Entrepreneurial preparedness: an exploratory case study of Chinese private enterprises

Catherine L. Wang, Mohammed Rafiq, Xiaoqing Li, Yu Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Structured Abstract

Purpose: We aim to advance the conceptualisation of entrepreneurial preparedness (EP), and study how EP occurs in new venture creation and management.

Research design: We primarily draw evidence from an exploratory case study of two Chinese high-tech private enterprises operating in the healthcare industry in Beijing, following a two-stage sampling process: informal, purposive sampling; and formal, theoretical sampling. Qualitative data collected from multiple semi-structured interviews within each firm were analysed using a thematic analytical framework.

Findings: We advance the conceptualisation of EP as a cumulative, social and purposeful learning process. Accordingly, we highlight the roles of experiential learning, social learning and entrepreneurial goals (both performance and learning goals) as mechanisms that enable EP in entrepreneurial management.

Research limitations/implications: Our findings reveal idiosyncrasies of EP in a particular context. Future research may investigate different types of entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial firms. Furthermore, this study uses triangulation of retrospective interview data with concurrent interview and secondary data. Future research may pursue concurrent longitudinal case study data to unpack real-time events in entrepreneurial management.

Practical implications: Our findings have practical implications for entrepreneurs and "would-be" entrepreneurs to better understand their learning needs and how they can prepare themselves for entrepreneurial challenges.

Originality: EP as an emerging concept within the entrepreneurial learning literature requires conceptual and empirical development. We advance the conceptualisation of EP, supported with empirical evidence. By articulating the cumulative, social and purposeful nature of EP, we contribute to the understanding of the human and social dynamics of entrepreneurial learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-374
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Qualitative case study, Entrepreneurial learning, Chinese high-tech private enterprises, Entrepreneurial preparedness

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