Practical reasoning and strategic business management : towards a more pragmatic approach to entrepreneurship in the context of Hong Kong

by Kwong, Kam-wong

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of thesis entitled Practical Reasoning and Strategic Business Management: Towards a More Pragmatic Approach to Entrepreneurship in the Context of Hong Kong submitted by Kwong Kam Wong for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong in January 2004 The present study aims to construct a more pragmatic approach to entrepreneurship, that is, to search for a behavioral model with which successful local entrepreneurs realize their ambitious business visions. Research results of this study have demonstrated the following facts. When making non-routine strategic business decisions, successful entrepreneurs included in this study tend to rely on practical reasoning such as intuition, sociological imagination, past experience, and so forth rather than sophisticated scientific methods. While capturing latent business opportunities, they deny utopianism but behave sensibly in a pragmatic way. They build their business ventures tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. During the process of entrepreneuring, their action is actually a combination of two basic steps, that is, formation and adaptation. In the first step, they establish their own i business ventures by converting energy as well as resources into different forms of products or services needed by the society. In the second step, incremental innovation for continual improvement and structural transformation for greater effectiveness are their main strategies to counteract rival competition and environmental change. With respect to business management, they or their firms tend to adopt distributive strategies and corrective strategies to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and control business activities. Distributive strategies include: (a) business diversification and portfolio management, (b) networking, (c) geographic dispersion, (d) stock market listing, and (e) internationalization. Among them, smaller firms tend to concentrate their resources on the implementation of the first three strategies (i.e. a, b and c) while most larger firms are capable of using all the five strategies to conduct their businesses. In fact, all these distributive strategies have enhanced their companies' overall fitness and hence greater chance to survive. Corrective strategies include both the transformational type and transactional type corrective actions. They resort to transformational type corrective actions for greater organizational effectiveness when their companies struggle with adversity. Transactional type corrective actions are generally applied as daily practice to improve operational efficiency during times of steady progress. Finally, it is concluded that in the process of entrepreneuring, the entrepreneurs' own practical reasoning and strategies of business management are closely related and act as determinant factors to their companies' failures or successes. Through practical reasoning, pragmatic entrepreneurs can avoid Utopian risk-taking and minimize the chance of getting involved in an impractical business. Through the application of distributive and corrective strategies, they can counteract undesirable effect of structural inertia and enhance organizational flexibility to cope with environmental change. u
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:entrepreneurship china hong kong business planning decision making strategic


Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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