Introduction: The Business of Identity
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This special issue brings together a number of papers that question the popular view of Chinese business and management practices as applied outside China. The papers provide nuanced and holistic ways to understand Chineseness and the Chinese way of doing business. Their approaches challenge some of the claims made by scholars like Hofstede, Hamilton and Reading.
The rise of the Southeast Asian tiger economies in the 1980s and the role of ethnic Chinese businesses therein, as well as the opening up of China from the 1990s onwards have created an impressive build-up of knowledge on Chinese business and management practices. Traditionally, scholars argue that Chinese businesses in Southeast Asia function well because of their values, networks, work ethics and personal relationships (guanxi). More specifically, they include claims that Chinese business leaders prefer to do business with ‘other Chinese’ (either nationally or transnationally) and that the Chinese are more contextual in...