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Competitiveness of Asian vis-à-vis Western Firms and Nations:Concepts, Measurements and Explanations

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Asia Business Studies

What is the Special Issue about?

Guested edited by Dr. Associate Professor Chris Baumann, Macquarie University, Australia, and Dr. Professor Wujin Chu, Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea.  The goal of this special issue is to shed light on changing dynamics of Asian competitiveness from both the micro (firm/industry) and macro (nation/institutional) perspective, or indeed a hybrid approach that shows the interplay of micro and macro forces.

The topic of this special issue is significant since published measurements and rankings of competitiveness may not fully capture the true level of competitiveness. East Asia outperforms the West academically, for example, and Korean latecomer brands such as Samsung (electronics), Hyundai and Kia (cars) have now entered the top 100 most valued brands in the world. While parts of Asia have become fiercely competitive, official global competitiveness rankings still generally rank Asia low. Global indexes on competitiveness were designed in a Western context, and this special issue invites work to challenge the traditional understanding of competitiveness to better capture the changed dynamics in Asia.

The special issue is open to a broad array of factors that influence Asian competiveness with a wide array of theoretical/empirical perspectives that may be inter-disciplinary. It is crucial to explore contributing factors such as education and the role of institutions, and other factors may well contribute to changes in competitiveness. Therefore areas such as education, employee motivation, competitiveness, productivity, and performance should be explored and contrasted from an Asian and Western perspective.

Topics of interest

We seek contributions on:
  • Education and competitiveness (see Baumann & Hamin, 2011; Baumann & Winzar, 2014)
  • The role of culture (e.g., Confucianism) in the formation of competitiveness
  • Competitive productivity: attitude and behaviour directed at beating the competition
  • Pros and cons of conglomerate brands (e.g., Mitsubishi, Samsung, Hyundai)
  • The role of family ownership (e.g. chaebols) on investments, risk taking and performance (see Oktaviani, Rooney, McKenna, & Zacher, 2015)
  • Comparison of work ethic across countries (see Baumann, Hamin & Yang, 2015)
  • Development of metrics on competitiveness
  • Biases on the current measurement of competitiveness (e.g., the effect of price level on service productivity measurements)

Proposed Schedule

  • Manuscript submission: 31 July 2016
  • Special issue due to be published: 2017

Submissions Guidance


Baumann, C., & Hamin. (2011). The role of culture, competitiveness and economic performance in explaining academic performance: a global market analysis for international student segmentation. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21(2), 181-201.

Baumann, C., & Winzar, H. (2014). The role of secondary education in explaining competitiveness. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, (ahead-of-print), 1-18.

Baumann, C., Hamin, H., & Seung Jung (SJ) Yang (2015).Work ethic formed by pedagogical approach: an evolution of institutional approach to education and competitiveness in Asia vis-à-vis the West. Asia Pacific Business Review, forthcoming.

Chand, M., & Tung, R. L. (2011). Global competitiveness, consumer choice and ‘country of origin’ effect: An exploratory East–West study. Asia Pacific Business Review, 17(3), 265-280.

Chen, M. (2004). Asian management systems: Chinese, Japanese and Korean styles of business. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Gugler, P., & Chaisse, J. (Eds.). (2010). Competitiveness of the ASEAN countries: Corporate and regulatory drivers. Edward Elgar Publishing.

LaVan, H., & Murphy, P. J. (2007). Southeast Asian culture, human development, and business competitiveness. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 2(1), 14-22.

Oktaviani, F., Rooney, D., McKenna, B., & Zacher, H. (2015). Family, feudalism and selfishness: Looking at Indonesian leadership through a wisdom lens. Leadership, 1742715015574319.

Rowley, C., & Benson, J. (2002). Convergence and divergence in Asian human resource management. California management review, 44(2), 90-109.

Rugman, A. M., & Oh, C. H. (2013). Why the home region matters: location and regional multinationals. British Journal of Management, 24(4), 463-479.

Rugman, A. M., & Hoon Oh, C. (2008). The international competitiveness of Asian firms. Journal of Strategy and Management, 1(1), 57-71.

Tanure, B., & Duarte, R. G. (2005). Leveraging competitiveness upon national cultural traits: the management of people in Brazilian companies. The International Journal of human resource management, 16(12), 2201-2217.

Tung, R. L. (2014). Distinguished Scholar Invited Essay Requisites to and Ways of Developing a Global Mind-Set Implications for Research on Leadership and Organizations. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 21(4), 329-337.

Zailani, S., & Rajagopal, P. (2005). Supply chain integration and performance: US versus East Asian companies. Supply Chain Manage