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The Dragon Network: Inside Stories of the Most Successful Chinese Family Businesses

ISBN: 978-1-118-33937-4
272 pages
March 2013
The Dragon Network: Inside Stories of the Most Successful Chinese Family Businesses (1118339371) cover image


What's driving the burgeoning global Chinese family businesses?

Chinese family businesses are the driving force behind Asia's economic prosperity. As the world becomes more global they have had to adapt to the new environment. This timely book draws on an extensive regional survey to reveal the key players and the strategies that will drive their success going forward. The book discusses and analyzes the business life and achievements of some prominent overseas Chinese family businesses in Asia and reveals their life philosophies, their business journey, and their family role in business.

  • Includes analysis regarding how the senior Chinese generations prepare their children to run the business in the future
  • Reveals that flexibility, ability to adapt to changing business environments, and resilience contribute to the success of many overseas Chinese family businesses
  • Offers illustrative examples of successful family businesses from Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, and China

Based in solid research and filled with illustrative examples, The Dragon Network offers an inside look at how family businesses succeed and thrive in Asia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Revealing Fast-Growing Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 1

Assimilation 3

Discrimination 4

Background of the Overseas Chinese Family Business (OCFB) 5

Overseas Chinese Family Businesses in Southeast Asia 6

Overseas Chinese Family Businesses in Other Regions 18

Chapter 2 How Do Chinese Values Support Business Values? 21

The Role of the Family in Chinese Culture 22

Confucian Values 23

Filial Piety 24

Guanxi 25

Characteristics of Chinese Family Businesses 26

Challenges Facing Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 41

Chapter 3 Combining Modern Management and Chinese Traditional Values 45

Family Businesses around the World: An Overview 45

Family Businesses: The Strengths 47

Family Businesses: The Weaknesses 49

Modernizing Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 51

Chapter 4 Anatomy of Conflict Management 67

The Story of Nyonya Meneer 68

The Story of Yeo Hiap Seng (YHS) 73

The Origins of Conflicts in Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 78

Conflict Management 84

Chapter 5 The Succession Conundrums 91

Succession Planning Conundrums 92

Succession in Overseas Chinese Family Businesses: Influence of Confucian Values 96

Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders in Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 100

The Next Generations: Dealing with Challenges 105

Chapter 6 The Role of the Wife in Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 115

Wife as the Balance of the Husband 117

Wife as Complement and Driver 119

Wife as the Secretary 120

Wife as the Most Important Figure Following Her Husband’s Death 121

The Role of a Wife: A Breaker or a Binder? 122

Chapter 7 Leadership Styles of Overseas Chinese Family Businesses 125

From Dictatorship to Democracy 126

Yearning for a Patriarch 131

Chapter 8 The Importance of Social Organization in Chinese Family Businesses 135

Evolution of the Bamboo Network 135

Founder’s Activities for Retirement 141

Chapter 9 Dealing with Risk 147

How Do Chinese Family Businesses Deal with Risk? 148

Risk Attitude among Younger Generations in Chinese Family Businesses 152

Chapter 10 Issues on Sustainability in Family Businesses 155

Phases of Growth in a Family Business 155

Challenges in Maintaining Sustainability 157

Chapter 11 Suggestions for Developing Chinese Family Businesses 169

Implementing Corporate Governance 170

Creating a New Business Paradigm, Strategy, Structure, and System 172

Enhancing Education and Competence for Family Members 174

Recruiting Non-Family Executive Professional Managers 175

Analyzing Corporate Life Cycle 177

Promoting Fair Remuneration and Equal Treatment among Members 178

Influencing with the Right Leadership 179

Reformulating Strategy and Renewing Business 180

Promoting Ethical Behavior 181

Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility 183

Developing Estate Planning 185

Chapter 12 The Future of Overseas Chinese Family Businesses: Toward a More Global Management Style 189

About the Authors 195

Bibliography 197

Index 203

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Author Information

A.B. Susanto serves as Chairman of The Jakarta Consulting Group, a leading management consultant firm in Indonesia. He is also known as one of the foremost family business consultants in Indonesia. Susanto is Dean of the Faculty of Economics at President University in Indonesia. He obtained his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Indonesia and his doctorate degree from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany.

PATRICIA SUSANTO is the current CEO of the The Jakarta Consulting Group. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California in 1999 and continues her studies in psychology and human resources at the University of Indonesia and Griffith University, Australia. For the past ten years, she has taken an active interest in family business studies and research. As part of The Jakarta Consulting Group, Susanto has been involved in developing governance for family business in Indonesia.

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Press Release

February 15, 2013
New Book Reveals Secret Inner Workings of Chinese Family Businesses and Global ‘Guangxi’ Network

Overseas Chinese family businesses have played an important role in the Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines; and in other parts of the world, such as Australia and North America.

Various studies have been conducted to reveal the secrets of successful overseas Chinese family businesses, in terms of personal characteristics, managerial style, and cultural values. In The Dragon Network (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-1183-3937-4; February 2013; US$39.95), these issues are explained with examples from some overseas Chinese family businesses, particularly in some Asian countries.  This book shows how flexibility, ability to adapt to changing business environment and resilience, contribute to the success of many overseas Chinese family businesses.

Written by Dr. A.B. Susanto and Patricia Susanto of The Jakarta Consulting Group, the book features the development of overseas Chinese family businesses, which include:

  • The fast-growing overseas Chinese family businesses in Asia, Europe, and The United States
  • The contribution and influence of Chinese and local values in supporting business values
  • How overseas Chinese family businesses combine modern management practices and Chinese traditional values
  • How overseas Chinese family businesses deal with conflict, particularly among their family members
  • The succession planning and development in overseas Chinese family businesses
  • How overseas Chinese family businesses strive to maintain and develop their businesses for next generations to come

Some familiar Chinese family businesses highlighted in this book are The Hartonos (Indonesia), The Kweks (Singapore), The Kuoks (Malaysia), The Gokongweis (Philippines), The Chearavanonts (Thailand), and many more.

The book offers insightful suggestions for developing Chinese family businesses and integrating Chinese values for entrepreneurs, family business owners and business professionals who are looking to learn the ways the Chinese are doing business.

The Dragon Network is now available for purchase online and at retailers nationwide in both print and all e-book formats. For a list of retailers, visit http://www.wiley.com/buy/9781118339374.


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