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The entrepreneurial journey in Vietnam's public relations industry: the motivation, the role and the challenges

Tuong-Minh Ly-Le (Faculty of Public Relations and Communication, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 19 January 2023

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023




With the growing importance of small and medium entreprises (SMEs), especially in Asia Pacific, the demand for research on these topics continues to grow. This study examines the growth challenges faced by Vietnamese entrepreneurs by exploring the founders' challenges, decisions and motivations during their company's growth stage. The study aims to expand the body of knowledge about entrepreneurship in an emerging Asian market, Vietnam, as well as to give practical advice to entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Vietnam.


The study adopted an inductive, grounded theory approach, using a series of in-depth interviews with public relations agencies' founders in Vietnam.


The study found that founders in Vietnam's public relations industry are challenge-driven, firmly attached to their founded consulting businesses. These founders appreciate learning and earning opportunities more than company growth or control; thus, they did not demonstrate the growth dilemma usually seen in SME founders.

Practical implications

This study provides guidance to nascent entrepreneurs in Vietnam, especially those in the public relations sector. As founders in this industry usually lack a business management background or experience, understanding what lies ahead in the start-up venture will help them better prepare themselves and avoid failure early in their business.


The study findings challenge the widely-held assumption that all entrepreneurs pursue growth and typically experience the growth versus delegation crisis. The study also contributes by expanding the limited body of knowledge about Vietnamese entrepreneurship, an area that has not been well studied and the Vietnamese public relations agencies.



The author would like to express her sincere gratitude to her supervisor, Dr. Ken Grant of Toronto Metropolitan University, for his continuous support, encouragement, and motivation throughout this research project.

This study was financially supported by Van Lang University, Vietnam.


Ly-Le, T.-M. (2023), "The entrepreneurial journey in Vietnam's public relations industry: the motivation, the role and the challenges", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 76-90.



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