Understanding new venture entry and continuance among Chinese entrepreneurs

Author Identifier

Tenghao Zhang


Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Pi-Shen Seet

Second Supervisor

Janice Redmond

Third Supervisor

Jalleh Sharafizad


This doctoral thesis explores the factors that influence the decisions and intentions behind two key stages in the entrepreneurial process, namely, new venture entry and continuance, among entrepreneurs of Chinese origin and Chinese nationality. Using the push and pull framework and incorporating different theoretical perspectives, the thesis comprises three independent studies that investigate socio-economic, institutional, cultural and political determinants contributing to entrepreneurs’ entrepreneurial entry and continuance processes.

The three studies explore Chinese entrepreneurs in different challenging situations to contribute to understanding the push and pull forces affecting entrepreneurial decisions and intentions. Building on the middleman minority theory, Study 1 focuses on both venture entry and entrepreneurial continuance stages by exploring Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region. Study 2 draws on the underdog entrepreneurship model and examines new venture entry decisions made by internal migrant entrepreneurs in China. Study 3 applies the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to investigate entrepreneurial continuance intentions among Chinese entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This thesis makes use of both primary and secondary data, as well as archival data, and employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches to show how socio-economic, institutional, cultural and political factors influence entrepreneurial decisions and intentions. The study finds evidence that push and pull factors significantly influence entrepreneurs’ venture creation and continuance decisions or intentions, but the effects vary between different entrepreneurial contexts.

This thesis enhances understanding of push and pull dynamics influencing entrepreneurial activities. It also extends knowledge of the relevant theories (i.e., middleman minorities, underdog entrepreneurship, and TPB) as developed and tested in the three studies. The results will help policymakers in the immigration, entrepreneurship and innovation sectors to develop better systems to support international and internal migrant entrepreneurs as well as SME entrepreneurs and their ventures.

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