Assessing the Impacts of Positive and Negative Externalities Generated by Special Economic Zones in the Southern Mekong Region

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Walsh, John, “Assessing the Impacts of Positive and Negative Externalities Generated by Special Economic Zones in the Southern Mekong Region,” paper presented at the 1st International Conference on The Social and Economic Prospects of the Southern Mekong Sub-Region of Southeast Asia (July 9th-11th, 2014, Ubon Ratchathani University).

Abstract: Industrial estates, one form of special economic zones (SEZs), have been used in Thailand for several decades as a means of concentrating important economic activities in specific areas, thereby leading to decentralization of industry away from Bangkok and concomitant regional development. SEZs generally link places of production with each other and with places of consumption through different aspects of connectivity: hard and soft infrastructure; virtual and telecommunications links; inter-personal and inter-organizational connections. With the assistance of the Asian Highway Network, principally supported by the Asian Development Bank, cross-border connectivity has also been increased, through the various friendship bridges across the River Mekong and prospective connections with Dawei SEZ in southern Myanmar and with those industrial estates in the Cambodian border region and Oknha Mong port at Sihanoukville. As SEZs proliferate throughout the region, therefore, they come to have an impact on more and more communities, which are transformed as both positive and negative externalities are generated within their boundaries. This paper uses a case study approach to identify the different types of externality produced. First, SEZs in the southern Mekong region are identified and classified and then examples of each are provided. Second, the concept of the Triple Bottom Line is used to analyse the various externalities arising from the SEZs. With the impacts noted, the paper then seeks to provide means of mitigating negative externalities while trying to ensure the benefits of positive externalities are distributed equitably.

Pollution Management and Industrial Estates: Perceptions of Residents in the Vicinity of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand

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Announcing: Pinyochatchinda, Supaporn and John Walsh, “Pollution Management and Industrial Estates: Perceptions of Residents in the Vicinity of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand,” Information Management and Business Review, Vol.6, No.1 (February, 2014), pp.42-8, available at: http://ifrnd.org/Research%20Papers/I6(1)5.pdf.

Abstract:

Industrial pollution has become a serious problem in most states and has been tackled by initiatives at the national and transnational levels. However, public opinion is still affected by the events of the past. This situation is explored through the case of Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Thailand,which has been bedeviled by environmental and safety issues since it was opened in 1989. Despite improvements in
management systems, notwithstanding the explosion in 2012 which killed 12 workers in one factory, the
opinions of nearby residents has been badly affected by the memories of the past. This has led to mistrust and suspicion of the industrial estate among those residents and so protests and dissent have been more common. This study employs a quantitative survey of 400 residents living in the vicinity of Map Ta Phut with a view to understanding their perceptions of environmental management on the estate and, hence, some indications of how better flows of information might improve confidence among these important stakeholders. There will need to be more effective long-term methods of dealing with health issues relating to pollution and conveying knowledge about what is being done in order to recapture public trust.
Keywords: Environmental management, industrial estate, residents, Map Ta Phut, Thailand

Kaesong Industrial Complex

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Announcing: Walsh, John, “Kaesong Industrial Complex,” paper presented at the 7th International Conference for Management Cases (Birla Institute for Management, Greater NOIDA: December 5th-6th, 2013). 

Abstract:

The border between North and South Korea is one of the most intensely contested in the world; periodic outbreaks of violence have punctuated the sixty years since the Korean Civil War was calmed by a ceasefire. The increasing inequality across the border, as the South has become a successfully developed capitalist country and the North has regressed into poverty and hunger, acts as a further stimulant to disorder. To reduce tension and promote cooperation, the South Korean government proposed various joint cross-border economic ventures, the most persistent and successful of which has been the Kaesong Industrial Complex, involving Southern capital and knowhow and Northern labour and land. The venture has been successful in terms of employment generation and production volumes but it has been bedeviled by political and managerial problems. Who are the major stakeholders in this case and how should success for them be measured?

