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Micro-Networks Environment, Perception and New Venture Creation of Returnee Entrepreneurship: Exploring Home Country Government’s Role in China

PENG, LISI (2023) Micro-Networks Environment, Perception and New Venture Creation of Returnee Entrepreneurship: Exploring Home Country Government’s Role in China. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 25 October 2026.


Returnee Entrepreneurship (RE) in the high-tech field is one of the critical cohorts driving indigenous innovation across contexts. Governments must boost indigenous innovation capability while embracing exogenous forces to sustain longer-term economic development goals and to support REs to make new venture creation decisions. This dissertation argues that RE’s motivation for setting up a high-tech business in the home country differ entirely from multinational enterprise (MNE)’ intention to make a foreign direct investment (FDI) into overseas markets. MNEs adopt causational logic to do income forecasts while minimising risks, whereas RE endeavour to connect to the resource holders. Macro-level environment variables (economic development situation, market potential, legal and enforcement system), government funding, and facilities are essential conditions and dominate the entrepreneurship-related literature. Micro-level policies facilitating network interaction between potential entrepreneurs and their stakeholders and their impacts on entrepreneurial behaviour attract very little attention, even though they are even more vital goals to fundamental resource acquisition and entrepreneurial decision-making processes. This dissertation intends to conceptualise the micro-network environment as an emerging micro-level institutional policy in the Chinese context, developing a new angle to examine how different government-driven events facilitate RE’s perception of resource control and the subsequent new venture creation.

This dissertation uncovers RE’s resource acquisition and new venture creation process in the micro-network environments driven by the local authorities through the lens of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) and effectuation theory (Sarasvathy, 2001). Case studies and multiple qualitative sources were deployed in the Chinese research context. The findings have confirmed that RE’s new venture creation decision is an effectuation process. The micro-level environment has been demonstrated, which extends the TPB framework explaining the resource source. The robustness and frequency of the micro-network environment influence the resource control level perceived by the RE. It co-functions with the macro-level environment variables, consequently leading to the decision on the new venture creation. An operational framework for the policymakers adopting various events to stimulate regional entrepreneurial activities at the individual level has been formulated accordingly. The home country government’s roles at the micro-level have also been unveiled.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Business Administration
Keywords:Micro-network environment, Theory of Planned Behaviour, effectuation,informal institutions, social capital
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:02 Nov 2023 08:14

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