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Examining the entrepreneurial context of Oman: multi-layered perspective using the institutional lens

Al-Mataani, Rashid, Nasser (2017) Examining the entrepreneurial context of Oman: multi-layered perspective using the institutional lens University of Southampton Doctoral Thesis , 240pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This research aims to examine the influence of institutional environment in the entrepreneurial context of Oman. It draws on the burgeoning literature that links entrepreneurship and institutions. Previous entrepreneurship literature has largely focused on the developed world, and assumed transferable findings to emerging economies regardless of the significant institutional differences, which warrants scholarly attention. In response, this research produces three papers that examine three interrelated phenomena within the entrepreneurial context of Oman, using institutional lens. The first paper examines the emergence of hidden entrepreneurs, an understudied phenomenon in the informal entrepreneurship literature, and its effects on the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the wider economy. Calling upon the weaknesses in the institutional environment that led to the emergence of hidden entrepreneurs, the second paper examines the role these institutional dynamics play in shaping the efficacy of entrepreneurial learning (EL) programmes. As the second paper showed a dominance of unfavourable institutions that undermine formal EL programmes, the third paper was inclined to examine the informal collaborative EL approaches that entrepreneurs follow by utilising prevailing coexisting institutional logics, mainly digitisation and social capital logics. Embedded in interpretive paradigm, the three papers followed qualitative approach using in-depth interviews with 44 entrepreneurs and stakeholders within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The papers revealed an interplay between unique institutional elements that have given rise to different implications to entrepreneurship in Oman. These include: regulatory weaknesses despite the government’s momentous efforts to develop entrepreneurship sector; the undue influence of the family in shaping individual endeavour; limited entrepreneurial mindset in the society; the emergence of digital social networks; the normative influence of wasta; and an Islamic value to knowledge sharing. The overall research offers theoretical, methodological, and contextual contributions as well as practical implications by providing multi-layered understanding of entrepreneurship phenomenon within an understudied context (i.e. Oman), which generated new insights at the intersection of entrepreneurship and institutional theory.

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Published date: February 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Business School


Local EPrints ID: 408201
PURE UUID: 71eafd28-c751-494c-a56f-1d728da0f2ba

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Date deposited: 17 May 2017 04:01
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 13:40

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Thesis advisor: Pelin Demirel Liu
Thesis advisor: Mine Karatas-Ozkan
Thesis advisor: Thomas Wainwright

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