Entrepreneurship and the Internationalisation of Asian Firms
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Entrepreneurship and the Internationalisation of Asian Firms

An Institutional Perspective

Henry Wai-chung Yeung

This book applies an institutional perspective on transnational entrepreneurship to empirical investigations of transnational corporations (TNCs) from Hong Kong and Singapore. Henry Wai-chung Yeung argues that significant variations in institutional structures of home countries explain variations in the entrepreneurial endowments of prospective transnational business networks. This is illustrated by empirical data from two in-depth studies of over 300 TNCs from Hong Kong and Singapore and over 120 of their foreign affiliates in Asia.
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Preface and acknowledgements

Henry Wai-chung Yeung


International business has become one of the most important fields of economic activity in today’s globalising world economy. When business firms extend their operations across borders to become transnational corporations, they are often entering into host business environments that are fundamentally different from their home countries in terms of institutional and market structures, industrial organisation, social relations, and cultural practices. To overcome these barriers to globalisation, transnational corporations (TNCs) need actors who are creative, proactive, adaptive, and resourceful in different countries; these are all aspects of transnational entrepreneurship that pushes international business activities beyond just managing across borders. Sometimes, these actors in TNCs are the owners or founding entrepreneurs themselves. They often participate actively in the establishment and management of foreign operations. More commonly, these actors in transnational operations are intrapreneurs or professional managers who are neither founders nor owners, but are given much autonomy to initiate new practices and to manage transnational operations. They may be equally entrepreneurial in their approach to ensuring successful cross-border operations. Engaging in international business poses a serious challenge to founders and managers of TNCs. It is clear that an understanding of the nature, modus operandi, and performance of these entrepreneurs and/or intrapreneurs is vital to the success of international business operations by any TNC. If conducting business across national boundaries is rather difficult, it is perhaps even more difficult to write a book about what makes some entrepreneurs more successful in their international business activities. I have always been...

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