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Handbook of Research on Asian Business

Handbook of Research on Asian Business

Elgar original reference

Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung

The rise of Asia as an important region for global business has been widely recognized as one of the most significant economic phenomena in the new millennium. This accessible and comprehensive Handbook brings together state-of-the-art reviews of Asian business in an expansive range of areas including: business organizations; strategic management; marketing; state–business relations; business and development; and business policy issues.

Chapter 8: Marketing Practice ‘Crossvergence’ in Post-crisis Asia

Tim G. Andrews

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, asian economics, business and management, asia business, international business, economics and finance, asian economics


: an illustrative case analysis Tim G. Andrews INTRODUCTION This chapter draws together a stream of research detailing the emergence of ‘crossvergent’ strategic marketing practices within the Southeast Asian subsidiaries of a host of Western-headquartered multinational corporations (MNCs). In addition to the initial havoc wrought on local corporate balance sheets, the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis was to trigger the imposition of a series of convergence programmes from Western corporations anxious to ‘rein in’ the traditionally high levels of autonomy afforded to their hitherto successful local subsidiaries. However, such attempts to try and harmonize indigenous marketing methods in line with core corporate norms and values were met by an often hostile spate of divergent counter-implementation measures undertaken by local management teams, resentful of what they perceived to be unwarranted Western ‘meddling’ in their domestic affairs. In the ensuing stand-off – for as long as 18 months in certain cases (for example Andrews and Chompusri, 2001) – corporate envoys and incumbent expatriate executives gradually came to acknowledge the importance of local business mores, and practices and the contextual rationale that underpin them. The ethnic Chinese ties and long-held business values that cross-weave much of the regional customer base led a substantial number of MNCs to re-evaluate their initial change programmes, blending headquarters-oriented marketing ideology synergistically with the more sales-based Asian approach. Using the term ‘crossvergence’ to depict this fusion of marketing approaches stems from the underpinning work values on which both UK corporate and Thai subsidiary approaches to marketing strategy were held to...

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