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Entrepreneurial Action as a Spatiotemporal Process in the Aftermath of Disasters

Liu, Yan (2016) Entrepreneurial Action as a Spatiotemporal Process in the Aftermath of Disasters. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Received entrepreneurship research suggests that entrepreneurial action helps people and communities in the aftermath of disastrous events. To study this phenomenon, scholars focus on two central themes: 1) entrepreneurial actors (individuals, organizations, or firms in the community) with the right knowledge and motivation possess capabilities determine whether an identified opportunity represents an opportunity for them to exploit so as to alleviate others' sufferings, and 2) the feedback from an exploitation of an existing opportunity significantly influences the recognition and evaluation of subsequent opportunities of helping others. However, contemporary research has examined the first theme while largely ignoring the second one. Addressing this oversight, we develop three graph-theoretic models and operationlize them using the computational social science approach to investigate both the temporal dimension of entrepreneurial action as a process of opportunity identification, evaluation and exploitation over time, and the spatial dimension of entrepreneurial action as a feedback to identify subsequent opportunities among networked actors under disasters. The first model depicts a simple supply-chain structure where each actor's entrepreneurial action can feed back to his/her spatially interdependent upstream and downstream neighbors. Our model suggests that feedback mechanisms significantly influence actors' entrepreneurial action decisions to alleviate the negative impacts of unanticipated disasters on supply chain performance. Next, we extend the one-dimensional chain structure into a grid network setting in the second model. This model highlights the importance of reciprocal feedback between neighboring actors in facilitating recovery entrepreneurial actions in the aftermath of disasters. Finally, our last model examines the spatiotemporal dynamics of entrepreneurial action over additional network structures, such as small-world and scale-free, determining how information and knowledge feedback circulates in the system facing disastrous events. We show that a shift in the network structure at the spatial dimension changes the number of actors who act entrepreneurially over time. In sum, we consider entrepreneurial action emerging from the interactions among community members over not only time but also space in times of disasters. The modeling and analysis extends the action-based entrepreneurship framework into the context of disasters by explicitly specifying dynamic and interactive behavior among community members that are inputs to, and outcomes of, one another in the entrepreneurial process to alleviate the sufferings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Management Science and Entrepreneurship Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Emma Liu
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 13:14
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 13:14
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17458

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