Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation

Edited by Andreas Nölke and Christian May

Over the past few decades, corporations have been neglected in studies of international political economy (IPE). Seeking to demystify them, what they are, how they behave and their goals and constraints, this Handbook introduces the corporation as a unit of analysis for students of IPE. Providing critical discussion of their global and domestic power, and highlighting the ways in which corporations interact with each other and with their socio-political environment, this Handbook presents a thorough and up-to-date overview of the main debates around the role of corporations in the global political economy.
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Chapter 11: Asian business systems

Michael A. Witt

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about the institutional structures of Asian political economies and their impact on the role of the firm in the political economy. After defining key terms, it proceeds with a discussion of the five different types of business systems, or varieties of capitalism, present in the Asia Pacific: (post-)socialist, advanced city, advanced Northeast Asian, emerging Southeast Asian and Japan. It then touches on the question of comparative institutional advantages, before transitioning to a discussion of institutional change, and in particular the agency Asian firms may exert in this context. The chapter argues that the existing institutional structures shape such agency both by influencing the objectives of firms and by encouraging the use of certain generic strategies over alternatives. It closes with a brief summary and suggestions for future research.

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