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Klaus E. Meyer and Yi Wang

Transaction cost economics (TCE) has been extensively applied by international business scholars to analyze joint ventures and strategic alliances. It provides a theoretical basis to analyze how firms organize their transactions with other firms, and hence their choices of governance structures, for example, between JVs and other organizational forms. However, TCE has also been frequently critiqued and empirical findings on some of the constructs derived from TCE find inconsistent results. This chapter critically evaluates the TCE literature on cross-border business activity to evaluate to what extent this empirical literature actually supports or refutes TCE-based arguments, and to provide directions for future research. We identify four major challenges: (1) the level of analysis used to proxy transaction costs, (2) contextual drivers of transaction costs, especially in emerging economies, (3) the theoretical ambiguity of TCE arguments with respect to distance and experience, and (4) the assumption that JVs are a flexible (low-risk) mode of operation. This discussion leads to suggestions on how to design empirical research more consistent with the theory.

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Klaus E. Meyer and Yi Wang

Transaction cost economics (TCE) is probably the most frequently used theoretical foundation for studies of joint ventures (JVs) and strategic alliances (see reviews by Tsang, 2000; Zhao et al., 2004; Tihanyi et al., 2005; Geyskens et al., 2006; Brouthers and Hennart, 2007; Brouthers, 2013). Transaction cost economics addresses the question how firms organize their transactions with other firms, and, consequently, where they draw their organizational boundaries. Transaction cost economics provides a theoretical grounding to analyze the choice of governance structures, for example between JVs and other organizational forms, such as licensing, contracts or wholly owned subsidiaries (WOS). However, despite its parsimony and its popularity, TCE has also been frequently critiqued and is arguably the most misinterpreted theory in international business research (Borys and Jemison, 1989; Zajac and Olsen, 1993; Ghoshal and Moran, 1996). Moreover, empirical findings on some of the constructs derived from TCE find inconsistent results. While many studies support the arguments of TCE, other studies find insignificant or even opposite results (Zhao et al., 2004; Brouthers and Hennart, 2007).

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Yi Pan and Ziyu Wang

The rapid economic growth along with high inequality has changed the principal social contradiction within China, which has been interpreted by the Chinese Communist Party in 2017 as the contradiction between the inadequate development and the ever-growing needs of the people for a better life in this ‘new era’. The response to this contradiction is to complete building a comprehensive welfare system. After presenting the development of the Chinese welfare system marked by four turning points, this chapter addresses the outcomes and problems in the ongoing reform efforts in terms of expanding and integrating social insurances and expanding the social services. The chapter also explores the moderate universalism welfare principle, which guides the current reform, and its historical, political and cultural roots. In the discussion of international social policy, the authors refer to China’s position in building a community with a shared future for humanity against the background of globalization.

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Terry Flew, Xiang Ren and Yi Wang

This chapter on China’s history of policy development around the creative industries shows that China now takes a sophisticated and strongly contemporised view of the potential of both cultural heritage and convergent digital ‘createch’. The chapter is clear about the significance of the adoption, in China’s 13th Five Year Plan (1996–2020), of the digital creative industries as one of the five ‘strategic emerging industries’.

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Jiani Wang, Yi Tan and Manhong Liu

The chapter elaborates on the business angel (BA) market in China, which has developed significantly since its emergence at the end of the 1990s. The increasing numbers of successful cashed-out entrepreneurs emerging from the Internet and high-tech has resulted in the emergence of angel investment. Currently, there are numerous angel groups and matchmaking services that have served to enhance the market. The authors show that the investment behavior of Chinese BAs is very similar to that in western countries, but Chinese BAs are younger, invest more infrequently and lack an understanding of BA investing. The authors also emphasize the need to understand the role of the government in the BA market in improving the regulation and environment of BA investments.

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Jong-Hak Eun, Yi Wang and Guisheng Wu