Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Family Firms
Edited by Kevin Au, Justin B. Craig and K. Ramachandran
Chapter 5: Menshy Battery’s Chen Family: An Overseas Educated Generation Turns to Export
Weiwen Li, Yuan Lu, Danming Lin and Kevin Au INTRODUCTION Menshy Battery is one of the most innovative companies operating today in the very small niche market for motorcycle lead acid batteries. Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) with regard to Menshy have gone through dramatic changes since its founder passed the baton to his eldest son. The act of entrepreneurship is defined as new entry accomplished by entering new or established markets with new or existing goods or services (Lumpkin and Dess 1996). EO refers to the processes, practices and decision-making activities that lead to new entry (Lumpkin and Dess 1996). The key dimensions of EO include autonomy, innovativeness, risktaking, proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness. Before the leadership transition, Menshy was entrepreneurial in the sense that it was sensitive to market changes and quick enough to explore new industries that arose from those changes. After the leadership transition, Menshy continued to be entrepreneurial; however, its focus has changed to exploiting a niche market through innovation and export. As Menshy’s new entries were driven by different configurations of the dimensions of EO, the company’s entrepreneurial orientation changed accordingly. When the founder was the engine of entrepreneurship, Menshy’s entrepreneurial activities were mainly driven by the firm’s proclivity for risk-taking and proactiveness. After the CEO succession, Menshy was able to accomplish new entries because of its autonomy, innovativeness and competitive aggressiveness. In this chapter we will demonstrate how entrepreneurship and EO changes within Menshy are linked to the different backgrounds of its two 76...
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