The Right Place - Preview

The drivers of business competitiveness •  53 Liu established Giant at the perfect time so that when it came time to expand and hire additional workers, the company could take advantage of a large pool of motivated and cheap labor. The agriculture boom of the 1950s had run its course, and rural work- ers needed jobs. Taiwanese culture always valued self-sufficiency and hard work. Labor unions were slow to develop, keeping wages low. This has much to do with Taiwanese culture, specifically, Confucianism’s influence on not only Taiwan, but most of East Asia that has ignited entrepreneurship and suppressed labor activism. The theory is that Confucianism’s cultural emphasis on acceptance of authority and reverence of the family has translated to the working environment. “Authority” has come to include company owners and executives, who deserve loyalty. The concept of “Family” now includes co- workers, who strive together to make the business a success, even while sacrificing per- sonal ambition and individual achievement. 85

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