35/2 April 2002
Charles Baden-Fuller Editorial
Managing International Joint Ventures
Our first piece by Peter Buckley, Keith Glaister and Rumy Husan touches on Partnering Skills. These authors provide a valuable checklist of what is needed based on a careful sample of over 20 Anglo-European joint ventures. Their matrix can also be used as a basis for identifying training needs.
Our second piece by Paul Beamish and Ruihua Jiang looks at the mainland Chinese market, one of the most exciting from the perspective of growth. These authors find that there has been a decline in profitability of JVs over the period 1985 to 1999. They identify the causes of the decline (too much entry) and point to factors that joint ventures can apply to stem these adverse influences.
Veronica Hope Hailey and Julia Balogun utilise insights from Glaxo- Wellcome to present a change tool designed for the medium horizon. Using their rich data collected over 8 years, they stress the multidimensionality of the challenge and list the many levers that managers must use. Their story is valuable because we have so few good accounts of successful organisations that are based on careful longitudinal data.
Our last piece by Irena Grugulis and Adrian Wilkinson warns us against the fallacy of looking at organisations too simplistically. Even though there has been decades of research suggesting that organisations are complex, too often Culture and Culture change has been seen as the universal panacea and the British Airways story is used as the exemplar. These authors show that not only is the story over simplified, but that it is too often applied dangerously and out of context. The paper is neat and contains some new and highly pertinent twists.
Managing International Joint Ventures
Peter Buckley, Keith Glaister and Rumy Husan International Joint Ventures: Partnering Skills and Cross-Cultural Issues firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing levels of cooperative activity and escalating globalisation are yielding increasing instances of cross-border alliances, working across inevitable linguistic and other cultural barriers. The skills required to make such enterprises flourish may be beyond those of the mainstream Western competitive paradigm: touching on the Chinese-style guanxi cooperation via business networks, this article looks at an array of skills identified by managers themselves from a sample of 20 Anglo-European JVs to offer new perspectives on the partnering skills needed for success in international joint ventures (IJVs).
Paul Beamish and Ruihua Jiang Investing Profitability in China: Is It Getting Harder? email@example.com
Since China opened up to the outside world in 1979, it has attracted increasing amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI), becoming the second largest recipient of FDI flows in the world after 1993, Meanwhile Japan had become the second largest FDI source country in the world by the mid-1990s, and a major destination for such investment was China, which absorbed one-ninth of all Japanese foreign investments by the end of 1996. But the proportion of Japanese subsidiaries in China which have been profitable has declined - the only part of the world where this has been the case. Why?
Veronica Hope Hailey and Julia Balogun Devising Context Sensitive Approaches to Change: The Example of Glaxo Wellcome
While change is becoming a way of life for both organisations and managers, too often change initiatives have been unsuccessful. As a result, organisations need managers capable of managing change, and a key skill to successful change management is the ability to develop a context sensitive approach, yielding approaches to change that will be effective in the relevant context.
Adrian Wilkinson and Irena Grugulis Managing Culture at British Airways: Hype, Hope and Reality firstname.lastname@example.org
Appearing to offer managers a universal panacea for all ills, and academics a gloriously simple explanatory framework, the notion of ‘cultural change' within organisations continues to excite attention nearly twenty years after the publication of In Search of Excellence. At a stroke "Magic wand" management change turns round unproductive workplaces and transforms reluctant employees into enthusiasts. But such simple stories with their happy endings are the stuff of a child's book of fairy tales: perhaps the reality is more complex.
This issue is available in full on-line at www.ScienceDirect.com