Mastering Business in Asia

Mastering Business in Asia
Friends, clients and readers of often ask me how they can better their understanding and mastery of business in Asia.  Although I have lived in Asia for years, constantly read on Asian subjects, travel in the region frequently and often meet and talk with Asian business leaders, government officials and managers throughout the region, the older I get the more I realize the less I know and the more I realize I still need to learn.  From this, I have come increasingly to see that learning is a life long process and something that we all must continue to work at if we are to better understand the forces that swirl in front of us and that ultimately may profit or beggar us.

Because of this, I often have looked for books on Asian business that tried in a more comprehensive and thoughtful manner to examine the crosscurrents and forces that drive and hinder business in Asia.  In this search, I also came to feel that how business was done in Asia was certainly different and that many very talented western businessmen and women with a few very notable exceptions were only seeing part of the puzzle that is business in Asia.  I also came to believe that many of the books written on business failed to focus on Asian business issues and were therefore not useful to those of us interested in this dynamic and growing region.  (Note:  This is not universally true and over the last six years some of the authors we have reviewed here such as Bill Heinecke, Richard C. Koo, Cesar Bacani, Michael Blackman, Lawrence J. Brahm, Dr. Frank Jurgen-Richter and Dinna Dayao among others certainly have written books that both illuminated Asian business subjects and were of considerable interest and use to business professionals.)

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It is in the context of this search that I am extremely excited to note John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd ’s recent issuance of their  Executive MBA – Strategies, Skills, Solutions business book series.  John Wiley & Sons ( ) which was founded in 1807 is the largest publisher of technical and non fiction books worldwide.  John Wiley & Sons ’s core businesses include scientific, technical and medical journals, encyclopedias, books and other online products and services.  It also provides professional and consumer books, subscription services and education materials for undergraduate and graduate students.  John Wiley & Sons has publishing, marketing and distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.  The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
MBA here stands for Mastering Business in Asia.  This is a new series of books written largely by Asians, many of them CEOs, heads of many top consulting companies, leading academics in Asian Universities, etc.  The Mastering Business in Asia series focuses on the key issues facing Asian business today and in the future.  It is written from an Asian business perspective and with real life Asian examples.  The series is also structured to appeal to executives as well as academics which should help to increase its utility and its popularity.

Each chapter opens with an Executive Summary presenting the reader the key issues to be addressed.  Throughout the book are Feature boxes that present memorable quotes from the text, from experts, from related books, famous people, studies and reports, newspapers, useful websites, etc.  There is a section with business tips – short, punchy tips on Asian business that relate directly to the topic being discussed.  Case studies are also used extensively of successful and less successful Asian companies to help illustrate points and add interests.  Charts, graphics and statistics are used frequently to again reinforce the Asian context.  Each chapter ends with a summary or conclusion that includes Action Point/Point of Excellence that the authors want to emphasize.  Finally there is a section at the end of each chapter on References that notes other sources for follow-up and research.

Currently there are four books published in the series which is published in paperback.  The current titles include Strategy for Success in Asia by Andrew Delios and Kulwant Singh, Human Resource Management by Hugh Bucknall and Reiji Ohtaki, Succeeding with the Balanced Scorecard by James Creelman and Naresh Makhijani and Corporate Governance by Peter Wallace and John Zinkin .  In the months ahead we will be looking at each of these in turn but even from only a cursory view, it is obvious that the new series is a tremendous potential addition to executive libraries, MBA study programs and a great addition to libraries throughout the region. 

For more information on the books:

From John Wiley & Sons Website:

Mastering Business in Asia: Human Resource Management
Hugh Bucknall, Reiji Ohtaki
ISBN: 0-470-82113-2

Mastering Business in Asia: Succeeding with the Balanced Scorecard
James Creelman, Naresh Makhijani
ISBN: 0-470-82141-8

Mastering Business in Asia: Leaders and Leadership in Asia
Hewitt Associates
ISBN: 0-470-82142-6

Mastering Business in Asia: Entrepreneurship
Chris Boulton, Patrick Turner
ISBN: 0-470-82138-8

Corporate Governance
Ernst & Young LLP
ISBN: 0-470-82112-4

Strategy for Success in Asia
Andrew Delios, Kulwant Singh
ISBN: 0-470-82137-X

About the Author: Christopher W. Runckel, a former senior US diplomat who served in many counties in Asia, is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Lewis and Clark Law School. He served as Deputy General Counsel of President Gerald Ford’s Presidential Clemency Board. Mr. Runckel is the principal and founder of Runckel & Associates, a Portland, Oregon based consulting company that assists businesses expand business opportunities in Asia.

Until April of 1999, Mr. Runckel was Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy in Beijing, China. Mr. Runckel lived and worked in Thailand for over six years. He was the first permanently assigned U.S. diplomat to return to Vietnam after the Vietnam War. In 1997, he was awarded the U.S. Department of States highest award for service, the Distinguished Honor Award, for his contribution to improving U.S.-Vietnam relations. Mr. Runckel is one of only two non-Ambassadors to receive this award in the 200-year history of the U.S. diplomatic service.

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