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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Asian Business Strategy

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.9 stars
Content Quality: 3.7 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.4 stars
Reviewed: Jan 29, 2006 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The full title of this site is Asian Business Strategy News :: Management and
Marketing in Asia :: Street Intelligence. It is essentially an ezine portal
through which a user can visit several publications by The Asian Pacific
Management Forum, a division of Orient Pacific Research, a market and brand
research firm.

The overall design of the site is to offer entry to the company's publications.
Each publication operates in a typical ezine fashion, with blurbs about stories
followed by links for longer reading. Asian Business Strategy News has quite a
few opinion columnists who usually write about stories from the perspective of
where they are stationed (e.g., the Phillipines or San Francisco). A substantial
amount of the material is Asia/Asians related but another large portion deals
with global business generally without a specfic focus on Asia. All web pages
have ads similar to those found on other content provider and ezine pages. Some
ads provided by Google would not activate.

Another major section of the site leads readers to news stories published by
other entities from around the world. These stories have many different focii,
not just business. One section on the Asian Business Strategy and Street
Intelligence Ezine page ( http://www.apmforum.com/asia-business-strategy.php)
did not work properly.

A third section of the main site connects the user to the Asia Pacific
Management Forum Research Center, which contains articles more tightly targeted
to market and brand research. However, some of the links in this section were
seriously out of date, referring for example to an Article of the Month
(implying currency) that was from 2002.
Learning Goals: The learning goals of this site are not directly comparable to those of sites
intended strictly for academic purposes. This is a news and opinion organization
designed for consumption by the general public and of specfic interest to
businesspeople in Asia and elsewhere. The most consistently available
information for site visitors is current events and interpretation/opinion. The
overarching learning goal is to inform users of business/technology events in
Asia and that affect business in Asia.
Target Student Population: Student populations are coincidental to this site, which is intended for the
general public -- essentially the same audience that would read a newspaper.
Undergraduate and graduate students could benefit from visiting this site,
especially if they are involved in a course about international management,
finance, or marketing.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The materials on the site require high school level reading skills. It's also
useful to have an understanding of basic business concepts in particular domains
of interest (i.e. finance, investment, branding, etc.)
Type of Material: News, information and current events are provided either on the site or linked
out to other sites with an emphasis on Asian business or East-West business.
Some country specific insights on business issues (China, Japan, Thailand, etc.)
Business tips with explanations of why they are important to the cultural
setting and interesting phrases in Asian languages. Country profiles and a
research directory for deeper explorations of particular countries or issues.
Recommended Uses: Supplementary materials on contemporary international business issues in Asian
markets. Potential research resource for international business student
projects.
Technical Requirements: Web browser, internet access.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.7 stars
Strengths: Mostly current and well-focused on business in Asia. Also some emphasis on
cultural differences between Asian people and business methods compared to the
rest of the world. Very timely as Asian countries begin to assume dominant roles
in the world economy. Overall, it's a godo research area for finding more
information on Asian topics.
Concerns: Basically these are magazines targeted to a business audience. Their purpose for
existence is to act as a for-profit entity providing news and opinion in
exchange for ad revenue. There were some organization and out-of-date problems
with the material. It is hard to know what goes with what, though this is a
characteristic of many on-line news services. Much of the material will overlap
with other online or print sources, and some items are simply links to those
sources. The opinion is clearly labeled as such but has not review process to
help students understand whether the advice offered has practical or lasting
value.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: Accessibility of content to a lay audience. Easy journalistic style. "One stop
shop" for information on several important international markets and their
cultures. Good research portal to access information on Asian business issues.
Concerns: Clearly a pro-business development, pro-globalization tenor to all the materials
so the balance of issues may be somewhat skewed. There is also a bit of
redundancy in the information presented.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.4 stars
Strengths: It is a static content web site requiring no interactivity, which makes it easy
and familiar to practically all web users. There is a search option available as
well.
Concerns: Previously mentioned organization concerns -- it is sometimes a bit difficult to
know exactly where to go for a specific kind of information. For instance, some
page links are not always transparent as to the type of content bhind them.

Other Issues and Comments: