The 21st Century has witnessed Asia’s rapid ascent to economic prosperity. As economic gravity shifts from the Western world to the Asian region, the “tyranny of distance [between states, will be replaced by the prospects of proximity” in transnational economic, scientific, political, technological, and social relationships (Australian Government, 1). Japan and China are the region’s business exchange partners. Therefore both of these countries are under obligation to steer the region through the Asian Century by committing to these relationships and as a result create business networks, boost economic performance, and consequently necessitate the adjustment of business processes and ...view middle of the document...
128). However beyond China, it is posited that in addition to country-specific factors and owing to the fact that most of Asia’s economies are linked to the global economy, the process of restructuring IR systems in the West and Asia in 1980/90s was not coincidental but it was occasioned by competitive pressures in the global labor market (Kuruvilla & Erickson, 2002).
In practice, the IR systems are organized along the following institutions: employees and trade unions, employers and their federations, and the state and its agencies in charge of work place and work community affairs (Bamber & Leggett, 2000). However, it is argued that besides these institutions, as economies strive to attain the Industrialized Market Economies (IMEs) status, the intervening technological, social, and market forces will tend to push the emerging economies’ IR systems (e.g. China) to adopt IRs practices prevailing in the existing IMEs like Japan (p. 2). Nonetheless, the degree of uniformity is to a great extent determined by the transnational political contexts as exemplified by the role of government in determining the types of IR systems that best serves the economic and governance interests of a country (Bamber & Leggett, 2000; Jeong, 2010). The state can influence IRs through the following means: acting as a third-party regulator in employment relations (e.g. by enacting the laws and regulations related to IRs); regulating the labor market (e.g. by establishing labor standards & wage-pricing mechanisms); establishing a welfare state (e.g. by providing for welfare programs and protecting personal and collective work rights); and serve as an a righteous employer and policy maker by ensuring that its employees rights are adequately represented (Jeong, 2010).
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