English   Danish

2019/2020  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 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 25-06-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
  • 1. Communicate effectively in oral and written forms how the business systems in Asia operate and how they are institutionally embedded
  • 2. Demonstrate the cognitive skills to apply the theory of Variety of Capitalism (VoC) to investigate the role of historical legacies and social and political institutions in determining the business systems.
  • 3. Compare and contrast the business systems across economies in particular liberal market and coordinated market economies.
  • 4. Explain how have the forces of globalization have affected the business systems in Asia
Asian Business Systems: State, Institutions and the Global Economy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Appendices and References will be in addition to the 5 page write up.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
  • The examination is a term paper based on a topic that will be selected  by the students with instructor’s approval
  • The term paper must apply relevant theories, literature and study material to address a clearly stated research question
  • The term paper must be based on an appropriate application of standard rules for quoting and referencing the applied literature and sources.


The written product must be handed in through Digital Exam before the deadline is over. 

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The objective of the course is to introduce institutional aspects of economic processes. The behaviour and performance of a firm are not determined by economic factors alone, broader social and political contexts in which it operates also matter. The course aims to introduce the concept of institutions and their role in determining business structures, environment, and practices which together constitute the national business system.  More specifically, the course will provide a comprehensive understanding of how the political, social and cultural institutions, and the global economic forces interact to determine the structure and dynamics of national business systems. It begins by introducing the literature on institutions and variety of capitalism to students. It will be followed by lectures on different aspects of the national systems including firms’ organisation, financial systems, inter-firm relations, management-employees relationship, industrial relations, human skill development systems, innovation systems and the engagement of multinationals. It will be highlighted how Asian business systems are not only distinctly different from those in the West but also are heterogeneous among themselves and how important it is to understand these systems for any foreign investor to do business in an Asian country.



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. For this blended teaching methods will be employed.

Class room lectures
• Students pre-preparation: Students will be encouraged to come prepared for the classes.
• Classroom lecture will be based on power-point presentation and students will be encouraged to engage in class debates and discussions.

• The class will be divided into two batches
• Each batch of students will be divided further into 10-12 groups
• Each batch/group will have 4 exercise classes.
• Presentations by student groups: In every exercise class selected groups of student groups will make presentations on a particular theme while others will provide feedback

Class assignments

• Three assignments of three pages each will be done by each group and uploaded online for peer reviewing using the ‘Peergrade’ application which will then be supported by classroom feedbacks in the exercise classes.

Teaching evaluation
• The teaching methods will be evaluated twice during the semester: mid semester and at the end of the semester.

Students’ Assessment
• 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 24 hours
Exercises (4*3 hours per group) 12 hours
Preparation (i.e. hours spent for reading, group work, etc.) 73 hours
Quizzes and presentations in the class room 12 hours
Group assignments during the semester 45 hours
Examination term paper 40 hours
Further Information

Please note that this course will be discontinued and will be offered for the last time in autumn 2019. The last exam in the course will be offered in winter 2020/21.

Expected literature

Basic Readings: 


  • Witt, M.A. and Redding G. (2014). (eds) “The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems”.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University ( will be covered substantially)
  • North D.C.(1990) “Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance”. Chapter 1, “An introduction to institutions and institutional change.
  • Hall P.A. and Soskice D.(2001) “Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage” Chapter 1: Introduction


Supplementary Readings:


  • Hasegawa H: and Noronha C.  (2014)  ed. “Asian Business and Management: Theory, Practice and Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Whitley R. (1999) Divergent Capitalisms: The Social Structuring and Change of Business Systems Chapters 1 and 2
  • Cornelia et al. (2013) Bringing Asia into the comparative capitalism perspective Socio-Economic Review (2013) 11.
  • Hall P.A. and Thelen K. (2009) Institutional change in varieties of capitalism, Socio-Economic Review (2009) 7, 7–34.
  • Richard D. and Jackson G. (2007) ´”Towards a more dynamic theory of capitalist variety”. Socio-Economic Review (2007) 5, 149–179


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

Last updated on 25-06-2019