Ethnic entrepreneurship; ethnic networks; human capital; Southeast Asia;
JOURNAL ARTICLE | Asia Pacific Business Review | 23 | April 2017
Collaboration and Opportunism as a Duality within Social Capital: A Regional Ethnic Chinese Case Study
Ethnic networks constitute a form of social capital and are central to the success of many ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia.The paper elucidates how such ethnic networks come to be formed and how they may create value through entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that ethnic networks can be an enabler of business cooperation but have problems stemming from an essentially dual nature that balances the benefits of such cooperation against tensions from self-interest, opportunism and covert dealings. These rarely described opportunistic characteristics are derived from the distinct historical background of ethnic Chinese business in Southeast Asia.The paper advances the existing concept of ethnic Chinese business networking by showing empirically, the workings of a case of the normally intricate phenomena. Three propositions for theory are also developed that highlight implications of the opportunism, and the rules of the game in which human capital is being used.