“In many successful late-industrializing countries in the 20th century … business groups with operating units in technologically unrelated industries have acted as the microeconomic agent of industrial growth” (Amsden and Hikino, 1994, p. 112). This is Alice Amsden's conclusion, presented here in an article with Takashi Hikino, but also found in many of her other writings (2001, 1989, 1985). She shares this opinion with many political economists (Cumings, 1985, Wade, 1990, Fields, 1995, Evans, 1995, Woo-Cumings, 1991, 1999), who, like herself, have been instrumental in making the strong state interpretation the most prominent explanation of Asian development. A number of economists (Leff, 1976, 1978, Aoki, 1984, 1988, Jorgensen, Hafsi, and Kiggundu, 1986, Ghemawat and Kanna, 1998, Khanna and Palepu, 1999, 2000a, b, c), while willing to concede the potential role of government policy, instead list market failures and transaction cost savings as the primary reasons for the emergence of business groups. Not to be outdone, sociologists (Granovetter, forthcoming, 1995b, 1994, Chung, 2001, 2003, Whitley, 1990, 1992, Gereffi and Wyman, 1990, Orrù, Biggart, and Hamilton, 1997, Hamilton, Zeile, and Kim, 1989) see business groups as embodiments of social networks and institutions rather than as outcomes of political or economic processes. That scholars from such diverse disciplines have zeroed in on business groups from different disciplinary angles testifies not only to their actual importance in Asian economic development, but also to their theoretical ambiguity.