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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12706||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Business Horizons, , Volume 56, Issue 4, July–August 2013, Pages 443-451
Identifying the unique U.S. state-level factors that more often give rise to Chinese firm-led investment is the central focus of this article. Looking at Chinese investment in the United States between 2007 and 2011, this article (1) explores the determinants underlying the locational choices of Chinese firms, (2) seeks to understand why some U.S. states receive relatively greater amounts of investment from China, (3) assesses whether prior trends are likely to continue into the future; and—perhaps most importantly—(4) seeks to identify what (if anything) the state of Indiana can do to better position itself to capture greater amounts of Chinese investment moving forward. We recommend the following actions for the state of Indiana: (1) firm targeting—Indiana is a prime FDI target for private, firm-led, greenfield investment; (2) differentiation— Indiana has distinct advantages over other locations in the Midwest; (3) promotions—trade missions and overseas office locations are investments, not costs; (4) investments in relationships—cultural sensitivity and friendship make the difference.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
One of the major themes within the analysis is that Chinese firms tend to choose a location based on the extent to which local support structures exist. In other words, Chinese firms choose locations where personal relationships and industry-specific supports are in place and can be leveraged to the firms’ benefit. When entering a new market, the inexperienced Chinese firm is often insecure about the extent to which the firm's capabilities alone will allow it to achieve a favorable outcome. Consequently, the firm relies heavily on local support. Chinese firms are perhaps less likely than Western MNCs to make the mistake of presuming they know a local market sufficiently well enough to directly manage a facility overseas. Instead, Chinese firms seek out local management and labor resources to help ease the transition and reduce the riskiness of the investment (Khanna & Palepu, 2006). In many ways, we can interpret instances of Chinese firm investment in the United States as a voyage into what legendary Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu referred to as a “ground of intersecting highways.” This was among the nine possible strategic situations Sun Tzu claimed generals would confront during their military careers. Sun Tzu claimed such a ground “forms the key to [at least] three contiguous states, so that he who occupies it first has most of the empire at his command.” He also offered military leaders confronted with such a situation some unequivocal advice: “Join hands with your allies” (Giles, 1910). For Chinese firms, the United States may be perceived as extremely unfamiliar terrain with numerous, often multidimensional complexities, such as odd regulatory nuances and industry-level competitive dynamics; all of this lends itself to alliance building and networking. Location choice is likely viewed as necessary for the imperative of building alliances. Indeed, firms often benefit from seeking viable support structures when conditions are unfavorable or uncertain. Private firms, unlike their government counterparts, tend to have much at stake when it comes to the outcome derived from an investment. With this in mind, the picture becomes clearer: before investing in the United States and thus putting the firm on a ‘ground of intersecting highways,’ the private firm will tend to form alliances. This may mean joint venture partnerships; it may also mean gathering advanced intelligence on a site location from those with whom the firm's management has guanxi. However, the observed tendency seems to be that alliance building is an almost essential first step in a private firm's decision to invest in any locational setting in the United States. In those instances when the situation is even less certain and even less familiar (which is typically the case when an investment is of the greenfield variety), private firms tend to hedge the risk by seeking out locations where industry-specific supports (i.e., industry clusters) are in place. This is a means of reducing the risk of the venture. Nanshan Aluminum appears to have done exactly this by locating near Alcoa Extrusions. Thus, there is a sort of implicit alliance building, an alliance with the industry composition of the location itself. Indeed, a location with extensive preexisting supports and supplier relationships undoubtedly helps reduce the strategic risks inherent in a greenfield project. Private Chinese firms are not unlike countless other MNCs in this regard. Until recently, a Chinese firm manager would simply call a former classmate or business contact and obtain an assessment of conditions on the ground in lieu of unbiased research and consultants. The information on which the investment decision was ultimately based first involved an intricate networking process that may at times appear inconsistent with the standards of Western MNCs. More often now, large Chinese firms will hire independent consultants to evaluate state locations in addition to evaluations retrieved from guanxi connections. Thus, breaking into a new market or expanding beyond a given market's geography presents both new challenges and new opportunities for private Chinese firms. Success or failure in such situations depends on the firm's management of the inherent risks and potential rewards these activities involve. In Chinese society, these risks are managed largely through the assistance of an individual's guanxi network. Moreover, the guanxi network serves as the primary way to mitigate information failures and ensure the firm has aligned itself with trustworthy partners who are ‘on the ground’ prior to deploying resources in a new (and potentially unfamiliar) locale. For Chinese firms placing themselves on the strategically complex ground of intersecting highways wherein both strategic benefits and competitive challenges may await, it seems the tendency is to heed Sun Tzu's advice: consolidate alliances and build relationships. When the presence of trusted colleagues ‘on the ground’ may not be enough, firms look for location-specific characteristics with which to align as industry clustering may help limit the potential risks of a new venture investment. In summation, our analysis leads to a highly rational firm-centric interpretation of the observed tendencies of Chinese firm investment in the United States. However, it is nonetheless an explanation firmly entrenched in the nuances of Chinese culture and traditions. One of the biggest issues for small- and medium-sized Chinese firms is they lack clear, well-defined, rational business plans because their owners do not know how to form them. Dennis Kelley and Pacific World Trade have helped many Chinese firms outline their business plans because of owners’ inability to create meaningful and workable plans. With this in mind, we have several recommendations for the state of Indiana. 