International Business Review
International Ethnic Entrepreneurship: Approaches and strategies of successful immigrant entrepreneurs crossing national boundaries
National economies opened to the world and became more integrated in the last 50 years. As also travel became easier and more affordable, people with different national backgrounds left their homes and went into industrialized countries as refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants (Cross 1992, Esping-Andersen 1993; Massey and Denton 1993). From the Chinese in greater Asia and Canada, to the Turks in Germany, from the Algerians in France to the Indians in Africa and New Zealand, the developed world became the final destination of populations with different socio-cultural or ethnic origins, which turned them into multi-cultural societies (Gorter et al. 1998).
Over the years, a significant shift in the work orientation towards self-employment took place among these ethnic groups (Delft et al. 2000, Masurel et al. 2002, Min 1987, Waldinger et al. 1990, Ward and Jenkins 1984; Kobrin and Speare, 1983; Lewandowski, 1980). Whereas most of them had been employed as laborers in earlier years, they started to be active as “ethnic entrepreneurs”. Instead of queuing for jobs with the locals, they created work opportunities for themselves and even became employers of other people as well.
Ethnic entrepreneurs are people who start their own business often through an individual connection with former immigrants (Butler and Green, 1997) through a set of regular patterns of interaction with them (Waldinger et al., 1990). Ethnic entrepreneurs significantly influence national economies.
According to the Ethnic Minority Business Forum (2003) for example, there are 66.000 ethnic minority owned businesses in London today, as well as around 93.000 self employed people from ethnic minority communities. These minority businesses employ well over half a million people. Also in other parts of the world, ethnic minorities have started to have a say in business; the ethnic Chinese for example have created large multi-divisional enterprises in the host societies of Southeast Asia. Ethnic businesses today contribute to the economy by increasing economic and cultural diversity, reducing unemployment among immigrants and raising living standards in ethnic groups.
One of the important questions is which factors effect migrants’ decisions to engage in entrepreneurial activities. The decision has been explained with either the Structural or the Cultural approach (Mavratsas, 1997). Whereas the Structural approach argues that the situation in the host country is a prime cause for migrants engagement in entrepreneurial activities (Cole, 1959), the Culturalist approach sees values and cultural elements as the essential determinants of entrepreneurial activity. Studies demonstrate, that these elements are similar in many aspects across different minority groups. A comparative examination of entrepreneurship among Maghrebian and Pakistani businesses for example shows, that motivation, markets and the importance of family labour are equally important. Studies also show that networks are determining factors in entrepreneurship success, as network connections help ethnic entrepreneurs raise money, invent technology, locate materials, get training and hire workers (Gabbay & Leenders, 1999).
Although studies on ethnic communities in business life have increased over the last years, these studies have dominantly considered labour migration and only limited attention has been given to entrepreneurial migration.
Whereas some works have dealt with this topic as well, most academic works on ethnic entrepreneurship have told the stories of particular minority groups in specific societies (e.g. Light and Bonachich, 1991; Silverman, 2001 Folk, 2007).
This special issue of International Business Review focuses on two gaps in the extant literature on ethnic entrepreneurship: First, unlike previous work, which tended to focus on one country or one region of the world, with this special issue we aim to cover a global scope with chapters on America, Europe, and Asia. It is our intention to provide a broad perspective on the nature and scope of entrepreneurship within ethnic groups and bring new insights and methods to the phenomenon of ethnic entrepreneurs. Second, most work until now has focused on the marketing related dimensions of the phenomenon. This special issue aims to provide a management related understanding of how international firms are organized to achieve their strategic goals. Combining essays, case studies and empirical studies from around the globe, we want to give a deeper understanding of the characteristics, motivation and orientation of ethnic entrepreneurs as well as their value systems, preferences, goals and management styles. It is our aim to understand the success stories of ethnic entrepreneurs in different environments putting special emphasis on the cultural, social and institutional resources that made these successes possible.
Prof. Dr. Tamer Çavuşgil (Georgia State University/USA) Dr. Dilek Zamantili Nayir (Marmara University/Turkey) Prof. Dr. Gerd-Michael Hellstern (University of Kassel/Germany) Prof. Dr. Tevfik Dalgic (University of Texas at Dallas/USA) Prof. Erin Cavusgil (University of Michigan Flint/USA)
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Global trends in ethnic business
- The role of ethnic entrepreneurship in shaping the structure of modern economies
- The role of culture and cross cultural communication in ethnic businesses
- Strategy formulation in ethnic businesses
- The role of business-government relations
- The role of trust and cultural values
- Gender and generation differences
- Economic, political and social network structures in ethnic entrepreneurship
- Organizational culture in ethnic enterprises
We are looking to include both conceptual and empirical papers as well as case studies in this special issue. Papers with a multi-country, comparative perspective will be preferred.
September 30, 2009 Submission of manuscripts
January 15, 2010 Reviewer comments to authors
April 30, 2010 Submission of final articles
August 30, 2010 Final articles to the publisher
Notes for Authors
Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page at http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/authorinstructions
Editors and Notes
Please send your submission in the form of an MS Word file attached to an e-mail to both:
Prof. Tamer Çavuşgil
The Institute of International Business - J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University,
35 Broad Street, Suite 1438, Atlanta Georgia 30303 USA email@example.com
Dr. Dilek Zamantili Nayir
Marmara University - Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences Department of Business Administration in German language 81610 Anadoluhisari Istanbul Turkey firstname.lastname@example.org