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The Rhythm of Strategy: A Corporate Biography of the Salim Group of Indonesia
by Marleen Dieleman
Amsterdam University Press, 2008
Paper: 978-90-5356-033-4 | eISBN: 978-90-485-0104-5
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.43


The Rhythm of Strategy provides a richly documented analysis of the Salim Group, one of the largest family conglomerates in Southeast Asia. Set up by Liem Sioe Liong, a Chinese emigrant, the Salim Group evolved from a small trading venture in colonial Java into one of the largest diversified businesses on the Asian continent. While the Salim Group is generally reluctant to provide information on its strategy to the general public, this volume proposes that the conglomerate’s strategy oscillates between a business model built on connections and a professional model adapted to markets. Dismissing the view that the group is a typical Chinese ethnic firm—in which the cultural values of the founding family influences corporate behavior—The Rhythm of Strategy argues that the group’s strategy made sense in the evolving institutional context of Indonesia, which is characterized by high transaction costs, corruption, political risk, and ample business opportunities to cater to a large and rapidly growing consumer base.

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