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Global Talent Mobility and International Entrepreneurship Project

Based on a survey conducted by the Centre for China and Globalisation, one of the top challenges faced by returnee entrepreneurship is 'cultural shock'. Why can returnees feel cultural shock when they go back to start ventures in their home countries?

The answer is because emerging economies change rapidly and the norms and logics of doing business are dynamic. Western-trained returnees can be too much entrenched by the transaction cost economy and efficiency-driven logic. However, relationship-centric practices are prevailing and universally prevalent in business and life. Individual entrepreneurial behaviours affected by cultural differences can impact their ways of understanding and addressing uncertainty and risk, thus chosen coping strategies in building resilience.

On the organisational-level, new technology ventures can tap into the global markets by profiting from the bi-cultural talent who understand the 'rules of the game' both domestically and internationally. Collaborative partnership strategy has been favoured by these born-global firms for growth and global expansion. Importantly, returnee talent may provide international experience and knowledge acting as 'entrepreneurial hub' to compensate the lack of university capability in China's second tier cities and towns when they embark on the journey to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation movement.

Even more fundamentally different from the advanced economies, the Chinese institutional environment keeps transforming and gives the voice to different actors in shaping and influencing the developmental trajectory of institutions. Returnee entrepreneurs are able to proactively participate into this process of institutional transformation by leveraging public-private entrepreneurial partnerships. It is the development necessity and dynamic institutional background that provides the opportunity for returnee entrepreneurs to rapidly shape and influence institutions.

This research has produced multiple publications, including the Research Handbook of International Talent Management and Entrepreneurship and Talent Management from a Global Perspective. The ideas and research output have been presented as keynote speeches and presentations at international conferences. The research received support from the British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Award and the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.