International -- Readers Report
IBM'S LESSON FOR MANAGERS EVERYWHERE (int'l edition)
Two recent articles, "The best and worst boards" (Special Report, Nov. 25) and "How IBM became a growth company again" (Cover Story, Dec. 9), have provided my executive-management research and teaching archive with some of the best case studies ever.
When the IBM board installed Louis V. Gerstner Jr. as chairman, the company's organizational structure was O.K., and competent managers were on hand. But what was needed was to revert to an older strategy: sell.
At IBM, Mr. Gerstner saw that the route forward depended on creating a lasting relationship with the customer.
Akers Styckebruk, SwedenReturn to top
TAIWAN IS ROOTING OUT ORGANIZED CRIME (int'l edition)
The President of Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui, has made fighting organized crime and corrupt officials one of the priorities of his new administration ("Time to Clean Up," Asian Business, Dec. 9). Indeed, President Lee's very first point in his May 20 inaugural speech was that he intends to "ensure clean and efficient government" and "enhance law and order."
The Ministry of Justice began an unprecedented crackdown on criminal gangs in August, winning high approval ratings from the public. In September, the Cabinet approved the Organized Crime Control Bill mandated by President Lee. Currently fast-tracked for approval by Parliament, it is designed to root out underworld influence in public construction projects as well as help eliminate drug trafficking, smuggling, and blackmail. The bill will keep convicted criminals from holding political office, and it prescribes prison terms of 5 to 10 years for government officials who accept bribes.
As the first democratically elected administration in the history of China, Lee's government has pledged itself to uphold the rights of the individuals while protecting society at large.
Director, Information Division
Taipei Economic & Cultural Office
New YorkReturn to top
COKE DIDN'T INTERFERE WITH THIS STUDY (int'l edition)
In "Coke pours into Asia" (Asian Marketing, Oct. 21), you imply that a study that I did was commissioned by Coca-Cola Co. in order to show strong positive employment-creating effects from Coke's business in China. The study was suggested to me by Coca-Cola, but it was an independent study without any editorial interference from Coca-Cola. The employment effects are one small part of a 60-page study that examines all aspects of the microeconomic impact of the Tianjin Coca-Cola plant.
The growth of foreign direct investment in China is of central importance not only to China but also to the world's largest corporations. The issue will form a key part of the emerging pattern of international relations between China and the advanced economies. Careful empirical studies will, I believe, help to inform debate both in China and the advanced economies.
Cambridge, EnglandReturn to top