Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Globalization, entrepreneurship and paradox thinking

  • Shameen PrashanthamEmail author
  • Mariya Eranova
  • Carole Couper


Globalization has been facing a backlash. By contrast, entrepreneurship has come to be seen as a panacea for economic development and generating jobs that are perceived to be under threat from globalization. In this Perspectives paper, our central argument is that globalization and entrepreneurship must be viewed holistically, recognizing that globalization is an enabler of important entrepreneurship outcomes. We argue that networks created as a byproduct of globalization facilitate various forms of entrepreneurship. Interpersonal networks (e.g., diasporas) facilitate transnational entrepreneurship which can, in turn, reduce institutional distance between locations. Interorganizational networks (e.g., MNE-orchestrated ecosystems) facilitate technology entrepreneurship which reinforces the institutional work that gives rise to new technological domains and fields. Intergovernmental and civil society networks facilitate social entrepreneurship which helps redress institutional voids. Thus globalization can be a force for good by enabling forms of entrepreneurship that enable important institutional change. We highlight the importance of paradox thinking, which is rooted in ancient Chinese philosophy, in transcending an either/or perspective of globalization and entrepreneurship.


Globalization Entrepreneurship International entrepreneurship Paradox thinking Institutional change Anti-globalization 



We thank Stephen Young for helpful comments on an earlier draft, Geoff Jones for encouragement to pursue this piece and, especially, Mike Peng for very constructive editorial guidance.


  1. Beckman, C., Eisenhardt, K., Kotha, S., Meyer, A., & Rajagopalan, N. 2012. Technology entrepreneurship. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6: 89–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhagwati, J. N. 2004. In defense of globalization. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bhatt, B., Qureshi, I., & Riaz, S. 2017. Social entrepreneurship in non-munificent institutional environments and implications for institutional work: Insights from China. Journal of Business Ethics, in press.Google Scholar
  4. Buckley, P. J., & Ghauri, P. N. 2004. Globalisation, economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(2): 81–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buckley, P. J., & Prashantham, S. 2016. Global interfirm networks: The division of entrepreneurial labor between MNEs and SMEs. Academy of Management Perspectives, 30(1): 40–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Mudambi, R., & Pedersen, T. 2017. Globalization: Rising skepticism. Global Strategy Journal, 7: 155–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Djelic, M.-L., & Quack, S. 2003. Globalization and institutions: Redefining the rules of the economic game. Northampton: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drori, I., Honig, B., & Wright, M. 2009. Transnational entrepreneurship: An emergent field of study. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 33: 1001–1022.Google Scholar
  9. Dunning, J. H. 2003. Making globalization good: The moral challenges of global capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eranova, M., & Prashantham, S. 2016. Decision making and paradox: Why study China?. European Journal of Management, 34: 193–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garud, R., Jain, S., & Kumaraswamy, A. 2002. Institutional entrepreneurship in the sponsorship of common technology standards: The case of Sun Microsystems and Java. Academy of Management Journal, 45(1): 196–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ghemawat, P. 2016. The laws of globalization and business applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Jones, G. 2013. Entrepreneurship and multinationals: Global business and the making of the modern world. Northampton: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Khanna, T., & Palepu, K. 1997. Why focused strategies may be wrong for emerging markets. Harvard Business Review, 75(4): 41–50.Google Scholar
  15. Kobrin, S. J. 2017. Bricks and mortar in a borderless world: Globalization, the backlash, and the multinational enterprise. Global Strategy Journal, 7: 159–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lawrence, T. B., & Suddaby, R. 2006. Institutions and institutional work. In S. Clegg, C. Hardy, T. B. Lawrence, & W. R. Nord (Eds.). Handbook of organization studies, 2d ed.: 215–254. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li, P. P. 2014. The unique value of yin-yang balancing: A critical response. Management and Organization Review, 10(2): 321–332.Google Scholar
  18. Lorenzen, M., & Mudambi, R. 2013. Clusters, connectivity and catch-up: Bollywood and Bangalore in the global economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 13(3): 501–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Meyer, K. E. 2017. International business in an era of anti-globalization. Multinational Business Review, 25(2): 78–90.Google Scholar
  20. Peng, M. W., Li, Y., & Tian, L. 2016. Tian-ren-he-yi strategy: An Eastern perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 33(3): 695–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pinkus, G., Mankiya, J., & Ramaswamy, S. 2017. We can’t undo globalization, but we can improve it. Harvard Business Review. Available at
  22. Prashantham, S. 2016. When globalisation meets entrepreneurship it can be a force for good. The Conversation. Available at
  23. Prashantham, S., & Dhanaraj, C. 2015. MNE ties and new venture internationalization: Exploratory insights from India. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 32(4): 901–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Prashantham, S., & Yip, G. S. 2017. Engaging with startups in emerging markets. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58(2): 51–65.Google Scholar
  25. Prashantham, S., & Zhao, L. 2017. Testin: Partnering with multinational corporations [teaching case]. London, Ontario: Ivey Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Ruggie, J. 2003. The United Nations and globalization: Patterns and limits of institutional adaptation. Global Governance, 9: 301–321.Google Scholar
  27. Saxenian, A. 2006. The new argonauts: Regional advantage in a global economy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Schad, J., Lewis, M., Raisch, S., & Smith, W. 2016. Paradox research in management science: Looking back to move forward. Academy of Management Annals, 10(1): 5–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smith, W. K., Lewis, M. W., & Tushman, M. L. 2016. “Both/and” leadership. Harvard Business Review, 94(5): 62–70.Google Scholar
  30. Steinbock, D. 2013, Are global FDI flows entering a new era of “Asianisation”?. China Daily: Aug. 23. Available at:
  31. Stiglitz, J. E. 2002. Globalization and its discontents. New York: Norton.Stiglitz, J. E. 2003. Globalization, technology, and Asian development. Asian Development Review, 20(2): 1–18.Google Scholar
  32. UNICEF. 2015. UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre and innovation fund launch. Press release. Available at
  33. Woetzel, J., Lin, D.-Y., Seong, J., Madgavkar, A., & Lund, S. 2017. China’s role in the next phase of globalization. Discussion paper, McKinsey Global Institute. Google Scholar
  34. Wolf, M. 2004. In defense of globalization. New York: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Zahra, S. A., & Wright, M. 2016. Understanding the social role of entrepreneurship. Journal of Management Studies, 53: 610–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zoogah, D. B., Peng, M. W., & Woldu, H. 2015. Institutions, resources, and organizational effectiveness in Africa. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(1): 7–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shameen Prashantham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariya Eranova
    • 2
  • Carole Couper
    • 3
  1. 1.China Europe International Business SchoolShanghaiChina
  2. 2.University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations