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date: 04 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an overview of the institutional structure of the business system of Malaysia. It explores the role of the state, the financial system, ownership and corporate governance, the internal structure of the firm (management), employment relations, education and skills formation, inter-company relations (networks), and social capital. The article describes how the institutions of the developmental state and liberal market economies were combined and infused with personalized patron–client relationships. The interaction of these institutional spheres has produced a succession of short-lived business groups with weak governance structures and a managerial ethos that provides few incentives to develop sustainable forms of competitive advantage in the international marketplace. This article contributes directly to the business systems and varieties of capitalism literatures and identifies institutional contingencies for comparative and international social science research in general.

Keywords: Malaysia, Asia, business systems, varieties of capitalism, institutions, developmental state, business groups, patron–client relationships

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