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The exploratory study of the entrepreneurial network of Malaysian Bumiputera entrepreneurs: cases of small firms in the southern region of Malaysia

Omar, Siti Sarah (2015) The exploratory study of the entrepreneurial network of Malaysian Bumiputera entrepreneurs: cases of small firms in the southern region of Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Southampton.


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The overall aim of the research is to empirically explore the dynamics of strong and weak ties within entrepreneurial networks during periods when the entrepreneurs face tipping points, and to show how network interaction can affect the subsequent performance of small businesses. The literature review shows that many studies have explored the mix of strong and weak ties in small businesses, linking them to stages of business development. More recent literature, however, has conceptualised firm growth through the notion of tipping points that must be successfully tackled in order to continue along a development path. While the importance of network ties has been well documented in relation to growth stages, only limited work has been done to investigate the contribution that strong and weak ties make as a firm faces specific tipping points. This research therefore aims to answer the following research objectives: 1) To investigate the configuration of network ties in the entrepreneurial ventures of Malaysian Bumiputera (Indigenous) SME entrepreneurs; 2) To explore the change and development of network ties in relation to the tipping points faced by these entrepreneurs. This qualitative research uses a multiple case study approach involving eight small firms in the southern region of Malaysia. The data collection methods include analysis of secondary documentation and in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, using critical incident interview technique. The data has been analysed using NVlVO software and has employed Miles and Huberman (7 994) flows of analysis activity. The triangulation of data was carried out by interviewing individuals who were seen as strong or weak ties within the network, and who were identified through interviews with the entrepreneurs. The major findings of the study are illustrated below. Six themes were explored when characterising the configurations of entrepreneurial network ties: personal network, business network, professional network, reputation network, competition network and community network. In addition, the discovery of the existence of a dormant tie associated with the reputation network has provided support for the argument centred on the multiplicity of entrepreneurial network ties in small businesses. Newly emerging findings show that human capital and attitudes are significant for entrepreneurs when deciding the strength of their relationships. Findings suggest that network changes occur not only due to staged life cycle processes of business, but due to also when entrepreneurs face tipping points. Finally, this research provides theoretical and methodological contributions as well as offering implications for entrepreneurs, government agencies and policy-makers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001-6182 Business
Depositing User: En. Sharul Ahmad
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2016 03:22
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2016 03:22
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/7903
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