Second round China Studies seed-funding research grant

Successful applicants

Dr Debbie (Mei-Tai) Chu (Lead CI): Alibaba and Innovation

Research Project Summary

The leading question of this project is how Chinese companies accelerate innovation. Alibaba Group offers a good example as the Chinese ecommerce leader. Their distinctive capabilities to speed up innovation with large scale at low cost in e-business present both threats and opportunities to many mainstream competitors. Building on the literature, this study aims at identifying the relationships in knowledge sharing, service innovation capabilities and the moderating effect of organizational culture in three sites (Alibaba Headquarter, Alibaba Hong Kong and Alibaba Taiwan). Case study and in-depth interviews are used and followed by a conceptual model to signify the research variables and hypotheses. This study is influential to unpack the success of Alibaba Group to rethink or confirm the existing theories and practices of conventional innovation.

A/Professor Emiko Kashima (Lead CI),Professor Shihui Han, Dr Yang Li, Dr Ben Chun Pan Lam and Ms Chantal Vrielink: Existential Concern in Chinese and Australian Cultures: A Cultural Neuroscience Investigation

Research Project Summary

This project investigates the psychological and neural processes through which Chinese and Australian people deal with the issue of mortality. Modern Chinese and Australian attitudes towards death are believed to differ considerably, with Chinese people showing greater fear of death and avoidance of its discussion, which is deeply rooted in Chinese philosophies and tradition. Paradoxically, recent empirical research by psychologists has also shown that Asians tend to reveal lesser psychological reactions to deathreminding stimuli compared to Europeans, and moreover, neuroscience evidence has shown that collectivist worldviews that emphasise interdependence may help Asians to deal with death anxiety efficiently. In this Australia-China collaboration project, researchers aim to shed new light on the neural and psychological processes that mediate the relationship between fear of death and psychological reaction to death reminders from a cultural psychology perspective and by using sophisticated existential neuroscience approach.

A/Professor Chaojie (George) Liu (Lead CI), Dr Stephen Duckett and A/Professor David Legge: Capacity development for the use of case mix metrics for measuring and funding inpatient care in China

Research Project Summary

China face shortfalls in the efficiency of inpatient care and hospital funding generally. The Chinese Government has committed to three pilot projects to explore the use of casemix funding to improve hospital efficiency. A pre-condition for implementing case mix funding is an assessment of institutional preparedness and capacity building to ensure that the approach can be implemented effectively and safely. Our team is familiar with health care in China, has relationships with managers, academics and officials and is also well placed to draw upon Australian expertise in casemix funding. The China Health Economics Research Institute, has invited La Trobe to join the proposed pilot studies, both as a research partner and in the provision of professional development. This initiative will support the development of several research grant applications, directed to evaluating preparedness and planning for necessary capacity building.

Dr Rachel Winterton (Lead CI) and Irene Blackberry: Impacts of rural-urban migration among older adults in China

Research Project Summary

This project contributes to the geographical gerontology literature by exploring the motivations for, and experiences of, rural to urban migration among Chinese seniors. The numbers of rural older adults relocating to urban areas to access care from families, or to care for grandchildren is increasing in China, due to increasing rural-urban service inequity and family migration to cities for employment. However, government regulations relating to household registration (hukou) in China will impact significantly on the ability of older rural-urban migrants to access appropriate health and social care benefits in urban regions. This research explores how these regulations, and the changing nature of family care provision in increasingly modernised Chinese cities, will impact on the health and wellbeing of older rural-urban migrants. These findings will contribute to policy and practice debates on how health and wellbeing can be achieved for an increasing number of older Chinese migrants.

Dr Deborah Gleeson (Lead CI), A/Professor Chaojie (George) Liu and Anne-Maree Farrell: International trade agreements and pharmaceutical policy and regulation in China

Research Project Summary

Building on existing research strengths at La Trobe University and applying them in a new context, this project will investigate the potential implications of two mega-regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region for pharmaceutical policy and regulation in China. A policy analysis study will be undertaken examining potential impacts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement for China’s health system and generic medicines industry. Senior Chinese health policy makers, health service managers and academics will be engaged in exploring the impacts of these trade agreements on China’s health system, and developing methods and baseline measures for future impact assessment through two workshops. Outcomes of this project will be a manuscript submitted to an international journal and a draft proposal for a competitive research grant.