Chinese-ness legacy? A study of ethnic chinese entrepreneur-controlled banks in Malaysia

Koh, Eric Hsieng Yang (2018) Chinese-ness legacy? A study of ethnic chinese entrepreneur-controlled banks in Malaysia. International Journal of China Studies, 9 (1). pp. 49-66. ISSN 2180-3250,

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In pursuing the mammoth Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China is counting on the perceived cultural similarities with the overseas Chinese to promote better bilateral understanding and business flows. This presents unprecedented opportunities but also risks because these communities are not identical. Among the overseas Chinese, Malaysia is unique because of its multiracial context, economic significance and growth prospects. As a start, this paper seeks to understand the risk psyche of ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Malaysia. It examines whether some traditional Chinese values may differentiate the ethnic Chinese entrepreneur-controlled banks compared with institutional-controlled banks. It traces the historical background of ethnic Chinese businesses and draws upon studies regarding family businesses and entrepreneurship, which yield mixed findings on their effectiveness as compared with institutional-controlled businesses. Using discriminant analysis on a survey of 135 risk management professionals, the findings suggest that the entrepreneur-controlled banks differ from the others through lower scores on two elements taken combinatively: (1) proactive awareness of new techniques, and (2) extent of learning in the course of developing their own risk models. These findings provide an empirical basis for some insights into these banks’ risk psyche and enduring success. While such values are beneficial, one may also wish to consider adopting newer and institutionalized approaches to progress further.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya under the Equitable Society Research Cluster (ESRC) research grant RP001C-13SBS
Uncontrolled Keywords: Banks; Competency development; Overseas Chinese; Risk management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 08:41
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2019 08:41

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