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Transnational Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Absorptive Capacity Theory of Knowledge Spillover Entrepreneurship Perspective

Jonathan Marks, Samuel Dawa and Shungu Kanyemba

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies, 2020, vol. 6, issue 1, 114-139

Abstract: Abstract The study seeks to explain how migrants’ access, understand and recognise the value of new knowledge in enhancing transnational entrepreneurship. This is important as it provides insights into how knowledge is accessed and employed in different contexts to recognise entrepreneurial opportunities. Using the absorptive capacity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship, this study contributes to previous research which has focussed on the scope and boundaries of this phenomenon at a firm or institutional level, but not at the level of the transnational entrepreneur (TE). Furthermore, this study contributes by examining the role of human capital and the prior knowledge and experience that migrants use and acquire in transnational entrepreneurship. A qualitative approach based on phenomenology was adopted in this research. A purposive sample of four TEs living in South Africa and running businesses in Zimbabwe were investigated. The results show that the possession of requisite human capital along with concern for the home country facilitates the acquisition of new knowledge. This new knowledge, when integrated with prior knowledge and cultural compatibility between home and host countries, influences the immigrant’s intention to form new ventures and return to the home country. This study explains the role of human capital and the mechanisms that are implemented in acquiring knowledge resources and their subsequent transformation into a business entity.

Keywords: Transnational entrepreneurship; absorptive capacity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/2393957519895851

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