Keywords: cross-border ventures, Kaesong Industrial Complex, Korea, stakeholders

Consciousness of Social Responsibility at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and Pollution Management

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Announcing: Pinyochatchinda, Supaporn and John Walsh, “Consciousness of Social Responsibility at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and Pollution Management,” paper presented at the ICGBE International Conference 2013 (First Hotel, Bangkok, June 22-23rd, 2013).

Abstract:

Map Ta Phut is one of Thailand’s largest and most important industrial estates and one that has had a reputation for housing some pollution-producing factories. Although the Thai state has acted to implement various regulations aimed at curbing such pollution, such regulations can only really be successfully enacted when the people involved – employers and employees alike – understand the purpose of such regulation and are willing to internalize the requirements upon them that it implies in their daily practices. Effective pollution control requires compliance at all levels of operation. To investigate the extent to which people have internalized these actions, this research study conducted quantitative research with a sample of 532 respondents (380 employees and 152 executives or managers) in companies located within the industrial estate. Questionnaires were designed with a view to exploring the validity of a pollution management model that incorporates Context, Input, Processes, People, Society, Economy and Technology (CIPPSET). Results indicate that while most companies scored reasonably well for social consciousness of the issues involved, there are variations in the results which are indicative of persistent problems in the estate. These results are explored and discussed and conclusions and recommendations drawn from them.

Keywords: industrial estate, pollution, pollution management, Thailand

Kaesong Industrial Complex

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My case lead for the ICMC Case Study Conference in Greater Noida at the end of November has been accepted. I think this will be the sixth time I have visited (and once the airport was occupied and I had to miss it) (more information is availalbe at: http://www.icmc.org.in). Here is the case summary:

The border between North and South Korea is one of the most intensely contested in the world; periodic outbreaks of violence have punctuated the sixty years since the Korean Civil War was calmed by a ceasefire. The increasing inequality across the border, as the South has become a successfully developed capitalist country and the North has regressed into poverty and hunger, acts as a further stimulant to disorder. To reduce tension and promote cooperation, the South Korean government proposed various joint cross-border economic ventures, the most persistent and successful of which has been the Kaesong Industrial Complex, involving Southern capital and knowhow and Northern labour and land. The venture has been successful in terms of employment generation and production volumes but it has been bedeviled by political and managerial problems. Who are the major stakeholders in this case and how should success for them be measured?

Keywords: cross-border ventures, Kaesong Industrial Complex, Korea, stakeholders

Consciousness of Social Responsibility at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and Pollution Management

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This paper (by Supaporn Pinyochatchinda and myself) has been accepted for presentation at the forthcoming ICGBE to be held in Bangkok in June this year.

Abstract:

Map Ta Phut is one of Thailand’s largest and most important industrial estates and one that has had a reputation for housing some pollution-producing factories. Although the Thai state has acted to implement various regulations aimed at curbing such pollution, such regulations can only really be successfully enacted when the people involved – employers and employees alike – understand the purpose of such regulation and are willing to internalize the requirements upon them that it implies in their daily practices. Effective pollution control requires compliance at all levels of operation. To investigate the extent to which people have internalized these actions, this research study conducted quantitative research with a sample of 532 respondents (380 employees and 152 executives or managers) in companies located within the industrial estate. Questionnaires were designed with a view to exploring the validity of a pollution management model that incorporates Context, Input, Processes, People, Society, Economy and Technology (CIPPSET). Results indicate that while most companies scored reasonably well for social consciousness of the issues involved, there are variations in the results which are indicative of persistent problems in the estate. These results are explored and discussed and conclusions and recommendations drawn from them.

Keywords: industrial estate, pollution, pollution management, Thailand

Supaporn Pinyochatchinda and John Walsh

Review of Alision Wee Siu Hui’s Assembling Gender

Malaysia’s period of rapid economic development was based, in common with a number of other East and Southeast Asian nations, on entry into the factory age. Malaysia was different from Korea and Thailand in that this entry coincided with decolonization and also took place against a background of potential ethnic conflict – conflict which has largely been avoided in a society in which extensive police powers have been evident and in which some elements of democratization withheld from the people.

Read the full review here.