Research snapshots

The New Zealand Asia Institute undertakes research focusing on recent developments in the Asian region and engagement with Asia. The Research Snapshots series presents findings from recent research carried out by NZAI staff and associates in short, accessible summaries.

Chinese multinationals' internationalisation strategies: new realities, new pathways

New realities are reshaping the pathways that Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) take to internationalise, says new research.

Managing sustainability tensions in China-New Zealand business partnerships

Incompatible approaches to managing sustainability have become increasingly visible as businesses pursue international partnerships. 

How SMEs upgrade in emerging market clusters: Taiwan's world-champion bicycle industry.

How do small to medium-sized firms (SMEs) in industry clusters in emerging markets upgrade to higher-value activities?

Religion and "psychological contracts" in Asian business-to-business relationships

Business contracts generally have formal, clear-cut elements but they can also include "psychological contracts".

How China's regulators bend the rules in a principled, productive way

New research** helps solve a puzzle about regulation in China: rigid, restrictive rules are often bent by regulators in practice.

The dark side of trust in global value chains: Taiwan's electronics and IT hardware industries

As global value chains (GVCs) spread wider and finer, innovation gets distributed: instead of innovating alone, firms repeatedly synergise their in-house R&D using knowledge from other firms.

Does the entrepreneurial state crowd out entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship ignites economic growth. But what if, by boldly taking entrepreneurship decisions and risks upon themselves, states inadvertently smothered diverse spontaneous entrepreneurial sparks among ordinary citizens?

Vietnam's entrepreneurship paradox: How can entrepreneurs thrive without political and economic freedom?

If entrepreneurship and democracy go hand in hand, how do we explain Vietnam? 

Adapting country-of-origin positioning to culturally (dis)similar countries: the importance of authenticity

International marketers deliberately play into favourable country stereotypes: Japanese products last; German engineering is high precision; New Zealand and Australia are clean and green, and so on.

Workplace culture in South Korea: traditions and tensions

Like elsewhere in East Asia, in South Korea cohesive and diligent work practices aligned with Confucianism have long shared credit for national economic success, especially in conglomerates like LG. A new study** of employee experiences in smaller companies, though, exposes inter-generational cracks and contradictions. 

Meeting facemask demand: The interdependence of state and private sector institutions in Taiwan's COVID-19 response

New research on Taiwan's facemask production and distribution in 2020 showcases how institutional cooperation within and between state and business enabled its success in fighting COVID-19.

Luxury for Asian brands by artistic association? The role of cultural congruence in the art  infusion effect

Well-established luxury brands often infuse their marketing with art references like pictures of famous paintings to reinforce products' luxury status.

Does “Dutch disease” only afflict labour-intensive resource extraction? A study of Indonesian mining

Named for historic effects of the Netherlands striking gas, “Dutch disease” theory tries to explain the so-called resource curse. 

International relationships and resilience of New Zealand’s SME exporters during Covid-19

In New Zealand 97% of firms have under 20 employees and 12% of the population earn their living directly or indirectly from exporting, increasingly to Asia. 

Opportunities and challenges for the Greater Mekong Subregion: Building a shared vision of “our” river

Originating in the Tibetan Plateau and emptying into the South China Sea, the Mekong River flows through China (Yunnan Province), Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Governing B2B alliances in Taiwan: Management practices that nurture effective relationships

Firms that work together need effective business-to-business (B2B) management practices to govern their alliance.

The Globalisation of K-Pop and K-Beauty:Paradoxical Pressures on Young Korean Women

In a globalising world, feminine beauty ideals are complex,changing – and oppressive.

Political patronage distorts disaster response in Solomon Islands

Most studies of disaster preparedness, response and recovery in Asia and elsewhere are technical.

Buddhist temple communities reduce disaster risk for Auckland’s Thai and Cambodian immigrants

Faith-based institutions bind communities together and offer resilience against disaster. 

Modern Slavery in the Global Value Chains of Multinational Corporations

Modern forms of slavery generate an estimated US$150 billion in illegal profits annually from 40 million victims.

The New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement: government narrative versus business realities

Governments liberalising trade have marshalled rhetorical narratives not only to pave the way but, afterwards, to encourage businesses to take up or “enact” the opportunities created.

Defying economic logic? Why smallholder rice farming remains adaptive in Vietnam

Vietnam's economic transformation since market reforms began in the late 1980s has been celebrated.

How (and when) emotions towards countries and their products shape consumer responses to advertising: a Malaysian study

We often judge a product's quality by our overall stereotype of its country of origin (COO) as a high- or low-quality producer.

Friend Recommendations and Social Media Advertising: Koreans are different from Americans

Advertising can be more effective when it is recommended or shared among friends.

How Chinese firms internationalise through “institutional work”

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging economies often lack resource-based advantages. 

Competition, innovation and new company growth: evidence from NZ 

How do competition and innovation affect the growth of newly-established companies or young ventures?

