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2018/2019  BA-BIBAO2010U  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 BSc in Business, Asian Language and Culture
Course coordinator
  • Aradhna Aggarwal - Department of International Economics, Governance and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 28-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
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 Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 3 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The written product must be handed in through Digital 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?



Description of the 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: 75% 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 25% 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. For presentations and quizzes students may work in groups of upto 5.

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
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is offered in response to your questions and work whenever feasible although please appreciate that there are often time constraints. Please feel free to take full advantage of the ‘office hours’ offered by full-time staff members, although these can never be a substitute for participation in lectures and classes. We also encourage you to ask questions or make comments in class and form self-study groups to secure peer feedback on your work.
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation (i.e. hours spent for reading, group work, etc.) 113 hours
Quizzes and presentations in the class room 12 hours
Examination (home assignment) 45 hours
Further Information

Please note that this course is new and will be offered for the first time in autumn 2019 in the new IBA structure following the IBA programme reform.

Expected literature

Basic Readings: 

  • North D.C.(1990) Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic PerformanceR. Whitley (1999) Divergent Capitalisms: The Social Structuring and Change of Business Systems 
  • Hall P.A. and D. Soskice (2001)Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage
  • Redding G.(2005) The Thick Description and comparison of Societal Syetms of capitalism, JIBS 36


Supplementary Readings:

  • R. Whitley (1999) Divergent Capitalisms: The Social Structuring and Change of Business Systems Chapter 1
  • Hall P.A. and K. Thelen (2009) Institutional change in varieties of capitalism, Socio-Economic Review (2009) 7, 7–34.
  • Harukiyo Hasegawa, Carlos Noronha  (2014)  ed.Asian Business and Management: Theory, Practice and Perspectives ,Palgrave Mcmillan



Please note: these reading materials are only tentative and changes may occur. Final literature lists will be uploaded on LEARN before the course begins. 

Last updated on 28-06-2018