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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Chapter 1: An Institutional Perspective on Entrepreneurship in International Business

An Institutional Perspective

Henry Wai-chung Yeung


To undertake such new things is difficult and constitutes a distinct economic function, first, because they lie outside of the routine tasks which everybody understands and, secondly, because the environment resists in many ways that vary, according to social conditions, from simple refusal either to finance or to buy a new thing, to physical attack on the man who tries to produce it. To act with confidence beyond the range of familiar beacons and to overcome that resistance requires aptitudes that are present in only a small fraction of the population and that define the entrepreneurial type as well as the entrepreneurial function. This function does not essentially consist in either inventing anything or otherwise creating the conditions which the enterprise exploits. It consists in getting things done. (Joseph Schumpeter, 1942: 132) INTRODUCTION Entrepreneurship is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon today. Since the inception of the term entreprendre in French in the Middle Ages when it was translated as ‘between-taker or go between’ (Hisrich, 1990: 209; see also Hébert and Link, 1988), entrepreneurship has received continuous and enormous attention in both scholarly and policy circles. Why then do we need another book on the topic? More specifically, why is a book on entrepreneurship that takes place across borders useful? Consider a businessperson who is confronted with a saturated market in the home country, or another businessperson who stumbles upon an opportunity to expand into foreign markets. It takes great courage and other exceptional qualities, or...

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