“Right Time, Right Place, and Right People” and Chinese Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Taiwan's Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

In: Frontiers of Business Research in China
Fu-Lai Tony Yu
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Pinky Wan Ping Tse
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In examining corporate success, many scholars overlook an important contributing factor, namely entrepreneurship. However, Chinese wisdom believes that the “right time, right place, and right people” (Three R's) are crucial for business success. This study utilizes theories of entrepreneurship from the Austrian School of Economics to reinterpret the three factors for business success. This new interpretation is then applied to explain the success of a famous dumpling house in Taiwan, Din Tai Fung. This study argues that although favorable timing is critical to business success, it requires an entrepreneur to grasp the opportunity when it comes. The seizure of a golden chance requires alertness and preparation. More importantly, this study argues that even during an adverse period, a crisis can be turned into a profit opportunity. Whereas a favorable location is also regarded as a key factor, this study goes beyond sheer spatial dimensions. Location also encompasses culture, social customs, norms and traditional folklores. This paper argues that an entrepreneur transplants culture and social customs from one location to another, thus, gaining pure entrepreneurial profit. Finally, the “right people” in an entrepreneurial sense involves a harmonious social network and good personal relationship (Guanxi). By maintaining a harmonious relationship with staff members, partners, customers, and suppliers, entrepreneurs can “get things done.” This case study provides a new insight into Chinese entrepreneurship in East Asia.

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