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2015/2016  BA-BASPO1014U  Asian Business Systems: State, Institutions and the Global Economy

English Title
Asian Business Systems: State, Institutions and the Global Economy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Asian Study Programme
Course coordinator
  • 100%
    Aradhna Aggarwal - Department of International Economics and Management (INT)
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • Management
Last updated on 13-08-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: The objective of the course is to provide the students a comprehensive understanding of the business systems in selected countries of Asia. The learning objectives of the course are:
  • Develop specialised knowledge of the key tenets of business systems in the selected Asian economies; alternative theoretical perspective on the concept of national business systems; dynamics of Asian Business Systems in a global era; and interactions between the state, institutions and globalization and their impact on management and business practices.
  • Demonstrate the cognitive skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise relevant literature on Asian business systems and understand recent developments in these systems; compare and contrast the business systems and reforms therein; and offer critique on the tenets of the theoretical framework through exploratory analysis
  • Apply knowledge and skills to identify opportunities and threats offered by the different Asian business systems; and analyse the business systems in other countries or regions using the knowledge and skills acquired through this course
Asian Business Systems: State, Institutions and the Global Economy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 3 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Students may choose to submit individually (max.10 standard pages) or in groups of three (max.15 standard pages). Students submitting a joint research paper must clearly indicate who has written what sections, as grading are individual

The written product must be handed in through Learn exam folder.
Assignment type Report
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

It begins by introducing them the literature on variety of capitalism to students and explains the theoretical perspectives on business systems as evolved over time starting from the pioneering works of Richard Whitley. It offers an insight on the broad framework of macroeconomics with a focus on macroeconomic actors and their interrelationships and explains how the state, social and cultural institutions, and the global economic forces interact within that framework to determine the structure and dynamics of national business systems. It highlights how Asian business systems are distinctly different from those in the West and, as a consequence, cannot be understood through categories identified in the West. The key focus of this course is on in-depth analysis of business systems and management styles and their dynamics in response to globalization, in four major economies of Asia: Japan, S. Korea, China and India. The comparison is structured around the key dimensions as suggested in the literature. It will also analyse the major features and evolution of business management in South East Asian economies of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines in a comparative analytical framework. Broadly it is  structured as follows:

  1. Understanding the concept of Business Systems: What constitutes a business system? What are different varieties of business systems? How national are the business systems? How are business systems linked with the political economy? How do national and international factors interact to shape business systems? What are different theoretical perspectives on national business systems? Why is the understanding of business systems important for managers?
  2. Introduction to Asian Business systems: How do the Asian business systems differ from those in the Western developed countries? What have been the historical contexts of national business systems in Asia? What are the challenges that these systems have been facing in this era of globalization? How have the forces of globalization affected them? What has been the role of the state in their reforms?   
  3. Basic Characteristics of the business systems in selected Asian countries: Japan, China, South Korea, India, and selected south East countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philipines)
  4. Globalisation and Asian Business systems: Are the business systems converging or diverging in the global era?



Teaching methods
Teaching methods will essentially be based on the concept of active learning with a focus on students' engagement in learning . It will involve the following steps
1. Students pre-preparation: Students will be encouraged to come prepared for the classes.
2. Classroom lecture: 65% of the time will be spent on interactive classroom presentations. These presentations will be based on power-point presentation and students will be encouraged to engage in class debates and discussions. They may be asked direct questions and are expected to respond to them. The rest 35% will involve students' direct participation.
3. Students' activities: Students will be encouraged to contribute to knowledge creation through their participation in the class discussions, weekly quizzes and presentations. Study groups of 4-5 students will be formed for conducting discussions and presentations.
4. The teaching methods will be evaluated twice during the semester: mid semester and final semester.
5. Students' performance will be evaluated through a final examination
Expected literature

Main Reading


M.A. Witt & G. Redding (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems. Oxford, Oxford University Press


Supplementary readings


Asian Business and Management: Theory, Practice and Perspectives Edited by Harukiyo Hasegawa, Carlos Noronha, Palgrave Mcmillan


The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis Edited by Glenn Morgan, John L. Campbell, Colin Crouch, Ove Kaj Pedersen, and Richard Whitley


Any other reading as suggested by the instructor in the class

Last updated on 13-08-2015