Zhen Zhang, assistant professor of management, discussed Chinese immigrant entrepreneurship in Canada before roughly 10 faculty members and students in the President’s Dining Room Tuesday.
Zhang’s lecture, “Managing the Yin and Yang of Family Capital: A Study of Chinese Immigrant Entrepreneurs,” focused on why would-be business owners immigrated from China to Canada.
“Recent immigrants came from middle-eastern China, where they have an open-door policy and marketer reformation,” Zhang said.
“They came to Canada with not only their nuclear families but also other relatives.”
Zhang said that most of the immigrants were middle class and earned a decent income.
Zhang emphasized that despite some barriers to participating fully in new work because of language and culture gaps, their family structures remained strong.
“In a culture that emphasizes … more group-oriented activities, families are more likely to get involved (in) business and entrepreneurial decisions,” said Zhang.
Zhang said a paradox toward Chinese entrepreneurship exists.
It consists of contradictory but interrelated elements, deriving from the philosophy of yin and yang that consists of a mix of positive and negative elements.
“I use this framework to help us understand these family decisions,” Zhang said.
“For example, not only does the family have two sides but it’s always dynamic and changing, hence several strategies they use to manage these paradoxes.”