Klaus Meyer

What I have been reading recently

About Me

My Blog new


My Photos




Over the years, I have reviewed a number of scholarly books for various purposes. This page brings together these book reviews. For more leisurely readings click here


Working Across Cultures, by John Hooker, Stanford Business Books, 2003.

John Hooker has set himself the ambitious task to ”prepare Western professionals for otherness of other cultures”. With a solid grounding in cultural anthropology, he aims to provide an intellectual grounding as well as practical advice for managers confronted with cross-cultural management tasks. He largely succeeds. Moreover, his comprehensive treatment of the topic also provides a highly readable overview of the key literature, and thus a starting point for thinking about future directions for research. The book reflects the author’s rich personal experience in a variety of quite different countries, which enables him to connect theoretical lines of reasoning with personal examples and in-depth discussion of selected countries. This interconnectivity of the theoretical and the practical issues are the main strength of the book. (Download full book review)


Rising above Sweatshops: Innovative Approaches to Global Labor Challenges, Edited by Laura Hartman, Denis Arnold and Richard E. Wokutch, New York: Praeger, 2003.

In a world of disaggregated but global supply chains, the responsibility of consumers and upstream distributors for the lower end of their product chain has increasingly captured the minds of the interested public as well as corporate executives. Multinational enterprises are under pressure to increase the labor, health and environmental standards in not only their operations abroad, but in the operations of their suppliers and sub-suppliers.  

Hartman, Arnold and Wokutch present the state of the art of the scholarly debate on international labor issue and provide case studies of companies that have taken innovative initiatives that may serve as best practice for others wishing to raise their labor standards, and thus their corporate reputation. The focus of this book is on actions to be initiated at corporate headquarters, and on global management practices that may amend their conditions faced by those at the bottom of the supply chain. The editors have overall done a great job in bringing together the current state of the debate, and providing ideas and management tools for corporate executives.


Business Restructuring in Asia: Cross-Border M&As in the Crisis Period, by James Zhan and Terutomo Ozawa, 2001.  

This book takes up a hot issue of policy analysis revolving around the behaviour of multinational enterprises: The wave of mergers and acquisitions in the aftermath of the Asian crisis of 1997. The authors set the ambitious objective of documenting the evidence, analysing the causes and outlining the consequences of the sudden surge of M&A.Zhan and Ozawa tackle a region of particular interest, the five countries most affected by the Asian crisis of 1997: Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The total value of cross-border M&A in these countries rose from an annual US$ 7 billion before the crisis to an annual average of US$20 billion during the crisis years 1997 to 1999. This has a profound impact not only on the industrial structure of the host economies but on international business across Southeast Asia. (Download full book review)


Learning from the Asian Tigers. Studies in Technology and Industrial Policy, by Sanjaya Lall, Houndsmills and London: MacMillan Press, and New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

In two widely cited studies, the World Bank (1993, 1994) spelled out its understanding of the role of industrial policy in economic development. The Bank acknowledges a positive role of functional, or market-friendly, interventions in Asia, but sees no evidence of a positive contribution by selective governmental intervention. In his new book, Sanjaya Lall of Oxford University gives a critical assessment of the method of analysis as well as the theoretical foundations of these studies. His response is a formidable challenge not only for the World Bank, but for many development and transition economists in the neoclassical tradition. (Download a full book review)



The Russian Capitalist Experiment: From State-owned Organizations to Entrepreneurships, by Sheila M. Puffer, Daniel J. McCarthy and Alexander I. Naumov, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, USA: E. Elgar, 2000.

Puffer, Naumov and McCarthy report Russian case firms from the perspective of the local top managers, with amble citations. The cases include two firms still in state-ownership, three firms undergoing at least partial privatization, and five newly established entrepreneurial firms. In true longitudinal research, the authors follow the firms over the years, interviewing the same managers every year from 1993 to 1996, some up to 1998. The emerging story tells not only of objective changes in the firm throughout the 1990's, but changing subjective views of managers of both their business and the environment. Initially, interviewees’ assessments do not show a solid understanding of economics, especially the role of financial markets, competition and corporate governance, i.e. the role of shareholders. Moreover, it seems that Russian managers prefer to talk about their plans rather than about hard facts. (Download full book review)


Going Global: Transition from Plan to Market in the World Economy, edited by Padma Desai, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1997.

The transition of the 1990’s in Central and Eastern Europe had to accomplish not only a change of the domestic economic system, but the reintegration into the international economy. Padma Desai presents the first major research project analyzing the interrelationship between the two processes: economic transition and international opening. The study has been conducted under the auspices of the World Institute of Development Economic Research at the United Nations University (UNU/WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland. It is based on individual countries studies, which are brought together and related by a comprehensive discussion of the issues in Desai’s introduction. (Download full book review)



European Union Direct Investment in China: Characteristics, Challenges and Perspectives, by Daniel van den Bulcke, Haiyan Zhang and Maria do Céu Esteves, 2003.  

European businesses have often been scolded for missing the opportunities arising in East Asia. As China began to open to foreign investment in the early 1990s, European businesses seemed more occupied with European integration and the 1992 project. Europeans accounted in 1996 for only 4% of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, though this share has risen to 7.5% by 2000. Motivated by a concern that Europe misses the business opportunities of China, van den Bulcke, Zhang and do Céu Esteves have launched a major research initiative in 1997 to investigate the patterns and characteristics of European FDI in China. They teamed up with local research teams in seven Chinese provinces to collect survey data. The present book reports the results of this research effort, with analysis of both official data and the original survey data. (Download full book review)

Foreign Direct Investment in Central Eastern Europe: Case Studies of Firms in Transition, edited by Saul Estrin, Xavier Richet and Josef C. Brada, Armonk, New York, USA and London, UK: M.E. Sharpe, 2000.

Estrin, Richet and Brada present a major case research project on foreign investment in three transition economies (funded by ACE). The cases follow a common structure to describe the restructuring of acquired firms under new, foreign ownership. They report changes in production, marketing and organizational structure as well as the integration in the investors global organization. These case reports provide a valuable source of inspiration for researchers interested enterprise restructuring in the crucial early years of transition. (Download full book review)



Foreign Direct Investment in Transitinal Economies. A Case Study of China and Poland, By Michael Du Pont, Macmillan Press Ltd, 2000.

Poland and China have been the star performers among the transition economies with the highest macroconomic growth in their respective parts of the world. In both countries, foreign direct investment (FDI) is attributed an important role, yet not as much as in Hungary or Estonia where privatization has been achieved to a large extent by selling state firms to foreign investors. Michael Du Pont provides a comparative perspective on FDI with very rich data on both countries, their policy context, their macroeconomies, and their FDI trends. The core of his study is an empirical study based on interviews with 100 excecutives in each of the two countries focusing on investment motivations, investment climate, and on performance in terms of profitability, technology transfer, export propensity and employment.(Download full book review)

| Home | About Me | Research | Publications | Teaching | My Photos  | Travels |Contact.

This site was last updated 07/22/10

feedback to webmaster

© Klaus Meyer, 2008-2010