How demographics and morality shape personalised charitable giving: a new approach from Indonesia

The millions of charities and non-profit organizations vying for individuals’ donated time and money need to know how personal characteristics, especially demographic and psychological (or moral) factors, combine to shape our “pro-social” intentions, or intentions to give.

Advertising to leverage positive emotions and past performance: Evidence from Indonesia and the US

Would you be likely to give to a charity if its advertising played on a negative emotion like sadness or guilt?

Indonesia wants to be self-sufficient in food: can it achieve this goal?

The quest for food self-sufficiency has regained prominence in Indonesia, particularly since 2014. Recent research asks why food self-sufficiency has returned to the policy agenda, what it means for Indonesia’s imports of food, and what it tells us about shifts in Indonesia’s political economy.

Why do firms locate close to others? The influence of institutions on supplier firms

Industrial activity tends to concentrate, or cluster, differently in different countries. Could institutions, in the sense of formal or informal rules that structure behaviour, influence such clustering?

How neighbours influence trade: evidence from Bangladesh

International trade involves forming and sustaining relationships between buyers and sellers across borders. Previous research has established that such relationships may be enhanced by neighbourhood ‘spillover’ effects: having relatively close neighbours who already export to a certain country can help a new firm break into that market.

How customer loyalty programmes can leverage pride and happiness: evidence from Malaysia and Indonesia

Customer loyalty programmes divide into two main types: frequency reward programmes and customer tier programmes. What makes either type of loyalty programme effective?

Organic food as luxury fashion in South Korea

Sales of organic food are growing rapidly, including in Asia. But why do consumers buy organic?  

What are Chinese investors looking for? Insights from two New Zealand acquisitions.

The research suggests that traditional international business theories of Western MNEs’ internationalisation need modifying for enterprises from emerging economies.

Electronic word-of-mouth as a marketing strategy: findings from research in Malaysia

This study examines how readily people both accept (or agree with) and forward (or share) electronic word-of-mouth (EWOM) communications. In particular, the research examined the ways different positive emotions influenced readiness to accept and forward EWOM communications.

Leveraging celebrity endorsement in collaborative online marketing in China

This study examines social media marketing strategies targeting Chinese markets.

How do investors deal with legal uncertainty? Lessons from Indonesia’s oil palm industry

This study examines how investors navigate legal uncertainty in two Indonesian provinces.

What motivates pro-social behaviour? A study of private hospital patients in Indonesia

A study on what motivates pro-social behaviour of Indonesian consumers by Felix Septianto and Bambang Soegianto.

Viral advertising on social media: a study of Chinese and Korean users’ behaviour

Research by Yuri Seo, Xiaozhu Li, Yung Kyun Choi and Sukki Yoon on what makes users more likely to share advertisements on social media platforms.

Marketing and religion in New Zealand's multi-cultural marketplaces

Research by Angela Cruz Yuri Seo and Margo Buchanan-Oliver investigated the commonalities of religions’ impact on consumption practices in multicultural marketplaces.

Disclosure of corporate information and political connections: a study of Chinese firms

Research by Jean Chen, Xinsheng Cheng, Stephen Gong, and Youchao Tan investigated the link between the level of voluntary disclosure and companies’ political connectedness.

Risks and rewards of international capital flows: a study of Malaysia

A recent article shows that Malaysia has reversed its previously cautious position regarding international capital flows and is now locked into a position of international financial openness.

Adding value in the fishing industry

Natasha Hamilton-Hart and Christina Stringer present a collection of research papers that look how participants in global value chains (GVCs) and global production networks (GPNs) capture value in socially and economically beneficial ways.

Neutrality has had many roles in the past. Can it be useful again?

Historian Nicholas Tarling asks what relevance “neutrality” has in current international politics and what might it have in the future.

Vainly trying to end a war: Britain and Vietnam

The prime feature of Britain’s diplomacy in the post-war period was the “special relationship” with the United States, according to research carried out by Nicholas Tarling.

It can pay to customise your website to the culture you target: a comparison of Korean and US e-commerce consumers

Research by Dongwoo Ko, Yuri Seo and Sang-Uk Jung has investigated whether and when culturally customised websites are an effective way to influence consumers in their online purchasing decisions.

The ownership and control of corporate assets in Indonesia: persistent family ownership and political links

This research is the first to systematically address the ownership structure of Indonesia’s largest corporations, drawing on an original dataset that identifies the ultimate owners of Indonesia’s 200 largest publicly listed corporations as well as data on unlisted firms.

Doing business in challenging contexts: trust and partnerships

Based on a study of NZ companies in China, the researchers draw conclusions about the effects of different types of trust between business partners.

Strategies to boost innovation performance: a study of New Zealand SMEs

A study of NZ small and medium-sized enterprises examines their strategies to increase innovation, with a focus on different combinations of training and collaboration.