Research Paper Series

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Year RPS # Title Author/s
2004 2004-008 (BP) RETURN ON RELATIONSHIP: KEY TO MANAGING ALLIANCES Peter Hwang & Jens Lauschke

A growing number of companies have recognized the strategic importance of building alliances. It is no secret that companies, which excel in managing relationships stand to reap significant advantages. In Brazil, first-tier suppliers not only finish the production of integrated modules, but also are responsible for assembling the modules into complete vehicles for Volkswagen. VW essentially produces cars without employing a single assembly line worker. Moreover, it takes ownership and pays for the components only when a vehicle passes final quality inspection.

2004 2004-007 (BP) TRUST IN THE SHADOW OF THE FUTURE Peter Hwang & Jens Joerg Lauschke

This study tests the idea that different configurations of trustworthiness and the shadow of the future will evoke different perceptions of apprehension and temptation, which in turn influence payoff incentives on cooperation. We first propose that trustworthiness and the shadow of the future give rise to apprehension and temptation, which define the relational context. We further propose that the effectiveness of payoff incentives on cooperation is contingent upon the relational context. To test these propositions, we examined eight different payoff variations under four different relational contexts. The eight payoff variations represent different combinations of the payoff incentives: greed, fear and benefit. The four relational contexts consist of different configurations of apprehension and temptation. Results generally support the hypotheses. First, we find that apprehension and temptation are shaped by trust and the shadow of the future. Second, we find that reducing greed is more effective in motivating cooperation than reducing fear, when temptation is stronger than apprehension. The reverse is true when apprehension is stronger than temptation. It is trust in the shadow of the future rather than each alone that sets the relational context for cooperation, thereby affecting the strength of payoff incentives.
 
Keywords: Trust, Time Horizon, Cooperation, Context, Apprehension, Temptation

2004 2004-006 (DS) GLOBAL SUPPLY MANAGEMENT: THE FREE-MARKET APPROACH TO ELECTRONIC SOURCING Ruey-Lin Hsiao

This paper reports a new pattern of strategic sourcing known as GSM (Global Supply Management). Based on an intensive fieldwork, this study provides an in-depth documentation of the e-sourcing (electronic sourcing) practice employed by FreeMarkets (Asia). The case study explains how technology can facilitate this new method of strategic sourcing, and describes in detail the processes involved in the sourcing practice. A detail description of GSM, an end-to-end electronic sourcing model, is elaborated with reference to the sourcing process, spend visibility, the integrity of market-making activities, online negotiation, the supply intelligence network, and knowledge transfer.

2004 2004-005 (DS) LEARNING OUTCOME IN TECHNOLOGY MEDIATED INSTRUCTION: A COGNITIVE PERSPECTIVE Ruey-Lin Hsiao

How do we know whether TML (Technology-Mediated Learning) produce effective learning outcome? The existing literature has examined this issue chiefly by making comparison of classroom-based learning with technology-mediated learning. Less attention is paid to the interplay of technology, instructional methods, learners’ psychological learning processes, in a given learning context within which learners’ practice is based. This article proposes a cognitive model for analyzing TML (Technology Mediated Learning) outcome and suggests an alternative framework to examine the outcome of technology-mediated learning. A key implication is that the design of TML needs to be guided by a theoretical view of cognitive learning process, an appreciation of learning context, and a re-reconsideration of learning outcome (as learned capabilities rather than learner satisfaction). Otherwise, although advanced learning technologies are employed to enable innovative instructional design, they may only produce minimal impact on learning outcome. Theoretical and practical implications of this cognitive model are discussed.
 
