition) and psychological distress (emotion). Originality/value The study helps to understand the influence of perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip on abusive supervision based on the COR theory. At the same time, it also enriches the understanding of the internal mechanism between perceived subordinates’ negative workplace gossip and abusive supervision.
 
Purpose Despite recent organizational behavior studies have witnessed considerable progress in abusive supervision research; some demerits for both theory and methodology still remain in the past years. To clarify the current state of knowledge in the field, this study aims to analyze the current state of theories and methods on abusive supervision and provides a detailed future research agenda. Design/methodology/approach This paper conducted a literature review for both theory and methodology of the abusive supervision research using a content analysis of 134 publications. Findings For the theory part, this paper summarized the theories that had been applied to explain the relationship between abusive supervision and its consequences as well as antecedents. For the methodology part, this paper outlined some critical issues regarding country of origin, research design, measurement, analysis strategy and also summarized with a discussion of the relationship between methodological issues and article impact. Finally, this paper concluded by presenting an agenda for future abusive supervision research regarding both theory and methodology. Originality/value First, this paper summarizes the main theories, antecedents and consequences often used in abusive supervision research to allow scholars to carry out theoretically driven research investigating abusive supervision in the future. Second, through a content analysis of the methods sections of abusive supervision research in the samples (i.e. country of origin, research design, measurement and analytical procedures), this paper identified the potential reasons underlying the inconsistency in the conclusions of abusive supervision research and provide some guidance for future empirical studies. Third, based on the qualitative review, this paper provides an agenda for future research investigating abusive supervision by developing a content-specific theoretical framework to benchmark abusive supervision research against other research related to leadership and offers an accurate response to scholars’ criticisms of abusive supervision research.
 
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to attempt to unlock how and why abusive supervision influences employees’ day-to-day behaviors. Thus, the present study proposes that employees who are continuously faced with a supervisor’s hostile verbal and nonverbal behavior might obstruct their willingness to exhibit two different kinds of extra-role behaviors [i.e. organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and voice] because sustained abusive behavior might hinder employees from their tasks and result in disengagement. Abused employees are more likely to disengage from their current tasks, and this is likely to in turn result in lower OCB and voice. Design/methodology/approach The data were collected from a Taiwan mid-sized high-tech manufacturing company. The present study adopted a within-person approach (a daily-basis research design) and collected data from 60 front-line employees over 10 working days. Although all variables were self-rated, common method variance is minor. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to ensure discriminant and convergent validity, and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to test the hypotheses. Findings The results of CFA ensure the measures have discriminant and convergent validity, while the results of HLM analysis showed that work engagement fully mediates the negative relationship between abusive supervision and the two kinds of extra-role behaviors. The bootstrapping results also support the full mediation effect of work engagement. Originality/value The present study used the job demands-resources model to examine how abusive supervision influences employees’ OCB and voice and found that work engagement is one possible mechanism between these two types of extra-role behavior. Specifically, a daily research design discovered that in a given working day, once a leader exhibits abusive supervision behavior, compared with any given day without abusive behaviors, employees will find it difficult to focus on their current tasks (i.e. through exhibiting decreased work engagement), which will in turn influence their willingness to exhibit OCB and voice on that particular day. Thus, both researchers and managers should focus on the daily interactions between leaders and employees because it is impossible to achieve organization success in one day, but rather such success is the aggregate result of both leaders’ and employees’ daily efforts.
 
Purpose Prior research has suggested that abusive supervision has negative impacts on various work outcomes. However, little attention has been paid to the relationship between abusive supervision and employees’ safety behaviour. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to address these limitations by developing and testing a theoretically based conceptual model that explicitly considers the underlying mechanism and boundary condition of the relationship between abusive supervision and safety behaviour of underground coal miners in China. Design/methodology/approach At Time 1, the authors conducted a survey of 630 employees to assess their supervisors’ abusive leadership behaviours, their own power distance beliefs and their self-reflection. At Time 2, the authros sent questionnaires to the leaders and invited them to evaluate employees’ safety behaviour in the workplace. After cleaning the survey data, the authors tested our model using a multi-level analysis on a sample ( n = 458) of underground miners across 96 coal mining sites in China. Findings The authors propose that abusive supervision decreases employees’ safety compliance/participation by reducing reflection but strengthening rumination. The authors further find that the linkage from abusive supervision to reflection/rumination to safety compliance/participation is affected by power distance. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, This is one of the first empirical studies to investigate the mediating effects of a deep cognitive processing variable – namely, self-reflection – and the moderating effects of power distance on the relationship between abusive supervision and safety behaviour.
 
