Chen, M. and Chen, C. (2009), "Introduction", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 15 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijebr.2009.16015eaa.001Download as .RIS
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Article Type: Guest editorial From: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Volume 15, Issue 5
Entrepreneurship has been widely recognized as a strong enabler of competitive advantages for individual firms and of national economic growth. Research in entrepreneurship has increased dramatically in the last two decades, with leading journals and conferences dedicated to its development (Phan and Foo, 2004). However, previous entrepreneurship studies mainly focused on research in the context of developed economic regions such as North America and West Europe and have paid less attention to newly developed and emerging economies (Bruton et al., 2008). Such economies deserve more research attention as they are growing rapidly and growth is strongly driven by a strong commitment to entrepreneurship.
Taiwan is an appropriate context for entrepreneurship research in a newly developed and emerging economy. The spirit of entrepreneurship is strongly rooted in Taiwan. During the last four decades in the twentieth century, millions of new ventures have fueled Taiwan’s economic development and resulted in Taiwan’s inclusion as one of the four East Asian Tiger economies. Many Taiwanese companies have emerged and are ranked as top-tier firms in the world in a variety of industries such as TSMC & UMC in semiconductors, HTC in smart phones, Hon-Hai in contract manufacturing, TrendMicro in anti-virus software, Acer and Asus in computers, Motech in solar cells, Giant in bicycles, and Chi-Mei in ABS resins.
As Taiwan becomes increasingly industrialized in the knowledge economy era, the increasingly important role of entrepreneurship is widely recognized. Accordingly, the public and private sectors have initiated a variety of actions to promote the entrepreneurial climate. The government established a national innovation system and science parks to stimulate industrial development (Dodgson et al., 2008; Hung and Chu, 2006; Chen et al., 2006), encouraged technology transfer through university-industry collaborations (Chen, 2009), and infused seed capital through venture funds to support new venture creation and development (Pandey and Jang, 1996).
Also, entrepreneurial firms are attempting to exploit their resources/capabilities (Wu, 2007; Chen, 2009; Siu et al., 2004) and leverage outside knowledge through alliances and networks to improve their performance (Chen and Wang, 2008; Tsai and Wang, 2008).
This special issue looks to deepen our understanding on of the entrepreneurial phenomena in Taiwan and how it affects the competitive advantages of the firms, industries and the nation. The special issues will provide not only theoretical insights to academic researchers but also practical lessons for entrepreneurial practitioners and policy makers based on the Taiwanese experience.
Overview of the special issue
In this special issue, six papers are presented with a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches to indicate the possible future research directions in the field of entrepreneurship.
The first paper, by Chen and Yang, uses opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial creativity to cluster typologies of new ventures in Taiwan. The authors argue that the identification of opportunity is a driving force in the entrepreneurial process, which is particularly dependent on entrepreneurs’ creativity to recognize potential or hidden entrepreneurial opportunity. The sample was based on 300 new ventures collected from government-funded incubators in Taiwan, including 54 university incubators, six government incubators, and five non-profit incubators. Results of cluster analysis, using the dimensions of opportunity recognition and entrepreneurial creativity, revealed four types of new ventures, including “passive”, “creativity-driven”, “opportunity-driven”, and “proactive”. Moreover, the results indicate that these four types of new ventures have different impacts on performance. Proactive new ventures have the highest entrepreneurial satisfaction and innovative capability compared with other three types of new ventures. Passive new ventures have the lowest scores in entrepreneurial satisfaction and innovative capability. Moreover, creativity-driven new ventures have higher entrepreneurial satisfaction than opportunity-driven ones. However, opportunity-driven new ventures have higher innovative capability than creativity-driven ones. It is noteworthy that both proactive and creativity-driven new ventures with the higher levels of satisfaction demonstrated higher entrepreneurial creativity.
Hou, Hsu, and Wu argued that previous research has mainly focused on investigating franchising from the perspectives of agency theory, resource scarcity, or the franchisor’s concerns. Little work has been done to explain the growth of franchise chains through franchising strategies. Therefore, based on the literature of both psychological ownership and franchising the authors attempt to verify the importance of psychological ownership on branding in the organizational context of a franchise. The dataset of 147 franchisees was collected from one large taxi franchise fleet in Taiwan via questionnaire survey. The results revealed that the dimensions of the degree of psychological ownership and the self-centered propensity towards psychological ownership explain the variance in organizational commitment and brand diffusion in the context of the franchise organization. Unexpectedly, both dimensions of psychological ownership are negatively affected by the ownership of the non-brand-specified complementary assets owned by a franchisee.
