Essays On Transnational Bioscience Entrepreneurs: Evidence From America, China, And Taiwan

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Although there are previous studies on transnational migrants, no studies have been done on transnational bioscience entrepreneurs (TBEs) from either China or Taiwan. This dissertation is the result of grounded theory methodology and extensive on-theground fieldwork from April 2008 to May 2010 in Taiwan to yield conclusions that are convincing and accurate. Following Mills (2000), Paper 1 situates the researcher and respondents' personal experiences in their social structures and traces the transformation of these social structures in their cultural, historical, and political contexts. In so doing, this paper attempts to understand the extent to which a social scientist's training and transnational identity impact his work as a collector and analyst of qualitative data. Paper 2 documents the arc of TBE's transnational migration from Taiwan to America before circling back toward China. Through the crucible of immigration and the desire to succeed, TBEs developed their own global sensibility, which empowers them to discover, evaluate, and exploit opportunities beyond political borders. Their global sensibility defines what is transnational about TBEs. As a coda to their already highly distinguished careers, TBEs seized the opportunity to learn what their true capabilities are absent the institutional barriers that are present in America and to leverage their iii expertise in upgrading China and Taiwan's global bioscience competitiveness. Paper 3 reveals how a group of individuals who are defined as extreme cases based on the surface metrics of professional achievement and personal net worth are, in fact, driven by motivations common to all people. TBEs are motivated by nostalgia for their country of origin, obligation to family members, and opportunities for self actualization. As human beings, TBEs want to return to their home, support their family, and reach their full potential both inside and outside the workplace. Their proclivity for entrepreneurship together with their nostalgia for their country of origin explains why, instead of choosing early retirement amid the material comforts of America, they opted to return to Taiwan and continue working throughout the autumn of their careers. TBEs recognized an opportunity where self actualization and economic and scientific development converged. iv

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China; Taiwan; Entrepreneurship


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Lieberwitz, Risa L

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Compa, Lance
Sonnenstuhl, William James
Chang, Derek S.

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Industrial and Labor Relations

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Ph. D., Industrial and Labor Relations

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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