Asian Business Systems: Institutional Comparison, Clusters, and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Theory

Witt, Michael A., & Gordon Redding (2013). Asian Business Systems: Institutional Comparison, Clusters, and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Theory. Socio-Economic Review, 11, 2, 265-300.

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2017

See all articles by Michael A. Witt

Michael A. Witt

INSEAD; Harvard University, Reischauer Institute

Gordon Redding

INSEAD

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

We present an institutional comparison of 13 major Asian business systems — China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam — with one another and five major Western economies — France, Germany, Sweden, UK, USA. We find five major types of business systems in Asia: (post-)socialist, advanced city, emerging Southeast Asian, advanced Northeast Asian, and Japanese. With the exception of Japan, all Asian forms of capitalism are fundamentally distinct from Western types of capitalism. We conclude that the Varieties of Capitalism dichotomy is not applicable to Asia; that none of the existing major frameworks capture all Asian types of capitalism; and that Asian business systems (except Japan) cannot be understood through categories identified in the West. Our analysis further suggests a need for the field to invest in further research on social capital, culture, informality, and multiplexity.

Keywords: Asia, capitalism, varieties of, social capital, culture, China, Japan

JEL Classification: P1, P2, P50

Suggested Citation

Witt, Michael A. and Redding, Gordon, Asian Business Systems: Institutional Comparison, Clusters, and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Theory (2013). Witt, Michael A., & Gordon Redding (2013). Asian Business Systems: Institutional Comparison, Clusters, and Implications for Varieties of Capitalism and Business Systems Theory. Socio-Economic Review, 11, 2, 265-300.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2104088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2104088

Michael A. Witt (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore, 138676
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.insead.edu/michael-witt/research

Harvard University, Reischauer Institute

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gordon Redding

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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