Fit by adaptation or fit by founding? A comparative study of existing and new entrepreneurial cohorts in China

Chenjian Zhang, Justin Tan, David Tan

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Extant research provides ambiguous views on the network adaptability of existing ventures and new ventures during environmental change. Applying an institutional perspective, this research aims to provide a clearer picture by comparing the adaptation and network configurations of existing vs new entrepreneurial cohorts during China's institutional change after 1992. The qualitative and quantitative analyses show that the existing cohort of entrepreneurs display network inertia, in that they largely maintain strong tie–based political and market networks; the new cohort instead demonstrate better adaptation by establishing fewer political networks but more weak and diverse market networks. This comparative research unpacks the institutional mechanisms underlying such differences, and serves as a ground for future investigations dealing with the strategic actions of different entrepreneurial cohorts that are largely neglected in previous studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-931
Number of pages21
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016



  • Existing and new ventures
  • entrepreneurial networks
  • institutional change
  • imprinting
  • transitional economies

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