Asia and its Actors, their Logics and the Challenges

  • Gordon Redding
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Asian Business Series book series (PAMABS)


One of the significant lessons for an executive going into Asia for the first time, and expecting to do business there, is that the region is highly varied, in some ways much more so than most other regions such as Latin America, the Middle East or Europe. It is possible to argue, for example, that Sweden and Italy provide strong contrasts when first observed, but at least they are both products of a shared Christian civilizational heritage, both members of the same political grouping, both operating at a high level of GDP per capita, and both capable of constructing industries and complex firms with a global impact. Much of Europe’s variety is near the surface, and underneath there is much common ground. This is not true of Asia. There the contrasts — on the surface perhaps less obvious than those of Europe — are well below the surface and much more likely to lead to the separating out of different societal formulae. As the famous historian of Chinese science, Joseph Needham, once observed in considering the contrast between China and Japan, the latter is so much closer to Europe and so different from its neighbour that you might just as well tow it away and anchor it off the Isle of Wight.


International Business Complex Adaptive System Home Market Business System Institutionalize Trust 
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© Gordon Redding 2006

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  • Gordon Redding

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