CHINA: How the Chinese manage to keep it all in the family - PATRIARCHAL MANAGEMENT STYLE EXAMINED.

CHINA: How the Chinese manage to keep it all in the family - PATRIARCHAL MANAGEMENT STYLE EXAMINED. - The patriarchal style offers lessons and competition for the West, writes Robert Heller.

The patriarchal style offers lessons and competition for the West, writes Robert Heller.

If the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo had been accompanied by a similar management event, the host country would certainly have won hands-down, and over every distance: sprint, middle and marathon. But another nation has played a large and unsuspected part in the world's most dynamic economic performance in the century's last decade - that of East Asia, which to 2,000 AD is set to grow by 6.6% annually against only 3% for the industrialised countries.

That nation consists of the Chinese outside China. Throughout the East, expatriate Chinese have been associated with remarkable feats of management-by-bootstrap: elbowing their way into the world economy from most unpromising positions. Backward countries, often isolated islands with tiny home markets, have become serious players in modern businesses like electronics.

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