It's Time to Change: How Does Kid-Focused Business Survive and Benefit from Population Ageing?

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:06 PM
Room: Booth 54
Oral Presentation
Chien-Chun TZENG , University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Wen-Hua HSIEH , Central Election Commission, Taiwan Government, Taiwan
Ageing is a dynamic process involving responses at both individual and societal levels. Theoretically, the existence of an organization is a consequence of temporal societal demands. This study asks why and how kid-focused business can survive and benefit from ours ageing society. Particular emphasis is on their strategy in terms of legitimacy and organizational social capital. Japan and Taiwan, with their similarities in filial piety and inter-generational solidarity, can be good cases to study this issue. Various methods, such as in-depth interviews and content analysis of publications and government statistics, are applied to identify the underlying governance structures.

Social innovation across institutional boundaries can be recognized. Charities for the elderly and cram schools both recruit senior volunteers to teach children after school hours. Institutional re-design can also facilitate social innovation. Examples include kindergarten and nursing homes to be set in the same building, and public school campus turning into tourism resort. Vague vision is another strategy for actors to find legitimacy and incorporate as many projects as possible. Moreover, institutional reframing based on institutional reproduction but with actors’ minor modification due to institutional leaks and personal interests, can create alternatives for those whose jurisdiction is territorially defined. A good example is public schools in the cities with students changing their household registration from the countryside but in reality commute everyday.

To sum up, actors’ agency and conditioning of institutions can both pave the way for kid-focused business. The concept of New Institutionalism can explain actions within a given institutional environment while the notions of organizational social network and social capital can help to understand why Active Ageing campaigns are widely utilized. This study ends with suggestions for re-thinking the meaning of Active Ageing campaigns and if the elderly are hence empowered or exploited.