Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multinationals In Emerging China Should Stick To Their Own Ways Of Managing

18.01.2008
When it comes to breaking into the lucrative Chinese market, foreign multinational retailers should keep largely to their own, time-tested management techniques, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Rather than struggle to adapt to the Chinese cultural environment, firms from the UK and elsewhere are better advised to hone and refine existing managerial and technical expertise, argues Dr Jos Gamble, of Royal Holloway, University of London. A fluent Chinese speaker, he interviewed management and staff in eight Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, as well as key people in the UK and Japan.

His findings also dispel claims that foreign retailers offer only ‘dead-end’ jobs in their Chinese subsidiaries. On the contrary, he says, such organisations can provide workers with significant opportunities to prosper and improve their skills. Rising prosperity and a rapidly commercialising economy have transformed China into the world’s most important emerging market. Multinational retailers have rapidly built up their presence since foreign participation was allowed in 1992.

By conducting case studies of UK and Japanese retailers and their off-shoots in China, Dr Gamble set out to examine how these global organisations transfer management practices and retail concepts to their overseas subsidiaries. In China, the main approach of the Japanese and UK firms was to try to replicate the store procedures, employment relations and customer service standards of their parent company.

For both customer service and people management, this meant that companies often reflected their home country practices, so they were different from each other, as well as from local Chinese norms and practices.

However, the study found that, in some ways, retailers did diverge from practices back at home.

Japanese firms, for instance, took on far more women supervisors in China compared with their stores in Japan. And a UK multinational followed local practice with its use of large numbers of sales staff employed by product suppliers rather than directly by the stores.

Dr Gamble said: “These findings indicate that while it is possible to transfer culturally innovative practices, those that run counter to institutional features - such as the nature of the local labour markets - are much harder to implement.” Japanese companies were more prescriptive and detailed in their way of dealing with customers than the UK-owned stores, which encouraged workers to adapt behaviour they used in everyday life.

Said Dr Gamble: “The Japanese approach to customer service was particularly innovative in the Chinese context. Whilst, initially, local customer response was quite negative, it rapidly achieved acceptance as a form of ‘best practice’.” Most employees believed that their jobs would improve their skills level and employability, contradicting widely held concerns about ‘de-skilling’ of labour in the service sector.

Contrary to expectations, a UK firm examined for the study provided at least as much opportunity in this respect as Japanese companies.

And there were high levels of satisfaction about foreign retailers’ human resource techniques. Even people in apparently menial and ‘dead-end’ jobs, such as checkout staff and warehouse workers, felt that their jobs provided learning opportunities and chances for self-improvement

Dr Gamble said: “Most of the world’s major global retail firms are desperate to grab a slice of the largest and most rapidly growing emerging market. All the evidence suggests that, whilst it may be necessary to adapt to some extent to local conditions, time-tested management practices actually translate well across cultures.”

Danielle Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>