Promise fulfilled?: a yin-yang opportunity-outcome-process (O-O-P) framework for the individual-opportunity (IO) nexus.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis submits its conceptual opportunity-outcome-process (O-O-P) framework to complement and operationalize the dualistic individual-opportunity (IO) nexus notion (Venkataraman, 1997) as an integrated theory of startup entrepreneurship. Person-centric research has hitherto failed to explain the entrepreneurial phenomenon, while opportunity-oriented studies are “elusive” (Dimov, 2011) and fragmented by the Western ‘either/or’ views of objectivists and subjectivists regarding opportunity’s ontology. Hence, the IO-nexus notion has been handicapped in delivering the “promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research” (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000) based on the interaction between entrepreneur and opportunity.
To advance the IO-nexus notion in entrepreneurship research, the O-O-P framework reframes, ‘defragments,’ and integrates the received Western dialectic views with the ‘both/and’ logic of the Chinese yin-yang duality notion as the alternate metatheory on opportunity. Opportunity’s ontological nature is thus rationalized as a dualistic nexus with the interacting forces of demand and supply alternating as either the ‘source’ or ‘root-origin’ (also the isomorphic outcome or ‘ends’) of opportunity, or the instrumental-means to fulfill the opportunity. The opportunity-hexadecadrant is introduced to visualize opportunities as dualistic demand and supply nexuses under different yin-yang market-settings. It also operationalizes the IO-nexus by helping to deduce the special role of opportunity’s root-origin in defining on an a priori basis the essential aspects of starting up: the types of opportunity (with their respective risk-uncertainty profiles and level of entrepreneurial and innovative effort involved), outcomes, orientations, entrepreneurial process, and antecedent-ends-means linkages. Applying the yin-yang Taijitu, the thesis identifies a fourth epistemology–regression–to complement extant positivist-realist, constructionist, and evolutionary-realist discourses on the formation and exploitation of eight types of opportunities.
Qualitative multiple-holistic case studies reveal literal and theoretical replications generalizable analytically to the O-O-P framework’s propositions: opportunities are dualistic nexuses of demand-supply or supply-demand configurations in different yin-yang market-settings, and have a priori outcomes that determine their interactions with the individual in the dualistic IO-nexus. This sets forth the O-O-P framework and the dualistic IO-nexus notion as a single integrated a priori theory to fulfill entrepreneurship as “a distinctive domain” (Venkataraman, 1997, p. 123).