Advertisement

Family Metaphor, the Geek and the Entrepreneurial Ideal

  • Leung Wing-Fai Email author
Chapter
Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)

Abstract

This chapter examines entrepreneurs who have started Internet and mobile technology companies in Taiwan. Technology education and careers remain dominated by men, who often represent themselves as geeks. New digital enterprises are often founded by those with close social ties, typically developed through education and work, and women usually have less access to these networks. The close-knit startup teams are often likened to families, made up of friends and colleagues whom the founders trust. My research indicates that family commitments and childcare affect both men and women, and the analysis details the influences of family on their decision to start a company and the experiences of being entrepreneurs. Class position influences whether entrepreneurs are able to establish new ventures. Instead of monetary gain, many digital entrepreneurs are drawn to the startup sector as an alternative career in a changing social, cultural and economic climate.

References

  1. Abdnor, James. “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship.” Journal of Small Business Management 26, no. 1 (1988): 1–4.Google Scholar
  2. Acker, Joan. “Gender, Capitalism and Globalization.” Critical Sociology 30, no. 1 (2004): 17–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Acker, Joan. “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organization.” Gender and Society 4, no. 2 (1990): 139–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ardichvili, Alexander, Richard Cardozo, and Sourav Ray. “A Theory of Entrepreneurial Opportunity Identification and Development.” Journal of Business Venturing 18, no. 1 (2003): 105–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, Pierre, and Loic J. D. Wacquant. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  6. Brinton, Mary C., and Takehiko Kariya. “Institutional Embeddedness in Japanese Labor Markets.” In The New Institutionalism in Sociology, edited by Mary C. Brinton Victor Nee, 181–207. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  7. Burt, Ronald. Structural Holes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  8. Bygrave, William D., and Charles W. Hofer. “Theorizing about Entrepreneurship.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 16, no. 3 (1991): 12–22.Google Scholar
  9. Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000.Google Scholar
  10. Chang, Chin-fen. “Taiwan Women’s History—Labor” In Introduction to the History of Taiwanese Women, edited by Jimbun Shoin, 91–116. Kyoto, Japan: Jimbun Shoin, 2008.Google Scholar
  11. Chu, Priscilla. “Social Network Models of Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurship: The Experience in Hong Kong and Canada.” Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 13, no. 4 (1996): 358–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coleman, James S. Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, James S. “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital.” American Journal of Sociology 94 (1988): S95–S120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Drucker, Peter. Management Challenges for the 21st Century. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.Google Scholar
  15. English-Lueck, J., Charles N. Darrah, and Andrea Saveri. “Trusting Strangers: Work Relationships in Four High-Tech Communities.” Information, Communication & Society 5, no. 1 (2002): 90–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gartner, W. B. “‘Who Is an Entrepreneur?’ Is the Wrong Question.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 12, no. 4 (1988): 11–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gill, Rosalind. “Cool, Creative and Egalitarian? Exploring Gender in Project-Based New Media Work in Europe.” Information, Communication & Society 5, no. 1 (2002): 70–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gill, Rosalind, and Andy C. Pratt. “In the Social Factory? Immaterial Labor, Precariousness and Cultural Work.” Theory, Culture & Society 25, no. 7–8 (2008): 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Granovetter, Mark. “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited.” Sociological Theory 1 (1983): 201–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gregg, Melissa. “Thanks for the Ad(d): Neoliberalism’s Compulsory Friendship.” Talk given at Goldsmiths College, University of London, July 2006. https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/politicalfeeling/files/2007/09/thanks4adddraft.pdf.