3.1. Firm targeting: Indiana is a prime FDI target for private firm-led greenfield investment In recent years, Indiana has benefitted from projects involving Chinese firms. Due to its strong agglomeration (i.e., clustering) advantage in manufacturing, particularly in the automotive industry, as well as its track record in realizing investments deriving from Chinese firms, Indiana is uniquely positioned to begin building momentum by playing up its core strengths, albeit with a careful eye toward the most receptive firm audience: Chinese private investors, particularly those with greenfield aspirations. Indiana's centralized location and strong transportation capabilities also bode well in efforts aimed at recruiting private Chinese firms. Additionally, the state's distribution, warehousing, and logistics cluster will likely continue to spur interest from Chinese firms for much of the foreseeable future. 3.2. Differentiate: Indiana has distinct advantages over other locations in the Midwest When dealing directly with prospective Chinese firms, special care must be taken to develop a messaging strategy clearly conveying Indiana's unique position within the Midwest as the preeminent distribution, warehousing, and logistics power in terms of a strong industry cluster supporting firms’ greenfield prospects. Once this competitive advantage has been clearly pronounced, it is important to note the state's unique fiscal position and transportation capabilities. These are advantages Indiana offers relative to other states. 3.3. Promote: Trade missions and overseas office locations are investments, not costs In the spirit of relationship building and promoting the state's vital economic interests, there are few activities more important than overseas trade missions provided they are properly organized and conducted. Any visit by a state executive, such as the governor or lieutenant governor, helps the state signal its intention to broaden and strengthen an existing relationship. State executive-led trade missions are perhaps the most visible component of a state's FDI promotions toolkit, along with overseas trade offices, translators, and region/area experts; such activities may support the realization of positive investment outcomes. During his time in office, Governor Mitch Daniels led two distinct trade missions to China and was active in traveling abroad on behalf of the state elsewhere, particularly in Asia. He often traveled with as many as 80 individuals drawn from academia, business, and civic organizations. Also essential to recruiting FDI is the accompaniment of these state executive-led missions by Indiana city officials (or city missions) as is attending investment seminars and exhibitions sponsored by Chinese provinces and cities. 3.4. Invest in relationships: Cultural sensitivity and friendships make the difference Beyond the actual leadership visits, however, the importance of the frequency and extent of the activity levels that follow cannot be understated; this is where guanxi relationships are initiated and sustained. The meetings following the initiation of new relationships offer the vehicle by which the state begins to understand the needs of its key firm target segments. Such understanding does not crystallize overnight; rather, it is the result of sustained activity on multiple fronts: political, cultural, and economic (i.e., business). In 2006, in what has been referred to as an ‘unexplainable’ turn of events, Honda turned down more lucrative incentives in both Ohio and Wisconsin, instead opting to build its new $550 million automotive plant—its sixth location in North America—in the small town of Greensburg, Indiana (WTHR, 2006). Initial reports indicated Wisconsin had offered substantial tax incentives, while Ohio offered Honda even greater scalability considering it was home to two other Honda facilities. However, the decision was not solely informed by incentives. As Honda executives noted, Indiana won out largely due to the sheer enthusiasm exhibited by Greensburg residents. The community engaged in an ambitious letter-writing campaign targeting members of the Honda Board of Directors and sent a photo portraying 100 Greensburg residents gathered in formation of a giant letter H. A top executive with Honda North America, Koichi Kondo, helped explain the unprecedented decision: “It's the first time we’ve ever seen this kind of display from an American community.” In many ways, the Honda deal may signify that the boldness with which a state (and a community) pursues a potential investment can, in some cases, offset the potential incentives offered at another location. However, enthusiasm alone is unlikely to be sufficient. The most basic steps in the FDI process with China are these: (1) forming and sustaining relationships, (2) employing effective means to recruit companies to visit Indiana, and (3) the ability to negotiate and close the investment project. Indiana has an average performance in the first step. For the second step of recruitment (on-the-ground, in-China recruiting), Indiana is behind other states. Step number three comprises the largest obstacle as Indiana today has no one at the state level who is knowledgeable about or experienced in negotiating with the Chinese. There should be no illusions of immediate gratification here; the hearty relationships with Chinese businesspeople that ultimately give rise to major investment outcomes typically do not spring to life overnight. Rather, such relationships must be nurtured carefully and over a long period of time. Before Indiana officials set foot on mainland China, however, they would be well advised to set aside time to carefully study the nuances of Chinese culture. Chinese culture does not equate to ‘Asian’ culture, nor does it resemble Japanese culture in any remarkable way. China is a very large country with a proud (and extensive) history. Taking the time to better understand someone's background helps lay the groundwork for a future friendship. This is the necessary prep work for guanxi. And it is among the lowest-risk, highest-reward investments Indiana can make as part of a more ambitious China strategy.