MOR Abstracts

MOR 18.5 Abstracts

A Perspective on the Potential of Chinese Business Schools: A Call for Greater Attention to Context, Differentiation, and Developing an Indigenous Model

ABSTRACT Chinese business schools have made impressive progress in improving their quality, but there is still room for improvement. However, they have improved largely by copying the traditional American model of business education at a time when this model is coming under increasing critique for good reasons, including placing great effort on producing much rigorously conducted research, which makes little practical impact. Thus, having learned much from foreign business schools, the time has come for Chinese business schools to be bold and pursue their own model. Such a model should focus more on research that pays increased attention to context, including indigenous research, and is of greater practical relevance. Furthermore, given ongoing change inside Chinese business schools and in their external environment, it may be easier to make needed changes in China. Regarding teaching, business schools are encouraged to move beyond a focus on teaching content well to teaching content in ways that it can be readily applied; do more to develop understanding of how to leverage modern technologies like AI, big data, internet of things, and digitalization; focus more on adjusting teaching to the local context; and focus more on developing innovation/creativity and analytical ability, rather than memorization of facts.

KEYWORDS business schools, change, China, context, indigenous research

Building Organizations as Communities: A Multicase Study of Community Institutional Logic at Chinese Firms

ABSTRACT The fact that many Chinese business organizations incorporate social function units into their structures as well as social services into their practice has surprisingly received insufficient attention in organization studies. To theorize an organizational model that resembles community building in many aspects, we conduct case studies on this phenomenon and explain it from a new perspective, focusing on community arrangement within organizations. Our study draws on theoretical insights from institutional logic perspectives and builds a new conceptual schema through which to view organizations as communities. In our case studies of five firms in four cities, we find that, despite changes in the larger society, these Chinese firms built and maintained a model for organizations that communities can be embedded in organizations of various scales and in various industries. This community model of organizations offers new theoretical insights into organizations more broadly and has practical implications for improving the quality of employees’ work life.

KEYWORDS community institutional logic, organization form, social function units of firms

Utilizing the Chinese Diaspora by Russian Firms: Capabilities and Legitimacy Implications

ABSTRACT This article examines the impact of foreign diasporas on host country firms. It contributes to diaspora research by focusing on the context of emerging market host countries and the specific case of Chinese diaspora in Russia. Drawing on the concepts of organizational capabilities and organizational legitimacy, we explain how the Chinese diaspora can be beneficial for the competitiveness of Russian firms, and how Russian firms can uniquely leverage these potential benefits through engagement with individual Chinese diasporans and diaspora institutions. Our article adds to the diaspora literature in several ways. First, unlike the majority of past research, which tends to focus on the benefits for the diaspora’s home country, we highlight the potential impact on host country firms, specifically their capabilities and legitimacy at home and abroad. Second, our model can be viewed as a direct response to the many calls in the literature to study the microfoundations of firms’ capabilities. Third, we add to the legitimacy literature by proposing that engagement with a foreign diaspora can help host country firms establish and maintain their legitimacy both at home and on a global scale. Although our framework is informed by the Chinese diaspora in Russia, we discuss its generalizability to other contexts.

KEYWORDS capabilities, China, diaspora, organizational legitimacy, Russia

Strategic Configurations and International Performance of Emerging Economy Multinationals

ABSTRACT This study examines the international performance of emerging economy multinational enterprises (EMNEs) from a strategic configuration perspective. We propose that the strategic patterns of EMNEs that deliver growth and/or profitability are characterized by different configurations of environment, strategy, and managerial resource factors. Therefore, identifying and assessing strategic configurations is key to understanding EMNEs’ international performance. Employing fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, we analyze a multi-sourced dataset of Chinese firms’ outward investment and identify multiple equifinal strategic configurations that are associated with superior international performance in terms of sales growth and/or profitability. These findings inform the development of a taxonomy of EMNEs’ strategic configurations corresponding with three performance groups, namely profitable growth, profitable niche, and poor performers.

KEYWORDS Chinese outward FDI, fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), international growth, profitability, strategic configuration

Networking in Weak Institutions: When Is It Good for Small Business Investment? The Case of Vietnam

ABSTRACT Relationships are widely recognized as key to business success in the form of both informal interpersonal networks and formal organizational relationships. While Chinese personal networks (guanxi) have attracted scholars’ interest, the concept has not been fully investigated or understood in other contexts, especially the Middle East, where personal networks fulfill some of the same roles. The underlying socio-cultural formulae of the distinctive cultural dimensions that influence relationship formation in the Middle East also remain under-explored. This research therefore investigates the dimensions of guanxi-type relationships in the Middle East and introduces a new model integrating these relationships into the existing relationship marketing framework, enabling firms to harness personal networks for organizational gain, in turn generating customer satisfaction and retention. Using empirical data from a survey of 637 hotel guests in 17 countries – drawn from a unique target population of guests introduced to Middle Eastern hotels via personal relationships – we show how guanxi-type relationships influence organizational relationships and improve satisfaction and retention. Our significant contributions to theory and practice include extending a holistic understanding of guanxi, enhancing knowledge of its dimensions in the Middle East, and providing managers with clear evidence for a hybrid system of guanxi-type and organizational relationships.

KEYWORDS guanxi, interpersonal relationships, Middle East, organizational relationships, tourism and hospitality industry

A Transition Perspective for Business School Research and Education in China

ABSTRACT In this perspective article, I draw on transition research that has been developed to account for the transitions in many socio-technical systems within human society, such as energy, water, and food. I argue that many ideas developed in transition research can be applied to the ecosystem of contemporary business schools in China for its transformation. Using the multi-level perspective (MLP) from transition research as an analytic framework, I examine the socio-technical system of business schools in China for understanding the main forces that may shape a potential transition of the sector. I also draw on transition management theory and insights from research on the politics of transitions for important conditions that are required to enable a transition in this specific context.

KEYWORDS Chinese business schools, reform in Chinese higher education, research impact, responsible research, sustainability transition

Unpacking the Impact of OFDI Speed and Rhythm on Innovation Performance: Evidence from Chinese Firms

ABSTRACT In this study, we focus on the temporal behaviors – speed and rhythm – of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by emerging multinational enterprises (EMNEs) and examine the effect of such behaviors on innovation performance. Using a learning perspective, we argue that OFDI speed has an inverted U-shaped effect on EMNEs’ innovation performance, whereas the relationship between the uneven rhythm of OFDI and innovation performance is negative. The results, based on OFDI panel data of 1,092 Chinese firms, support our predictions that a moderate OFDI speed and a more regular pattern of OFDI expansion provide sources of competitiveness and contribute to firms’ innovation performance.

KEYWORDS EMNE, innovation, rhythm, speed, temporal behavior