Through a case study of Chinese Family Business Groups (FBGs) in East Asia, this paper examines the relationship between the strategic behaviour exhibited by an organisational form and it's administrative heritage. To do so, we trace the origins of the strategic behaviour which scholars commonly attribute to FBGs to the environmental conditions prevailing during their emergence in the turbulent post-Colonial era of East Asia. We explain how fundamental changes brought about by shifts in the post-Cold war environment of East Asia have confronted FBGs with new opportunities and organising imperatives which their administrative heritages have left them ill-equipped to deal with. In concluding, we explain how the lack of fit between a dominant organisational form and contemporaneous environmental conditions may have significant implications for the organisations themselves and the economies whose landscape's they dominate.

East Asia, administrative heritage, corporate governance, family business groups, path dependence
Firm Behavior (jel D21), Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General (jel L20), Firm Organization and Market Structure: Markets vs. Hierarchies; Vertical Integration; Conglomerates (jel L22), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Copyright 2001, M. Carney, E.R. Gedajlovic, This report in the ERIM Report Series Research in Management is intended as a means to communicate the results of recent research to academic colleagues and other interested parties. All reports are considered as preliminary and subject to possibly major revisions. This applies equally to opinions expressed, theories developed, and data used. Therefore, comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the authors.
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Carney, M, & Gedajlovic, E.R. (2001). Organisational Path-Dependence and Institutional Environment (No. ERS-2001-07-STR). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from