Purpose – This paper aims to distill from both the Asian “miracle” and the “meltdown” since the Asian crisis, a generic East Asian business model which is changing in the context of globalisation, information communication technology, knowledge-based economy, deregulation and emerging new competition. Design/methodology/approach – The generic business model considers the creative and innovative nature of intellectual capital in a qualitative macroeconomic development model rather than a quantitative or econometric micro-level business modeling for the firm or industry. Diverse and heterogeneous both within the whole of East Asia and distinguished as Northeast and Southeast Asia, the putative generic business model is further differentiated in terms of customised idiosyncratic models in more mature Northeast developmental states in Japan, Korea and Taiwan contrasted with Southeast “captured” developmental states as in Indonesia and Malaysia entrapped by ethnic politics. Findings – City-states Hong Kong and Singapore are exceptional because of their size and resultant globalised states. To each its own may be the conclusion in terms of customised national systems and models, but East Asian ethical and moral dimensions of integrity may generally offer a version moral capitalism of which is suited to global capitalism not of the brute Darwinist kind. In the final analysis, East Asia is increasingly exposed to the global marketplace, competition and globalisation backlash, such that some common denominator comes from DFI and MNCs from multicultural political economy dimensions. Originality/value – The paper presents a putative East Asian business models.
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