Keywords: Technology-mediated learning, learning effectiveness, learning context, learning outcome, cognitive learning process

2004 2004-004 (MO) CULTURAL VALUES, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, AND WORK-RELATED OUTCOMES IN TAIWAN Pei-Chuan Wu

This research investigates whether a high performance work system (HPWS) is directly related to work-related outcomes such as job satisfaction, affective commitment, and continuance commitment. It also tests whether individualized measures of two Chinese cultural values (traditionality and modernity) moderate the relationships between HPWS and work-related outcomes. The findings extend previous research by demonstrating that  (1) a high performance work system is positively linked to job satisfaction, affective commitment, and continuance commitment and (2) traditionality moderates both the HPWS – affective commitment and HPWS – continuance commitment linkages.

2004 2004-003 (FA) THE IMPACT OF ASIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS ON ASIAN INSURERS’ PERFORMANCE Renbao Chen, Kie Ann Wong & Hui Ping Yu

Owing to little research has been conducted on the impact of the Asian Financial Crisis on insurance companies in Asia, this paper examines the magnitude to which the Asian Financial Crisis has affected the performance of insurance companies in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. First, trend analyses on stock market performance of life insurers and general insurers reveal that the market performance of insurance industry generally mirrors the sentiment of the overall business environment. In addition, insurers’ market performance is largely correlated with the movement of the relevant country’s exchange rate. Consistent with the impact of the Crisis on each country’s overall economy, we find that Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan insurers are more resilient to the Crisis, Korea and Indonesia insurers exhibit more jittery market performance, but Thailand and Malaysia insurers are most severely affected by the Crisis. However, due to the contagion effect, Singapore insurers are also affected even though it has sound economic fundamentals. Second, the regression results for all countries combined show that the market value, liquidity and return on equity of Asian insurers are more severely affected by the Crisis as compared to their investment and underwriting returns. However, the Crisis does not have a significant impact on their net premiums written, which may be largely attributed to premiums being fixed on a contractual basis for a certain period of time. Furthermore, life insurers are generally more adversely affected by the Crisis than general insurers in terms of their market value and return on equity. Third, the by-country regression results are also consistent with the above conclusions.
 
In view of the deterioration in several performance measures of Asian insurers due to the Asian Financial Crisis, regulators should take on a more proactive supervisory role in monitoring the solvency position of Asian insurers, especially life insurers. In particular, regulations on liquidity, investment and asset-liability management of insurers should be of paramount importance.

2004 2004-002 (FA) LIFE INSURANCE PURCHASES IN CHINA: TRENDS AND DETERMINANTS Renbao Chen, Kie Ann Wong & Fei Li

This study attempts to study historical development of life insurance industry in China. Trend analysis revealed that the China life insurance industry experienced a period of super-high growth during 1982―1986. The sales growth in terms of premium goes up by more than 100 percent annually. From 1987 till now, China insurance industry experienced a high-speed growth with double-digit growth rate.
 
In this study we document the historical and legal development of insurance industry in China. We also present the current situation of China insurance market from various respects: growth of China insurance market, market structure, transformation of sales method, the reform of supervisory control, and recent reforms to further open insurance market. Then we make an international comparison in US, Japan, UK and China regarding of insurance laws. We also investigate the macro-economic and demographic determinants on the quantity demand of life insurance using time series data in China.

2004 2004-001 (MKTG) CULTURE’S CONSEQUENCES ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOR Ah Keng Kau & Kwon Jung

Culture is a powerful force in regulating human behavior. Although many researchers have sought to understand the influence of culture on consumer behavior, most of their attempts were made in a piecemeal basis (i.e. examining effects of certain aspect of culture on a specific aspect of consumer behavior).  Relatively little attempt has been made to develop a general framework of cultural influence on consumer behavior that examines effects of various aspects of culture on various aspects of consumer behaviors at the same time.
 
In this study, conceptual relationships pertaining to cultural effects on consumer behavior are explored based on Hofstede’s (1980) four dimensions of cultural differences. Various aspects of consumer behaviors are identified and linked to each of the four cultural dimensions, and then propositions which relate the cultural dimensions to the consumer behaviors are developed based on the reviews of their relationships.
 
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