Hu, Jiahe (2021) Outward Internationalisation Decision Making by Small and Medium-Sized Family Enterprises in Anhui Province, China. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study focuses on the entrepreneurial orientation of small and medium-sized entrepreneurial family-owned enterprises and the impact of entrepreneurial social capital and the role played by family business resources in outward internationalisation.

The author interviewed 20 small and medium-sized entrepreneurial family-owned enterprises in China's Anhui province, an economically emerging area. A qualitative research method was used with one-on-one in-depth interviews carried out over three months in 2016. In October 2019, three of these family businesses were revisited. NVivo11 software was employed to help extract the entrepreneurial orientation of the family business dimensions, family resources, market-entry patterns, and social networks.

Three broad conclusions were drawn:

Firstly, the two-dimensionality of entrepreneurial orientation in family-owned enterprises (innovativeness, risk-taking) is shown. The other three dimensions (pro-activeness, autonomy and competitive aggression) show different results in the context of China's Anhui province transition economy. So the results do not accord with the three dimensions' stability and unity (Miller, 1983) but correspond to Lumpkin and Dess (1996). They argued that entrepreneurial orientation dimensions are independent.

Secondly, in the course of economic restructuring, the importance of the relationship between capital and social resources is often emphasised. So the role of entrepreneurs in family-owned enterprises should not be overlooked. This requires that the managers of family-owned enterprises are: good at building both broad social networks and individual social networks; can make rational use of social and personal resources to obtain information and support; and promote the internationalisation success of family-owned enterprises through their various social capabilities. The results of this study show the importance of entrepreneurial roles in family-owned business. In (managerial) practice, it is the key to effectively managing entrepreneurs' social capital and achieving international entrepreneurship in these family-owned enterprises.

Thirdly, the application of the resource-based theory to the internationalisation of family-owned enterprises provides more space for development, and the development chance, for the development of family-owned enterprises. It changed the original family business development model. This resource-based thinking is not a by-product of the company or management but comes from making effective use of a set of rare and valuable resources. It is widely used to analyse the research of ownership decision, mergers and acquisitions, international strategic alliances, multinational corporations. Therefore, the resource-based theory is one of the fundamental assumptions that constitute the framework of market entry mode analysis. This study found that one of the primary ways for these Chinese enterprises to solve domestic market saturation is to go to the international market and use the vast global market space and stock of resources to maintain continuous operation and enhance competitiveness.

FINAL THESIS - Hu.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 March 2031.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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