  21. Hitt, Michael A., Ho-Uk Lee, and Emre Yucel. “The Importance of Social Capital to the Management of Multinational Enterprises: Relational Networks among Asian and Western Firms.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management 19, no. 2, 3 (2002): 353–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jayawarna, Dilani, Oswald Jones, and Allan Macpherson. “Entrepreneurial Potential: The Role of Human and Cultural Capitals.” International Small Business Journal 32, no. 8 (2014): 918–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kao, Ying-Chao, and Herng-Dar Bih. “Masculinity in Ambiguity: Constructing Taiwanese Masculine Identities between Great Powers.” In Masculinities in a Global Era, edited by Joseph Gelfer, 175–91. New York: Springer, 2013.Google Scholar
  24. Kelan, Elisabeth K. “Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT Work.” Gender, Work & Organization 15, no. 1 (2007): 49–71.Google Scholar
  25. Lee, Zong-Rong, and Ming-yi Chang. “Keeping Up with the Family? A Longitudinal Analysis of Kinship Networks and Performance of Intercorporate Alliances.” Paper presented at Globalisation, Market Transformation and Taiwan Corporations Conference, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, June 3, 2014.Google Scholar
  26. Leung, Wing-Fai. “The Strengths of Close Ties: Taiwanese Online Entrepreneurship, Gender and Intersectionality.” Information, Communication & Society 19, no. 8 (2016): 1046–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mungai, Edward, and S. Ramakrishna Velamuri. “Parental Entrepreneurial Role Model Influence on Male Offspring: Is It Always Positive and When Does It Occur?” Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice 35, no. 2 (2011): 337–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Myers, Ramon H. “The Economic Transformation of the Republic of China on Taiwan.” The China Journal no. 99 (1984): 500–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Neff, Gina. Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries. Boston, MA: MIT, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ong, Aihwa. Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pratt, Andy. C. “New Media, the New Economy and New Spaces.” Geoforum 31, no. 4 (2000): 425–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Redding, Gordon, and Michael A. Witt. The Future of Chinese Capitalism Choices and Chances. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  33. Ross, Andrew. Nice Work if You can Get it: Life and Labor in Precarious Times. New York: New York University Press, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sarason, Yolanda, Tom Dean, and Jesse F. Dillard. “Entrepreneurship as the Nexus of Individual and Opportunity: A Structuration View.” Journal of Business Venturing 21, no. 3 (2006): 286–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shaver, Kelly G. and Linda R. Scott. “Person, Process, Choice: The Psychology of New Venture Creation.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Winter (1991): 23–46.Google Scholar
  36. Stokes, David. “The Properties of Entrepreneurship.” In Entrepreneurship, edited by David Stokes, Nicholas Wilson, Nicholas, and Martha Mador, 28–49. London: Cengage, 2010.Google Scholar
  37. “Taiwan Revitalizes Spirit of Entrepreneurship.” Taiwan Insights, 2013. Accessed June 15, 2014, http://www.taiwaninsights.com/tag/taiwans-entrepreneurs/.
  38. Tocci, Jason. “Geek Cultures: Media and Identity in the Digital Age.” Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2009.Google Scholar
  39. Walker, G., B. Kogut, and W. Shan. “Social Capital, Structural Holes and the Formation of an Industry Network.” Organization Science 8, no. 2 (1997): 109–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Werbel, James D., and Sharon M. Danes. “Work Family Conflict in New Business Commitment to the New Business Venture.” Journal of Small Business Management 48, no. 3 (2010): 421–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wittel, Andreas. “Towards a Network Sociality.” Theory Culture & Society 18, no. 6 (2001): 51–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wong, Siu-lun. “Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Trust.” In Asian Business Networks, edited by Gary G. Hamilton, 13–26. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1996.Google Scholar
  43. Wong, Siu-lun. “The Chinese Family Firm: A Model.” The British Journal of Sociology 36, no. 1 (2014): 58–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Woodfield, Ruth. “Woman and Information Systems Development: Not Just a Pretty (Inter)Face?” Information Technology & People 15, no. 2 (2002): 119–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wreyford, Natalie. “The Real Cost of Childcare: Motherhood and Project-Based Creative Labour in the UK Film Industry.” Studies in the Maternal 5, no. 2 (2013). http://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/documents/Wreyford_SiM_5(2)2013.pdf.
  46. Wu, Rong-I, and Chung-Che Huang. “Entrepreneurship in Taiwan: Turning Point to Restart.” In Entrepreneurship in Asia, 1–17. Washington, DC: The Mansfield Foundation, 2003.Google Scholar
  47. Yeh, Kuang Shih, and Li-Chin Tsao. “A Network Analysis of Ownership Succession of Family Owned Business.” Journal of Management 13, no. 2 (1996): 197–225.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations