Making Sense of Co-Opetition in a Post-Colonial Entrepreneurial Landscape: Nigeria’s Fashion Industry.

KOM, Caroline Nanain (2022). Making Sense of Co-Opetition in a Post-Colonial Entrepreneurial Landscape: Nigeria’s Fashion Industry. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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In response to calls for more co-opetition studies that address micro-macro foundations of co-opetition, this study examines the sensemaking of entrepreneurial co-opetition networks of formal and informal fashion sectors in a post-colonial entrepreneurial landscape in Nigeria. The aim is to provide a holistic understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of co-opetition which is largely determined by underlying institutional and socio-historical configuration of the environment within which entrepreneurs operate, and which shape meaning-making, interpretation, and enactment of co-opetition. Specifically, within a post-colonial, developing economic context like Nigeria, an examination of institutional and socio-historical influences on entrepreneurial co-opetition sensemaking processes addresses the contextualized nature of co-opetitive relationships; thus, filling existing gap in co-opetition studies which cite limited accounting of the institutional and Institutional environment. Additional insights from Bourdieu’s Practice theory and Fanon’s post-colonial concept of ‘Othering’ are also incorporated to generate a much broader understanding of historically conditioned norms and co-opetitive behaviours of entrepreneurs operating within a post-colonial context like Nigeria. This research is designed as an embedded case study. Multiple qualitative data collection and ethnographic techniques (e.g., interviews, observations, informal chats), and some secondary data (e.g., documentation), were employed to select participants from formal and informal entrepreneurial networks in Nigeria’s fashion industry who were sampled through snowballing strategies. A thematic data analysis process was adopted. Findings from this study describe the sensemaking process of entrepreneurial co-opetition network as the selection and extraction of cues from situational and concrete institutional contexts, which shape the development of co-opetition mindsets that inform enactments of co-opetitive behaviours and assumptions of participants. Institutionally grounded sensemaking resources are articulated as regulatory triggers, normative primers, and cultural-cognitive editors. Finally, the outcome of sensemaking processes resulted in the construction of maintained and temporal co-opetition mindsets. The formal fashion sector engaged in co-opetition networking based on economic outcomes such as the generation of a combination of short/long-term (individual and collective) benefits. Within the informal sector, co-opetition provided a means to generate non-economic outcomes of embedded agency that renders co-opetition as a taken-for-granted strategy. The findings in this study makes several contributions that relate to the capturing of contextual complexities of co-opetition which are often overlooked. The findings further demonstrate the role of sensemaking in co-opetition, especially how individual entrepreneurial actors develop interpretive mindsets that give meaning to their co-opetitive network environment. The importance of co-opetition in entrepreneurship is also emphasized, citing limited exploration of co-opetition within entrepreneurial contexts. Finally, the findings highlight the iterative relationship between micro and macro-level factors in co-opetition which is yet to be significantly explored in co-opetition research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Sharpe, Diana
Thesis advisor - Owens, Martin
Additional Information: Director of Studies - Dr Diana Rosemary Sharpe Supervisor: Dr. Martin Owens "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Justine Gavin
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 14:39
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 01:18

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