Profiles of Creative Entrepreneurs and their Engagement with Government in the Chinese Context

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Rice, John

Moran, Albert

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The concept of creative industries was first introduced to China in early years of the twenty-first century. Arguably, an understanding is lacking of how creative entrepreneurs operate in their daily business activities in terms of dealing with constraints and limits that industry-specific rules and regulations imposed on private operators. Culture, as both the object of government’s ideological control and the essential element of the products and services of creative businesses, plays a crucial role in the organisational construction and strategies for creative entrepreneurs, whose key resources are very much embedded in the social connections and relations that underpin their cultural capital. Making do by using resource ‘at hand’ is the principle of the key theory – bricolage in business by Baker and Nelson (2005). Through the main device of application of the concept of bricolage to the in-depth study of three everyday entrepreneurs, this thesis provides insights into how creative entrepreneurs in Chinese set up their businesses to survive or succeed by answering the following three questions: Q1. What are the characteristics of institutional environment of the creative industries that make the entrepreneurs work as bricoleurs to operate their businesses? Q2. What are entrepreneurs’ resources ‘at hand’ to be utilised in their business operation? Q3. How do creative entrepreneurs use bricolage in their business operations in response to the characteristics of the creative industries; in particular, how they do they use bricolage in dealing with external and internal institutional and cultural environments? Combined with the notions from institutional work (Lawrence & Suddaby 2006) and strategic choice (Child 1972), the cases of entrepreneurs and their companies’ use of bricolage in response to their external and internal operation conditions are dissected through examining four components in the theoretical framework: industrial and institutional environment, resources ‘at hand’, institutional bricolage and strategic bricolage.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith Business School

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Institutional bricolage

Strategic bricolage

Creative entrepreneurs, China

Business operations, China

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