A Guide to Steer Your Academic Career
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Mike Wright
Chapter 11: Laying the foundations for Asia-focused research through qualitative research
There has been a rapid expansion of research based on Asian samples (Ahlstrom, 2012a; Peng, 2005). However, researchers in Asia have often simply repeated research questions raised in the West, particularly from North America or Europe (Meyer, 2006). For example, Tsui et al. (2004) reviewed over 100 articles published from 2000 to 2003 and concluded that only two attempted to introduce a new theory to explain a Chinese phenomenon. In a more recent review of the literature, Jia et al. (2012) assessed about 300 articles published in eight journals between 1981 and 2010 on China. They only found three new concepts developed in these articles: market transition, network capitalism and guanxi, which described specific, indigenous Chinese phenomena. It should be noted, though, that researchers continue to argue about the validity of guanxi or connections as indigenous to China or East Asia (Chen and Chen, 2012; Mao et al., 2012). Utilizing primarily past work and conducting replications is a suitable approach at times, particularly when a theory is well developed and additional studies with new moderators such as a different cultural setting would help to improve the theory (Ahlstrom et al., 2010; Christensen and Carlile, 2009; Tsang and Kwan, 1999). For example, much research has shown that in the case of social influence, the commonly understood principles of influence and persuasion do work about the same in a variety of cultural settings (Wosinska et al., 2001), though certain influence principles may be more effective (Morris et al., 2001) or preferred (Fu and Yukl, 2000) than others.
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