“Entrepreneurial bricolage as the core mechanism for Chinese‐style innovation” by Professor Peter Ping LI
Professor Peter Ping LI
Professor of International Business
Xian Jiaotong‐Liverpool University
The Chinese style or pattern of innovation is argued to be unique in several aspects, but one of them is highlighted as a compositional approach. The compositional approach, coined as “composition‐based view” (CBV), is developed to explain how firms with insufficient resources and competencies can create competitive advantages (Luo & Child, 2015). CBV provides some interesting insights into the question how some firms with ordinary resources can generate extraordinary results by applying their unique integrating capabilities for their own resources and even others’ resources to develop products with good price‐value ratios for the need of mass‐market consumers. We want to go one step further by positing that entrepreneurial bricolage can serve as the core mechanism for the compositional approach, but also something new beyond CBV by differentiating between two sub‐patterns: (1) turning ordinary resources (i.e., thus regular resources available via market exchange at fair prices) into extraordinary resources (i.e., core competences for competitive advantages); (2) turning abnormal resources (i.e., irregular resources with controversial values or services, even though available via market exchange at distorted prices), and (3) turning even non‐resources (i.e., conventionally assumed no or little value or no market value due to its public‐good nature), into other types of resources. In general terms, the first sub‐pattern is consistent with CBV, but the second and third sub‐patterns extend beyond CBV. Further, the extant research on entrepreneurial bricolage focuses narrowly on what we call passive bricolage as one of multiple mechanisms (i.e., making‐do with whatever at hand, similar to the approach of effectuation), but we seek to develop a novel view by identifying the other mechanism of what we call proactive bricolage (i.e., creating extraordinary resources out of not only ordinary resources, as argued by CBV, but also abnormal resources and even non‐resources as our approach not only to extending CBV but also to extending the existing research on entrepreneurial bricolage). We argue that proactive bricolage can better explain the argument concerning “creating something from nothing”. The cases of Huawei and Alibaba can serve as good illustrations of our novel perspective, and the relatively unknown case of Yuanjia Village as a popular tourist attraction is also an excellent example.