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Is this Transnational Entrepreneurship? Five Cases in Which It Is Hard to Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

Aki Harima and Thomas Baron

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies, 2020, vol. 6, issue 1, 12-40

Abstract: Abstract Scholars have lately started using the notion of ‘transnational entrepreneurship’. However, transnational entrepreneurship has not achieved the status of an independent research field in literature yet. Scholars and policymakers do not seem to have managed to address the clear-cut, distinctive nature of transnational entrepreneurship due to its conceptual ambiguity. This challenge calls for thoughtful consideration of the scope and range of the transnational entrepreneurship concept. Consequently, this study aims at critically reviewing the recent literature on transnational entrepreneurship in contrast to migrants’ entrepreneurial activities and international entrepreneurship to identify the current scholars’ underlying assumptions about this phenomenon and challenges them by demonstrating its heterogeneity with the presentation of five empirical cases. In these five cases, entrepreneurs conduct business in which transnationalism plays a certain role, yet differently. We contrast the presented cases with the four assumptions about transnational entrepreneurs identified from literature: (a) frequent travels between home and host countries, (b) simultaneous entrepreneurial engagement in two countries, (c) deep dual embeddedness in home and host institutional environments and (d) highly educated migrants. Based on the discussion, we develop a set of research propositions regarding the characteristics of transnational entrepreneurs, which are not fully considered in literature. By demonstrating the heterogeneity of transnational entrepreneurship and by showing future research orientations, we contribute to the literature on transnational entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Transnational entrepreneurship; immigrant entrepreneurship; international entrepreneurship; circular migration; transnationalism; diaspora (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/2393957519887561

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