Geographical boundary expansion of professional services offerings in Indo-China

Loh, Eddie Kok-Hong (2015) Geographical boundary expansion of professional services offerings in Indo-China. Singapore Management Journal, 4. pp. 82-106. ISSN 2251-239X


Following on from its intention to innovate, be futures-focused and expand its service footprint, a prominent professional services company has embarked on a plan to increase its presence in other Southeast Asian countries. Geographical expansion into the emerging Myanmar market in addition to expanding the recently opened Cambodian practice is subject to evidence-based feasibility considerations. The push toward expanding geographic presence is complimented by strengthening operations and introducing new risk consulting services into the existing practice in Vietnam.

The study aims to implement a rigorous research framework in investigating the feasibility of this expansion of new services into new markets and existing markets in
Southeast Asia. Two research questions guiding the study are:

• How and to what extent will the proposed expansion of professional services into
Myanmar & Cambodia be feasible and what evidence based recommendations will facilitate its consideration?

• How and to what extent does the re-organisation and structuring of the risk consulting services in Vietnam optimise the business the professional firm’s footprint mitigate threats and promote business performances within the context of work and cultural differences?

In order to investigate these questions, the study recognises that factors other than economic indicators and market metrics are critical considerations. While difficult to measure, the importance of understanding the business practice, cultural diversity and work norms of the sites of interest, are included. As such a pragmatist paradigm is
adopted and a mixed methods action research cycle is designed. The study is informed by the people, process and technology framework.

Secondary data analysis of market metrics in both the new and existing markets reveal that there is significant scope for increased demand and capturing market share despite the high competition.

Quantitative data and analysis using descriptive and correlation statistics reveal that talent, cultural etiquette and the adoption of technology are critical pre-requisites for successful expansion.

Qualitative data and analysis using thematic analysis triangulate the findings from the survey and reveal deeper motives, attitudes and responses from both internal and
external stakeholders. These include an intra-organisational reluctance to participate in the research from stakeholders in an existing site. This refusal to participate reveals that underlying fear of and resistance to change in addition to a non-alignment of norms need to be addressed to avoid obstruction to firm initiatives.

The study concludes by illustrating its limitations and suggestions for further research.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2015 East Asia Institute of Management (EASBTM).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 07:46
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 07:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: change; crisis; culture; development; innovation; governance; organisation
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1504 Commercial Services > 150499 Commercial Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 90 Commercial Services and Tourism > 9001 Financial Services > 900101 Finance Services

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