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date: 19 February 2020

(p. v) Preface and Acknowledgements

(p. v) Preface and Acknowledgements

The origins of this handbook lay in the observation that growing interest in Asia, both in the field of socio-economics and among practitioners, was not matched with ready availability of up-to-date empirics. In late 2010, we thus approached David Musson of Oxford University Press with a proposal for an edited volume comprising what has become Part I of this handbook. With David’s encouragement, we subsequently widened our scope to the present Oxford Handbook. We would like to express our sincere thanks to David and his team at Oxford University Press for their consequent backing and support.

The result is the present handbook. It comprises thirty chapters produced by thirty leading scholars and ourselves. As it turned out, finding a team of experts who could write the kinds of chapters this handbook calls for was extremely challenging. For Part I chapters, we needed scholars capable of analysing an entire business system, not just individual components such as corporate governance or employment relations. For Part II chapters, we needed scholars capable of exploring individual components of business systems across the entire region, from India to Japan, rather than in one or a handful of economies. We are very fortunate to have been able to assemble such a team. We are also conscious of many distinguished scholars who might also have been included in the list of writers, but whose work nevertheless still permeates many chapters. We would like to thank all of our fellow authors for their willingness to contribute to this endeavour. Clearly the book rests largely on their scholarship.

Essential to this effort has also been the copy-editing provided by John Billingsley. We are very grateful for his tireless work to ensure that each chapter adheres to the same style, has complete references, and in particular, is written in a form accessible to a wide readership. We would also like to thank the librarians at INSEAD's Tanoto library for helping us gain access to all the information we needed, no matter how difficult to obtain. Our earlier experience at INSEAD’s Euro-Asia Centre, now transmuted into the Singapore Campus, and at the Universities of Hong Kong, Manchester, Stanford, and Harvard, laid much-appreciated foundations. Avegail Villaneuva at INSEAD and Leah Chan at the HEAD Foundation Singapore provided editorial assistance of a high order, for which we record our grateful thanks.

Part of the editorial work of this volume happened at the Free University Berlin, where Michael Witt spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 as a Humboldt Fellow. He thanks Gregory Jackson for hosting him and the Humboldt Foundation for its generous financial support. Gordon Redding was kindly supported at the HEAD Foundation, (p. vi) Singapore, while working on this volume. He also benefited greatly from the years of regional excursions with the Wharton International Forum, led by Michael Alexander.

For a topic as large, varied, and complex as the one addressed here, the audacity of the attempt to rein it in can only be partially counterbalanced by years of study, of teaching, and of practical immersion. Crucial in this learning process have been the influences of other scholars, and the editors wish to record their gratitude for the large number of shapers of their thinking. They cannot all be listed, but at least certain key debts are now gratefully acknowledged. For Gordon Redding these are: Peter Berger, the late Max Boisot, Michael Harris Bond, John Child, Derek Pugh, and particularly Richard Whitley. For Michael Witt these are: Henri-Claude de Bettignies, Peter A. Hall, Arie Y. Lewin, Susan J. Pharr, Gordon Redding, and Steven K. Vogel.

Last but not least, we would like to thank our patient families for letting us indulge in this endeavour.

Singapore, 5 February 2013

Michael A. Witt and Gordon Redding