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Exploring the impacts of context on the sustainable entrepreneurship process of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within Vietnamese marine protected areas- the intersection of macro, meso and micro levels of analysis

Exploring the impacts of context on the sustainable entrepreneurship process of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within Vietnamese marine protected areas- the intersection of macro, meso and micro levels of analysis
Exploring the impacts of context on the sustainable entrepreneurship process of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within Vietnamese marine protected areas- the intersection of macro, meso and micro levels of analysis
This thesis aims to explore how contexts affect the sustainable entrepreneurship (SE)
process of SMEs operating in the tourism industry with a focus on the macro, meso and
micro levels of analysis. Contexts are characterised by different levels of tourism
development in the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas. In order to achieve the research
aim, this study applied the interpretivism research approach to explore (a) stakeholders’
perceptions of SE, (b) the institutional logics shaping organisational sustainable actions,
and (c) the legitimacy process of SMEs within the tourism sector. The findings of such
empirical work are articulated in three interrelated papers which constitute the core
content of this thesis.

Paper one advances the understanding of the concept of SE in a holistic way by
investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of SE’s dimensions in a developing economy.
Sixty-three semi-structured interviews with local government officers and entrepreneurs
in family business settings were conducted on three islands within the Vietnamese
Marine Protected Areas cluster. The study fills both theoretical and empirical gaps
concerning the emergence of SE in a developing economy. It empirically examines cultural sustainability and the interconnection between four sustainability pillars (economy,
society, environment, and culture), thus contributing to a more holistic concept of SE in the tourism sector. Furthermore, it reveals that stakeholders’ perceptions of SE are
affected by levels of tourism development. The findings suggest important implications
for family-owned businesses and policy makers.

Paper two draws on the institutional logics theoretical perspective to examine how
multiple institutional logics shape tourism enterprises’ sustainability activities at different
stages of tourism development in the context of island tourism destinations. To
accomplish this research aim, fifty-seven interviews with local family tourism enterprises
in three islands of the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas cluster characterised by
different stages of tourism development were carried out. This research contributes to
the literature of sustainability within the context of island tourism destinations with three
key findings. Firstly, this study adds to the institutional logics’ discourse two new logics
emerging from the island context including cultural logic and marine logic, which shaped
organizational sustainable actions in addition to market logic and community logic and
the factors underpinning each of these logics. Secondly, this study advances the
understanding of how certain logics dominate over others at organizational level. In
particular, the market logic tended to dominate over the community logic, cultural logic
and marine logic to shape the sustainable actions of tourism enterprises. Finally, this
study reveals an alternative approach regarding organizational response to institutional
complexity. In particular, rather than developing strategies to compromise and balance
competing logics, tourism enterprises chose a logic over another logic in the context of
island tourism destinations.

Paper three adopts the legitimacy theory to examine the dynamic relationships
between context, networking and agency (actions to achieve legitimacy) in the legitimacy
process of SMEs in a developing economy, which is understudied in the scholarship of
legitimacy. In an attempt to accomplish this research aim, fifty-seven interviews with
owners/managers of tourism SMEs were conducted in three islands characterised by
different levels of tourism development in the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas
cluster. This research contributes to the legitimacy and network literature with two key
findings. Firstly, it adds to the debate of SMEs’ legitimacy process in a developing
economy by revealing a dynamic interaction amongst context, which is inclusive of
tourism development level and tourism structure, and networking and agency. This study particularly found that context affected the type and role of networks and the ways in
which the latter support organizations to gain legitimacy. Secondly, this study extends the
understanding of SMEs’ formal and informal networks by revealing that formal networks
in the form of partnerships tended to become informal due to SME small size and little
scrutiny from external shareholders. Finally, it provides insights into the specific roles that
the local governments could play, through formal networks, to support SMEs in achieving
legitimacy within the context of a developing economy. Such roles include educating,
planning, supporting and monitoring.

