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 5: Empowered Managers: Intrapreneurs in International Business

Henry Wai-chung Yeung


You must have a passion to do everything yourself, do post and pre-acquisition or joint venture. After the deal is made, he [a transnational intrapreneur] is out there striking more deals like this; fundamentally a passion for this. (President of a major government-linked company in Singapore; interviewed on 18 May 1998) You’ve got to have the right CEO [abroad] who is interested in making friends. They have no choice but to be entrepreneurs since they are the top overseas managers and they are running the business all by themselves. Sometimes, you have to send your best managers overseas. You cannot keep all the good ones here [in Singapore]. Given the right incentives and environments, they are willing to go abroad. (Chairman of a major government-linked company in Singapore; interviewed on 25 July 1998) INTRODUCTION The ownership of capital distinguishes a transnational entrepreneur from a transnational intrapreneur, who is essentially a corporate manager empowered by the owners and/or shareholders of the transnational corporation (TNC) to engage in international business activities. Chapter 1 has reviewed some recent studies of corporate entrepreneurship and international business to understand the role of subsidiary initiatives in the global reach of TNCs. While their efforts are highly commendable, however, the understanding of subsidiary initiatives in the global networks of TNCs is insufficient because transnational intrapreneurs can operate both in parent headquarters and in foreign subsidiaries. Situated in the institutional perspective on transnational entrepreneurship in Chapter 1, transnational intrapreneurs should be understood as corporate managers who...

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