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Digital entrepreneurship ecosystem as a new form of organizing: the case of Zhongguancun

Wenjie Li (), Wenyu Du () and Jiamin Yin ()
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Wenjie Li: Renmin University of China
Wenyu Du: Renmin University of China
Jiamin Yin: Renmin University of China

Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2017, vol. 11, issue 1, 1-21

Abstract: Abstract Digital innovation is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy. Many digital innovations are developed not within organizations, but in innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems, where various entrepreneurship related stakeholders collaborate and cooperate. Despite its significance, studies on digital entrepreneurship ecosystems (DEEs) are limited and the concept is largely undertheorized. This study intends to fill that gap by studying how a DEE organizes. This organizing issue is challenging, because stakeholders of a DEE are self-organizing and are not governed by any formal authority. To answer that question, we adopt forms of organizing as a theoretical lens, which provides structure to examine organizing issues. Through an in-depth case study of Zhongguancun, the Silicon Valley of China, we unveil eight processes around the themes of division of labor and integration of efforts. We further show that the forms of organizing feature a balance of centralized design and de-centralized emergence. This balanced view extends the forms of organizing literature, which takes an either/or perspective. Ecosystem architects and policy makers who intend to build entrepreneurship ecosystems to promote local economies can derive practical implications from our findings.

Keywords: Digital entrepreneurship ecosystem; New forms of organizing; Case study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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