The structure of large business group networks in Japan and Taiwan

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration


Maria Papadakis


China, business networks, Public administration, Economics, Business community, Labor relations

Subject Categories

Public Administration


In recent years, scholars have identified the existence of various styles of business networks as one of the major features of capitalism in East Asia. The major purpose of this research is to explain why and how such differences of 'organizational isomorphism' in Japan and Taiwan have developed. Through historical comparison of the development of social networks in Japan and Taiwan, this research argues that as a result of the tension between the scarcity of natural resources, the inequality of access to those resources, and the committed use of those resources by the dominant mode of production technologies, there have been high levels of concern over economic security among the general population in both Taiwan and Japan. Such high levels of concern over economic security result in the need for building network ties. On the other hand, the style of political dominance and state policies, through the creation of various types of social and economic institutions, have played significant roles in the provision of security and therefore, network building. Together, unlike the general culturalists, this dissertation argues that there are rational and structural bases for the formation of different styles of network groups and organizational dynamics in different societies. States, public policy, and related institutions, have been, still are, and will be playing critical roles in defining the styles of social and economic networks, particularly in East Asia. This also suggests that the role of public administration/public policy should be broader than those suggested by traditional arguments based on narrowly and statically defined efficiency criteria. It should include the more fundamental needs of building and maintaining sustainable social institutions, and therefore, appropriate levels of organizational capacity of the state and general citizens.


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