A West–East Perspective
Edited by Hans-Hermann Höhmann and Friederike Welter
Chapter 14: Trust, Co-operation and Networking in an Immigrant Business Community: The Case of Chinese-owned Businesses in the UK
David Smallbone, Fergus Lyon and Xiao Li INTRODUCTION This chapter is concerned with the role of trust as an influence on business behaviour. The focus is on co-operation and networking activity, since these are types of business behaviour, where there are a priori reasons for believing that trust plays a role. In this context, the chapter focuses specifically on the immigrant Chinese community in the UK, which is appropriate for two reasons: firstly, because there is considerable existing literature that points to the use of social capital by immigrant communities in general, and Chinese immigrants in particular, as a resource for business development purposes; and, secondly, because it suggests that even in a mature market economy, such as the UK, different trust environments may exist for different social groups. This emphasises the need to place entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour in its social context. The first half of the chapter reviews key literature related to, firstly, trust, sanctions and norms and, secondly, the role of networks and co-operation in relation to immigrant entrepreneurship and ethnic minority business (EMB) development. This is followed by a discussion of empirical evidence related to trust and co-operation in the Chinese minority business community in the UK, drawn from two projects: a large-scale study of access to finance and business support by ethnic minority businesses in the UK; and a series of case studies of Chinese entrepreneurs, which were specifically undertaken in order to gain some process-oriented insights into the nature of co-operation involving Chinese-owned businesses...
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