Extending mixed embeddedness to a multi-dimensional concept of transnational entrepreneurship

Sakura Yamamura, Paul Lassalle

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Abstract

Migrant entrepreneurship in times of transnational migration go beyond locally serving markets and increasingly operate transnationally. The mixed embeddedness by Kloosterman and Rath has become the main concept to analyze such migrants’ entrepreneurship as it accounts for the multiple embeddedness of entrepreneurs in the variety of social and institutional contexts at multiple levels. This concept, however, does not yet accommodate the transnational dimensions of migrant entrepreneurship, which is still rather nascent in entrepreneurship research. Transnationalism is multi-dimensional in its nature as pointed out by migration researchers as Vertovec, and transnational migrants’ embeddedness appears to go beyond the notion of being simply dually embedded in two locations but rather should be conceived as being in one larger transnational field—though such aspects are not conceptually accounted in the mixed embeddedness approach. Taking this as a starting point, we propose to analyze the conditions that allow migrant entrepreneurs to engage in transnational activities. Our proposed framework bases on empirical research with 36 Polish entrepreneurs in the EU labor market, by drawing their opportunities from different levels and contexts of transnationalism. Following the research question on which levels and dimensions of embeddedness in the transnational field contribute to transnational entrepreneurship, we develop a novel refined framework of mixed embeddedness to analyze transnational entrepreneurship. It clarifies the entrepreneurial context by analytically and systematically subdividing components across dimensions (political, social and economic), and rearranging institutional elements and structures in each dimension according to respective levels (macro, meso, and micro). Emphasizing the role of conditions at the meso-level, the novel analytical framework better incorporates the multi-dimensionality and multi-levelling of transnational entrepreneurial activities of migrants. This model can be used as a tool for future comparative analyses of migrant entrepreneurship in different transnational contexts, it also contributes to the concretization of the transnational nature of transnational migrant entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages23
JournalComparative Migration Studies
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • transnational entrepreneurship
  • mixed embeddedness
  • multi-level
  • multi-dimensional
  • Polish migrants

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