Accepted paper:

Get rid of the Chinese father when we face the crisis: an ethnographic study of the transformation of a Chinese family jewelry company in Hong Kong

Author:

Heung-wah Wong (The University of Hong Kong)

Paper short abstract:

This is an ethnographic attempt to understand how a Chinese family jewelry company in Hong Kong (TSL) responded to the financial crisis of 1998.

Paper long abstract:

This is an ethnographic attempt to understand how a Chinese family jewelry company in Hong Kong (TSL) responded to the financial crisis of 1998. The first part of this paper is to outline the corporate history of TSL in which the founder Senior Tse from his lower class background has been overcoming a series of hurdles to build a famous jewelry company in Hong Kong. We shall examine what characterized Senior Tse's entrepreneurship and the underlying cultural logic. The second part shall trace the historical process of how Senior Tse went bankrupt in the 1998 financial crisis and was sent to jail because of his corporate criminal charges. The third part shall describe and analyze how Senior Tse's family members especially his son and daughter-in-law responded and transformed the company from a traditional Chinese firm into a corporation managed by professional managers. We point out that the crucial point of such a transformation lies in a company- sponsored campaign through which the new management team tried to establish a management philosophy to tackle the problems typical of Chinese family business. The final part of this paper will spell out some theoretical implications to scholarly understanding of Chinese family business.

panel P113
Local entrepreneurial responses to global forces: new and alternative enterprise re-configurations in times of crisis and economic hardship (EASA Network for Economic Anthropology)