International development of Taiwan's information industry: An empirical study on human resource strategy of overseas subsidiaries

Shang-Jyh Liu*, Ti Lun Huang, Quang Hua Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Since the 1980's, personal computers (PC's) and semiconductors have emerged as Taiwan's two leading high-technology industries. As of the 1990's, Taiwan has attained third place among PC manufacturers, and PC's and peripherals have become Taiwan's largest export products. Entrepreneurial small businesses, fierce competition in the local economy, and efficient industrial networking characterize Taiwan's PC industry, with flexible production and shortened time to market. This study investigates the human resource strategies of overseas subsidiaries of Taiwan's information enterprises, primarily the PC production industry. Gaining the comparative advantages of production from foreign resources of labor, materials, and key components are among the prime concerns. Direct access to foreign markets and marketing information constitute that more offices be established abroad. In general, internationalization of Taiwan's PC industry partakes more of a headquarters-controlled style of global management. Overseas subsidiaries are essentially extensions of Taiwan- and manufacturing-based PC enterprises. This study integrates theoretical frameworks of the eclectic paradigm and the integration-responsiveness models and explores four strategic patterns of human resource on the basis of two dimensions: consistency with parent-company policy and local responsiveness of a foreign subsidiary. Statistical measures as well as qualitative analysis reveal that both domestic corporate characteristics and overseas local features significantly influence management policy. While Taiwanese information enterprises are increasingly moving toward global expansion, the majority are at a learning stage in international business development. Internalization of Taiwan's PC industry primarily depends on the manufacturing capability of local headquarters and joint ventures with foreign companies. The manufacturing-based PC industry in Taiwan is moving toward key component production and brand marketing while integrating global resources to compete against established transnational corporations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-310
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1998


  • Eclectic paradigm
  • Human resources
  • Integrationresponsiveness
  • Internationalization
  • PC industry
  • Taiwan

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