The paper by Huang investigates the effects of exploration and exploitation capabilities on the choice between internal and external corporate venturing by analyzing secondary data from the Taiwan Economic Journal (TEJ) database and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) for 259 Taiwanese firms in the information technology (IT) sector. Poisson regression is used to test the hypotheses. The findings indicate that exploration is a better predictor of internal corporate venturing while exploitation is better at predicting external corporate venturing. The empirical evidence implies that firms engaging in exploration are more likely to choose internal corporate venturing for firm growth as they can utilize existing technologies and keep valuable breakthrough technologies in-house. On the other hand, firms with exploitation capabilities are inclined to select external venturing to leverage outside resources to create novel business for the new venture.
The paper by Tsai and Wen investigates the effects of relational embeddedness on subsidiary entrepreneurship, especially on Taiwanese subsidiaries of Chinese firms that are now facing an uncertain environment. Two stages are used for data collection. First, four case studies were conducted to modify theoretical concepts and measuring instruments in order to better fit them into the entrepreneurial context of multinational subsidiaries in a transitional economy. Second, 265 executive officers answered the questionnaire in order to examine associations between relational embeddedness and subsidiary entrepreneurship. The results revealed that subsidiary entrepreneurship has an inverse U shaped relationship with regards to customer or supplier relational embeddedness, a positive relationship with corporate relational embeddedness, but with no significant relationship with government relational embeddedness.
From the policy maker perspective, Huang, Chen, and Chang attempt to build up an evaluation framework for selecting creative industries into a new cultural creativity center in southern Taiwan. In the past three decades, Taiwan has been successfully transformed into a newly industrialized country by introduction of high-tech industries. In order to maintain this economic prosperity and move toward a well-developed status, the Taiwan government is committed to supporting creative industries as the engine of national economic growth. The past successful selection experience of six high-tech industries for Hsin-Chu Science Park that created more than 20 billion US dollars of revenue in the late 1990s demonstrating the importance of industry selection for the new cultural creativity center. Huang, Chen and Chang first identify seven important evaluation criteria and six strategic creative industries. Then they apply the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method to evaluate the industry selection issue for the new cultural creativity center. The findings indicate that “market potential”, “regional development”, and “culture improvement” are more critical among the seven evaluation criteria. In the six industries, creative lifestyle, crafts, and creative design are the three most favorable industries chosen for the new center. The results of their study provide an avenue for government policy makers and researchers to deal effectively with the industry selection issue.
Finally, Chang, Chen, and Kuo propose a conceptual model of strategic technological outsourcing by integrating technological regimes, the resource-based view and transaction cost theory. Using a case study approach to understand the practices of four Taiwanese top publicly traded pharmaceutical companies that are dedicated to biotechnology they proposed that technology sourcing modes are determined by three building blocks:
RB (firm-specific); and
From the TR perspective, external sources of innovation, strong IPR protection, path dependence and tacit knowledge are the industry-specific factors that drive firms to source technology externally. Firm-specific factors such as core competence, weak complementary assets and autonomous innovation are the determinants of strategic technological outsourcing based on the resource-based (RB) view. From transaction cost (TC) theory, low asset specificity, low transaction frequency and low technological uncertainty influence strategic technological outsourcing. Current approaches generally focus on technology sourcing with a single strategic theory. The paper by Chang and his colleagues proposes an integrated framework that could allow managers to better determine the most effective technology sourcing strategy from both an integrated view and also from a logic process-oriented thinking.
Previous special issues of the IJEBR have been of specific interest to the academic communities: e.g. learning and entrepreneurs, the economic context, embeddeddness and immigrant entrepreneurs, family business entrepreneurship, rural entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurs (Jones, 2005), and two latest special issues in ethnic entrepreneurship and social enterprises. This special issue, Entrepreneurship in Taiwan, aims to enrich our understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomena in a “Tiger” economy and examine the impact on competitive advantage at the firm, sectoral and national levels.
We believe that the six papers in this special issue provide knowledge in typologies of new ventures, franchising strategies, corporate venturing, subsidiary entrepreneurship, cultural creativity industry, and technological entrepreneurship.
Ming-Huei ChenGraduate Institute of Technology and Innovation Management, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City, TaiwanChung-Jen ChenGraduate Institute of Business Administration, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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