Purpose In recent years, the phenomena of “accelerating” and “jumping” during the international expansion of Chinese enterprises have attracted a lot of attention from scholars. However, while a CEO’s career horizon can significantly affect his or her enterprise’s strategic decision-making, few studies have explored the role of CEO career horizon in terms of “accelerating” and “jumping” internationalization. Design/methodology/approach Based on a sample of China’s A-share listed manufacturing companies from 2008 to 2017, this study explores the impact of CEO career horizon on the internationalization pace and international rhythm of enterprises. Findings First, the shorter the CEO’s career horizon, the more likely the CEO can avoid risky strategic decisions, which ultimately causes a negative relationship between CEO career horizon and the internationalization pace and rhythm of the enterprise. Second, for larger and older boards of directors, there is a more negative impact of the CEO’s short-term career horizon on the internationalization pace and internationalization rhythm of the company. However, given a larger proportion of female directors and non-executive directors, the CEO’s short-term career horizon has a weaker negative impact on international pace and the rhythm of internationalization. Originality/value First, based on upper echelon theory, this study interprets the influence of CEO career horizon on the time dimension of corporate internationalization (including internationalization pace and international rhythm), deepening the theory’s explanatory power. Second, by clarifying the important predictive effect of CEO career horizon on internationalization pace and international rhythm, this research enriches extant research on both variables’ antecedents, as well as that on the influence of CEO career horizon. Finally, by introducing the regulatory role of the board’s supervisory ability, this study clarifies the boundary conditions for the influence of the CEO’s career horizon on international pace and rhythm, and it expands the literature on how CEOs and boards of directors can influence corporate strategic decisions during the internationalization process.
 
Purpose This study aims to analyze the subsequent investment success of EMNCs after their strategic asset-seeking foreign direct investments (FDIs), while internationalization trajectories of multinational corporations from emerging economies (EMNCs) have been extensively studied, Post-internationalization investment success of EMNCs is defined as extensive technological knowledge access and transfer for knowledge combination. This paper focuses on EMNC explicit knowledge access and transfer. Design/methodology/approach This study analyzes US patents granted between 2000 and 2014 to leading innovation-oriented EMNCs from China and India as well as to their key competitors from mature industrialized countries (MMNCs). Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test is used to compare the explicit technological knowledge access and transfer patterns of EMNCs and MMNCs. With MMNCs as the benchmark, the comparison allows to imply the patterns and extent of technological knowledge access and transfer of EMNCs. Findings While subsidiary reverse knowledge transfer is largely missing, EMNCs adopt a parent-centric approach in which the parent directly accesses and transfers explicit knowledge from the external environment of host locations. In doing so, EMNCs at least partially achieve the knowledge access and transfer goals of strategic asset-seeking FDIs. Originality/value This study contributes to an in-depth understanding of EMNCs by empirically testing key predictions in extant EMNC literature, namely, the strategic asset-seeking in host locations and the systematic integration of accessed knowledge and resources with home country activities. This study also pioneers the use of the US patent and citation data to empirically study EMNCs.
 
Purpose – This study aims to explore the mutual relation of corporate accidents, stock market responses, and media coverage. Design/methodology/approach – This paper empirically investigated 119 listed firms' accidents during the 2005-2012 period using the methods of event study, correlation analysis, and multiple regressions. Findings – The stock market response and media response are independent with each other in the following 30 days after accidents. Corporate accidents have significant negative effects on the stock market responses. As time goes by, the market reaction tapers off. In a mediate term period, accident onset has significantly positive effect and firm's ownership has weakly positive effect in addition to factors of asset and number of shareholders. Originality/value – This paper first examines the interrelationships among accidents, media coverage, and stock market responses. It is part of the corporate social responsibility to avoid or reduce the stakeholders' nervous behaviors in times of accident. Hence, accident-stricken firms should release sufficient and transparent information to shareholders so that they can trade the share more rationally.
 
Top-cited authors
Le Ba Phong
  • Hanoi University of Industry
Mark Hwang
  • Central Michigan University
Cheng-Liang Yang
  • Tatung University
Shou Qing Wang
  • Tsinghua University
Helmut Kasper
  • Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien