The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

Abstract

Between the 1970s and the 1990s, most of the Southeast Asian countries were transformed into industrialized nations internationally recognized for their high-quality products and efficient services. However, by the end of 1997 that much-admired economic success turned into an economic nightmare for all the Asian countries. Within less than a year, from the end of 1996 to the autumn of 1997, the Thai currency exchange rate dropped by 42.8 percent against the US dollar, the South Korean dropped by 50.7 percent, the Malaysian by 33.6 percent and the Singaporean by 16.3 percent. Within a few months the Asian financial and banking system collapsed, inflation rates rocketed, consumer spending plummeted, and investors lost confidence in Asian markets. Consequently many businesses went bankrupt, making their employees redundant. This case study highlights the implications of the crisis for management and employee relations policies and practices in the countries affected.

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