Aligning with the focus of the whole thesis which is SE process, each of the three
papers offers practical implications for management and policy makers to support
sustainable development in a developing economy. Ultimately, the thesis offers a number
of recommendations for future research.
University of Southampton
Nguyen, Hien Tan Thu
9b9d4036-d08c-4489-8503-1e6698dc110f
Nguyen, Hien Tan Thu
9b9d4036-d08c-4489-8503-1e6698dc110f
Costanzo, Laura
bce28c22-8b70-4176-b523-4e2f59169baf
Karatas-Ozkan, Mine
f5b6c260-f6d4-429a-873a-53bea7ffa9a9

Nguyen, Hien Tan Thu (2020) Exploring the impacts of context on the sustainable entrepreneurship process of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within Vietnamese marine protected areas- the intersection of macro, meso and micro levels of analysis. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 236pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore how contexts affect the sustainable entrepreneurship (SE)
process of SMEs operating in the tourism industry with a focus on the macro, meso and
micro levels of analysis. Contexts are characterised by different levels of tourism
development in the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas. In order to achieve the research
aim, this study applied the interpretivism research approach to explore (a) stakeholders’
perceptions of SE, (b) the institutional logics shaping organisational sustainable actions,
and (c) the legitimacy process of SMEs within the tourism sector. The findings of such
empirical work are articulated in three interrelated papers which constitute the core
content of this thesis.

Paper one advances the understanding of the concept of SE in a holistic way by
investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of SE’s dimensions in a developing economy.
Sixty-three semi-structured interviews with local government officers and entrepreneurs
in family business settings were conducted on three islands within the Vietnamese
Marine Protected Areas cluster. The study fills both theoretical and empirical gaps
concerning the emergence of SE in a developing economy. It empirically examines cultural sustainability and the interconnection between four sustainability pillars (economy,
society, environment, and culture), thus contributing to a more holistic concept of SE in the tourism sector. Furthermore, it reveals that stakeholders’ perceptions of SE are
affected by levels of tourism development. The findings suggest important implications
for family-owned businesses and policy makers.

Paper two draws on the institutional logics theoretical perspective to examine how
multiple institutional logics shape tourism enterprises’ sustainability activities at different
stages of tourism development in the context of island tourism destinations. To
accomplish this research aim, fifty-seven interviews with local family tourism enterprises
in three islands of the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas cluster characterised by
different stages of tourism development were carried out. This research contributes to
the literature of sustainability within the context of island tourism destinations with three
key findings. Firstly, this study adds to the institutional logics’ discourse two new logics
emerging from the island context including cultural logic and marine logic, which shaped
organizational sustainable actions in addition to market logic and community logic and
the factors underpinning each of these logics. Secondly, this study advances the
understanding of how certain logics dominate over others at organizational level. In
particular, the market logic tended to dominate over the community logic, cultural logic
and marine logic to shape the sustainable actions of tourism enterprises. Finally, this
study reveals an alternative approach regarding organizational response to institutional
complexity. In particular, rather than developing strategies to compromise and balance
competing logics, tourism enterprises chose a logic over another logic in the context of
island tourism destinations.

Paper three adopts the legitimacy theory to examine the dynamic relationships
between context, networking and agency (actions to achieve legitimacy) in the legitimacy
process of SMEs in a developing economy, which is understudied in the scholarship of
legitimacy. In an attempt to accomplish this research aim, fifty-seven interviews with
owners/managers of tourism SMEs were conducted in three islands characterised by
different levels of tourism development in the Vietnamese Marine Protected Areas
cluster. This research contributes to the legitimacy and network literature with two key
findings. Firstly, it adds to the debate of SMEs’ legitimacy process in a developing
economy by revealing a dynamic interaction amongst context, which is inclusive of
tourism development level and tourism structure, and networking and agency. This study particularly found that context affected the type and role of networks and the ways in
which the latter support organizations to gain legitimacy. Secondly, this study extends the
understanding of SMEs’ formal and informal networks by revealing that formal networks
in the form of partnerships tended to become informal due to SME small size and little
scrutiny from external shareholders. Finally, it provides insights into the specific roles that
the local governments could play, through formal networks, to support SMEs in achieving
legitimacy within the context of a developing economy. Such roles include educating,
planning, supporting and monitoring.

Aligning with the focus of the whole thesis which is SE process, each of the three
papers offers practical implications for management and policy makers to support
sustainable development in a developing economy. Ultimately, the thesis offers a number
of recommendations for future research.

Text
Hien Nguyen 28870883- PhD thesis Full (Official version)_ - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 August 2023.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: April 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 447781
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/447781
PURE UUID: 6f5b59f1-7f61-47d9-9f58-1f30b6fd296f
ORCID for Laura Costanzo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7197-6778
ORCID for Mine Karatas-Ozkan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9199-4156

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Mar 2021 17:30
Last modified: 24 Jul 2022 01:39

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Contributors

Author: Hien Tan Thu Nguyen
Thesis advisor: Laura Costanzo ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Mine Karatas-Ozkan ORCID iD

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