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Institutional Change and the Evolution of Entrepreneurial Networks: A Comparison of Two Chinese Start-up Cohorts

By Chenjian Zhang


Extant research provides contradictory views on the network adaptability of existing ventures and new ventures during environmental change. This research aims to resolve the controversies by comparing the network configurations and networking actions of two entrepreneurial cohorts during the course of China s institutional change after 1992. The qualitative and quantitative analyses show that existing cohort entrepreneurs display network inertia, in that they largely maintain strong tie based political and market networks; new cohort entrepreneurs instead demonstrate better adaption by establishing fewer political networks but more weak and diverse market networks. The dissertation further shows that existing cohort demonstrates a style of network deepening while the new cohort demonstrates a style of network broadening. This dissertation unpacks the institutional mechanisms underlying such differences. This dissertation also offers several implications for institutional research into network adaptation, as well as for research into entrepreneurship and networks

Topics: transitional economies, institutional change, networks, institutional theory, China, entrepreneurship, existing ventures, new venture, qualitative and quantitative analysis, trust building
Year: 2012
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