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Knowledge, Organization, and ManagementBuilding on the Work of Max Boisot$
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John Child and Martin Ihrig

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669165.001.0001

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Analyses of the Chinese System

Analyses of the Chinese System

(p.49) 3 Analyses of the Chinese System
Knowledge, Organization, and Management

John Child

Oxford University Press

This section considers Max Boisot’s analyses of China as a distinctive cultural and institutional system. He applied his information-based framework to the challenge of making sense of China’s economic reform and the business systems emerging from it. Boisot was particularly interested in whether China was converging onto a western market order. His argument was that cultural preferences concerning the level of information codification bear on the choice of economic governance. He concluded that China’s reform programme was giving rise to a distinctive institutional form, that of ‘network capitalism’. Later he recognized that China’s economy had moved closer to a market system, albeit through several forms located in different parts of the I-Space. Also the cultural preference for relatively unstructured communication was now being facilitated by new information technologies. Boisot’s other papers on China explore specific issues such as the changing nature of managerial work and the internationalization of Chinese firms.

Keywords:   China, business systems, convergence, culture, information-space, internationalization of firms, management education, managerial work, modernization, network capitalism

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