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APJM Special Issue call for papers

Asia Pacific Journal of Management
Special Issue on ‘Indigenous Management Research in Asia’
Guest Editors:
Peter Ping Li, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Kevin Zhou, University of Hong Kong, China Tomoki Sekiguchi, Osaka University, Japan

Submission Deadline: December 1, 2014

It has been long recognized that indigenous research should be helpful, if not essential, for an adequate understanding of any local phenomenon. The indigenous approach is consistent with the repeated calls for contextualizing organization research. Paradoxically, globalization gives rise to a greater need for indigenous research so as to adequately analyze each unique local context in which domestic and multinational firms operate. In particular, given the fact that most of extant theories of management and organization are built upon the cultural values and empirical evidence in the West, it is imperative to conduct indigenous research to likely revise and modify, potentially supplement and enrich, or even supersede and replace the Western theories.

In the context of Asian region, with the region’s long and complex histories as well as its rich and diverse cultures, there are many interesting phenomena that are potentially indigenous to Asia and distinctive from those in the West, including the philosophical, religious, economic, political, social, and intellectual traditions that often shape the organizational patterns and managerial styles in the Asian region. Understanding these phenomena and their influence on firm, manager and employee behavior will benefit from, if not require, the input of the indigenous approach.

However, the challenges of indigenous research are enormous. First, there is little consensus regarding what indigenous research is. Some argue that it qualifies as indigenous research if one studies an indigenous topic, even if Western theories are adopted; others maintain that indigenous research requires certain contextual factors that are indigenous but that the dominant theoretical framework can be borrowed from the West; still others posit that only when an indigenously developed theory is adopted or developed can the research be qualified as indigenous. Second, the above controversy is related to the vision and goal of indigenous research. Is it intended to verify the extant Western theories? Is it designed to modify the extant Western theories? Is it sought to develop new theories with broad geocentric implications to supplement or even supersede the extant Western theories? Third, the above controversies extend to methodological considerations. Do we simply adopt the prevailing methods in the West? Should we develop indigenous methods for indigenous research? We need to address these questions and challenges.

It is worth noting that APJM enjoys the leading position in the indigenous research movement in Asia with almost all the major articles to call for the indigenous research in Asia being published in APJM (e.g., Chen, 2002; Fang, 2010; Li, 2012; Mayer, 2006; Tsui, 2004; White, 2002), so we have the obligation to answer the calls for the indigenous research in Asia. For that purpose, this special issue of APJM seeks to shed light on the above challenges and questions. In this special issue, we seek to explore various approaches and diverse topics concerning indigenous research in Asia. We define indigenous research in a broad sense to encompass context-sensitive and context-specific approaches to a uniquely local phenomenon in Asia, which may have global implications. In other words, if a study is deeply embedded in the Asian context with strong Asian relevance, it can be qualified as an indigenous research in Asia. However, we strongly encourage those studies that adopt a uniquely Asian perspective in contrast to the mainstream perspectives in the West. Hence, we seek manuscripts that report empirical research addressing those phenomena unique to Asia, and particularly those phenomena that defy predictions or explanations by the extant theories derived from the Western contexts. We also welcome theory-building studies that will introduce novel theoretical insights, from a uniquely Asian perspective, into local phenomena that may or may not be unique to Asia. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are welcome. In essence, we encourage creative research designs solidly grounded in the context of Asian cultural traditions. We invite submissions that incorporate or address, but are not limited to, the following approaches:

(1) Indigenization-from-within approach: Contextualizing research and developing the indigenous constructs and models that are distinctive from the prevailing Western ones.
(2) Cross-indigenization geocentric approach: Supplementing and enriching the Western constructs and models with the indigenous constructs and models, with the purpose of developing geocentric (i.e., both emic/local and etic/universal) theories.
(3) Unique methodological issues confronting the indigenous research: Developing and illustrating uniquely indigenous research methods for conducting indigenous research.

Possible topics for empirical analysis could include, but are not limited to, the following:
• The role of informal institutions and their interaction with formal institutions
• The application of Asian traditional philosophical or religious schools, such as Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, and Hinduism, to the contemporary issues of strategic management, organizational structure, strategic alliance, and leadership
• Personalized trust in terms of relationship-specific shared interest, shared value and shared affect rather than the universalistic elements of relationship-free ability, integrity and benevolence
• Paternalistic leadership in a context of generational cultural value differences
• The balance of harmony and conflict among Asian organizations
• The regional differences within the Asian region that affect the Asian organizations
• The changing role of social network in the evolving Asian economic, social, and cultural contexts
• The change role of strategic management and marketing in the evolving Asian economic, social, and cultural context
• The influence and dynamics of family business in Asia
• The strategic implications of the emergence of China and India as the two leading emerging economies in the world for Asian organizations
• The strategic implications of the emergence of some leading firms from China, India, South Korea and other parts of Asia who, as the latecomers to the global competition, have caught up and even leapfrogged the incumbents from the West and also Japan
• The unique challenges the Japanese firms have to confront in the face of the emerging latecomers from other parts of Asia

Questions about the special issue should be directed to Peter Ping Li at

Papers for the special issue should be submitted electronically to APJM Online Submission System at, and identified as submissions to the Indigenous Management Research in Asia special issue. Authors of papers receiving a revise and resubmit decision after the first round of review will be invited to a special session on this topic to share their work at the Asia Academy of Management conference at 2015 in Hong Kong.



Chen, M.J. 2002. Transcending paradox: The Chinese “middle way” perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 19 (2-3): 179-199.

Fang, T. 2010. Asian management research needs more self-confidence: Reflection on Hofstede (2007) and beyond. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 27 (1): 155–170.

Li, P.P. 2012. Toward an integrative framework of indigenous research: The geocentric implications of Yin-Yang Balance. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 29 (4): 849-872.

Meyer, K.E. 2006. Asian management research needs more self-confidence. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23 (2): 119-137.

Tsui, A.S. 2004. Contributing to global management knowledge: A case for high quality indigenous research. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 21 (4): 491-513.

White, S. 2002. Rigor and relevance in Asian management research: Where are we and where can we go? Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 19 (2-3): 287-352.