Entrepreneurship in Context: Systemic and Behavioural Explorations

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Thursday 12 October 2023

11:30 AM - 01:00 PM


WM133, William Morris Building, Coventry University

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Marika Intenza is a PhD Candidate in Economics, Culture, and Environment at the Department of Economics, Management, and Territory (DEMeT) - University of Foggia (Italy). She is in the 3rd year of the PhD by Publication doctoral program, currently spending the Research Visiting period at the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) - Coventry University under the supervision of Dr Esin Yoruk. Her main research interests embrace the relationship between Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EEs) and regional development exploring the different dynamics in productive and unproductive regional entrepreneurial ecosystems as well as sustainability issues in EEs. She presented at diverse international conferences such as EURAM, EIASM, LEIC.

Dr Jessica An works as Assistant Professor in Strategy in School of Strategy and Leadership (SSL), Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) at Coventry University. She holds a PhD degree from Coventry University in Guanxi (Social Networking) and Entrepreneurship, and is a Senior Fellow of Advanced Higher Education (SFHEA). Her research interests focus on Chinese guanxi, social capital, ethnic minority entrepreneurs, social embeddedness and entrepreneurship contextualisation. She has closely worked with China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) where a funding application was succeeded to support internationalisation of UK SMEs. Her expertise in international advertising and marketing communications has provided her the opportunity to work for some of the most prestigious industry leaders in the world, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam, and The English Premier League. Jessica has a great passion in supporting and guiding international students to succeed in their personal career pursuit around the world.


Marika Intenza: This study provides insights into the relationship between Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EEs) and regional economic development in the Italian regions, with a particular focus on the moderating role of firm size. The objective of the analysis is to explore the key dynamics underlying different types of EEs and investigate the reasons why certain territories remain stuck in specific growth phases.

Dr Jessica An: This paper investigates the relationship of Chinese entrepreneurs’ characteristics and the strength and scope of their organisational guanxi in the UK, with the perspective of multi-layered embeddedness in entrepreneurship contextualisation. Despite literature’s continuous interests in guanxi, guanxi research in Western context is still limited. Facing the increasing complexity and internationalisation in entrepreneurship businesses, guanxi research calls for important updates. Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Chinese entrepreneurs across a variety of industries in London and the Midlands.

First a guanxi strength and scope matrix was developed and entrepreneurs were classified. Then, a qualitative interpretive approach was adopted to understand the intricacies in how contextual embeddedness in the UK shaped the strength and scope of guanxi. Findings reveal that trust and business interests are the two critical prerequisites for strong guanxi with wide scope. Entrepreneur’s social background, length of guanxi, personalities and career experience of their guanxi counterparts are its key contributing factors. In terms of, whilst temporal, social and spatial embeddedness had positive influence on the strength and scope of guanxi, industry and market embeddedness weakened the guanxi. Ownership and governance dimensions of contextual embeddedness was found to have ambiguous effects.