Complexity absorption: A processual strategic approach to corporate entrepreneurship strategy

Haina Zhang* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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In contrast to traditional strategic approaches that are based on complexity reduction, this paper aims to develop an alternative way of understanding entrepreneurial strategy and managing complexity from a processual perspective. The new perspective is developed from a processual perspective integrating insights from an understanding of complexity to engage with philosophical accounts of Chinese processual thought particularly as it is applied to entrepreneurial strategy. The new theoretical framework is empirically investigated through case studies of 30 entrepreneurial organizations in China. The findings confirm that timing and action, context/situation, and efficacy are the three key components in complexity absorption as preferred entrepreneurial strategic approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers of Business Research in China
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

The author Haina Zhang acknowledges the support of research grant received from the Lancaster University Research Committee (award reference: SGS21/33). The author is also grateful to Professor David Brown for his suggestions on earlier version of this paper.


  • Complexity absorption
  • Entrepreneurial strategy
  • Chinese processual philosophy


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