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Beyond the enclave? Break-outs into mainstream markets and multicultural hybridism in ethnic firms

Alessandro Arrighetti (), Daniela Bolzani and Andrea Lasagni ()

Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 2014, vol. 26, issue 9-10, 753-777

Abstract: The literature on immigrant entrepreneurship has richly described the characteristics and peculiarities of ethnic businesses catering to enclave markets. However, several indications suggest that immigrant-owned firms are increasingly entering mainstream markets and changing both their internal structures and their external networks with resource providers. One of the most substantial changes, which has been overlooked by researchers, consists of the appearance of what we define as 'multiculturally hybrid firms', which are firms that rely on inter-ethnic managerial or labour resources to carry out their activities. Therefore, in this paper we provide an understanding of the variables that affect the recourse to solutions of multicultural hybridism in the entrepreneurial teams and personnel of immigrant-owned firms. We conduct our empirical analyses on data collected through interviews on a sample of 130 immigrant entrepreneurs in Italy. Our results show that multicultural hybridism is mainly driven by the size of the founding team, the business's maturity, the entrepreneurs' host-country language competence and by entrepreneurs' motivation by individual goals rather than community goals. This research advances our knowledge about immigrant entrepreneurship by focusing on firm-level dimensions such as the diversity of entrepreneurial teams and employees, which are increasingly relevant in our multicultural societies.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2014.992374

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